Due to the fast-paced, hectic lifestyle that most of us lead nowadays, we sometimes easily dismiss certain tell-tale signs of concerning health issues and attribute those signs or symptoms to “stress”, “poor sleep patterns” and “lack of energy”. Sure enough, a healthy lifestyle is a balanced lifestyle, but what if those things which we perceive as causes of our distress are actually symptoms of a serious underlying condition?
Time and time again, we hear people complain that they’ve slept well, but still feel drained and bone-tired or, by the same token, that they’re exhausted, but cannot fall asleep for hours on end. Of course, everyone has an off-day from time to time, and troubles with waking up in the morning, headaches, and anxiety are all normal occurrences if we experience them rarely. And who hasn’t had a period with a lowered sex-drive, a zit here and there or sugary cravings that were too strong to resist, causing us to gain a few extra pounds? The truth is, these things happen to anyone, but if you notice they’re a rule, rather than an exception, you may be experiencing hormonal imbalance symptoms.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals our body produces in endocrine glands that act as regulators and “messengers” of a sort, taking care of various bodily functions, from simple ones like the feeling of hunger to the more complicated ones, such as our reproductive system, mood, and even emotions. Hormonal imbalance occurs when our body produces too little or too much hormones, which often leads to mellow moods, feelings of fatigue, or excessive weight gain. If left untreated, it can even lead to more serious health issues such as osteoporosis, heart disease, or an increased risk of cancer! There are many reasons why our body “creates” this imbalance. The most common causes of hormonal imbalances eating too many processed and sugary foods, over-exercising, under-eating or crash dieting, stress and different toxins that we often take in on a daily basis, such as alcohol and chemicals, as well as environmental pollution.
In the last decade, people have become acutely aware of the damage improper nourishment and wrong food choices can do to the body. In turn, this has led popularization of different, unhealthy diets that have no scientific proof of efficiency, which ultimately causes more harm than good. People who want to be the best versions of themselves, and lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, often fall victim eating the foods that are not fulfilling enough and working out vigorously, causing harm to their joints and overall physical health. There are even some people who, despite their best efforts, never quite manage to lose the weight they want to. That’s because the real cause of weight gain is in hormonal imbalances. A lot, if not most people, are not sufficiently informed on that subject and how it can affect weight loss or weight gain or how keeping your hormones in balance can lead to fast and long-term results.
Hormonal imbalances that cause weight gain are related to four key hormones: ghrelin, insulin, cortisol, and adiponectin. When balanced, these hormones are in charge of keeping our weight fluctuation at bay and keeping us lean and energized. Ghrelin is known as the ‘hunger hormone’ or the ‘fat storage hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage. It decreases when we’re eating, and start increasing during our fasting periods. High levels of ghrelin lead to overeating, and people who are on a strict diet tend to have higher levels of the hunger hormone that those who have healthy, balanced diets. This explains the so-called yo-yo effect of dieting when people gain as much weight as they’ve lost in a short period of time after their special diet regime ends. It’s because their ghrelin levels are high and they become unable to control portions and resist unhealthy foods.
The second hormone is called Insulin. It’s a fairly well-known hormone, and for a good reason – it has an essential role in controlling the glucose levels in our body. Have you ever felt like the more processed, sugary foods you eat, the more you crave them? That’s because, in order to nourish our brain, our body turns everything we eat into glucose. When we eat unprocessed, healthy foods, our body takes longer to degrade them and turn them into glucose, which leads to even and controlled levels of insulin in our system. Conversely, when for example, we take in too many pastries or candies at once, our insulin levels skyrocket, because the role of insulin is to lower blood sugar levels. After that surge of glucose ends, the insulin levels quickly decrease as well, below its normal levels, leading to us wanting more and more of those unhealthy foods. In order to balance out our daily metabolic needs and glucose intake, achieving optimal insulin levels is of the utmost importance.
Cortisol is the third hormone to keep an eye on when trying to lose that stubborn fat and lead a healthy life. It has many roles in maintaining basic bodily functions, most importantly in regulating our metabolism and helping our body respond to stress. Too much cortisol in the system can lead to rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings and muscle weakness. Needless to say, one of the first weight loss steps you should make in reducing the cortisol overload that most people are unaware they have.
And last, but not least, the story of the four fat burning hormones wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Adiponectin, a protein hormone, commonly known as the ‘fat burning hormone’. It improves your muscles’ ability to use carbohydrates for energy, thus leading to more calorie burning. Recent studies have shown that Adiponectin plays a key role in reducing inflammation and fighting obesity. Low levels of this hormone are typical in obese people, while people with a normal BMI and healthy lifestyle have been found to have high levels of this protein. This means that in order to lose weight, adiponectin levels need to be boosted.
Hormonal imbalances can lead to a number of debilitating health issues and can be especially dangerous if left untreated. If you’re unsure if you’re suffering from this type of health issues, there are some common symptoms that can help you identify if you have a health condition or not. These include libido changes, fatigue and trouble sleeping, mood swings, anxiety, depression, weight gain, appetite changes, digestive problems, as well as memory problems. If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, don’t ignore them. They might be your body’s way of crying for help and telling you that something’s wrong. It might be best to go to your doctor and do a simple blood test to see if you have a condition that needs treatment.
Tackling this issue is especially difficult for people who have tried to lose weight for years and have failed, without any obvious reason. Contrary to the popular belief that the only thing you need to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more, there are a number of factors that need to be considered when talking about healthy weight loss. There are people who have tried every diet under the sun who still haven’t achieved their desired weight goal. More often than not, the reason for this is that their levels of ghrelin, insulin, cortisol, and adiponectin are not in balance. As previously established, there are no amount of burpees and kale that can provide long-term weight loss results if the hormonal balance in your body is skewed.
Regulating hormones can be tricky in the beginning. There are several things you could do, and it’s definitely best to start with listening to your body. That means getting enough sleep and doing the type of exercises that don’t take a physical toll on your body but feel right for you and make you feel energized and fresh. The point of these exercises is not to stress your body further with the moves or intensity that aren’t the right fit for you, because this, too, can lead to increased cortisol levels. Speaking of stress, it might be a good idea to address the emotional stress that each one of us is experiencing and try to keep it in check as much as possible.
The most important thing you can do for your body is to eat healthily. Keep in mind that most diets that don’t take hormone levels into account are ultimately bad for your health and you should steer clear of them. Keeping a healthy diet that keeps the hormones in check might sound complicated and unachievable, especially given that most of us don’t have time or money to deal with expensive, 20-ingredient recipes. The only thing you need to do is follow a few simple rules to live by that will certainly lead to weight loss and a healthy life.
Healthy weight loss diet
The best diet for hormonal imbalances is the 4 Week Diet System. This is a revolutionary fat-loss diet that helps you get rid of your stubborn belly fat in just a few weeks. Its main idea lies in the fact that when your hormones are in balance, your body gets in the balance as well, and everything falls into place.
With this hormone boosting system, the common misconception about how the healthiest way to lose weight is to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week gets turned on its head. The truth is, as long as your hormone levels are in control, you can lose as much weight as you need, without fearing that it’s unhealthy for your body. The reason why the 4 Week Diet System works is that it doesn’t demand you to make any sacrifices whatsoever, and yes – that means you don’t have to exercise (although this is beneficial and advised for many other health reasons), count calories or eat ridiculously small portions. By following a few simple, science-based rules, you could easily lose anywhere from 6 to 8 pounds every week! That means if you follow this diet plan without deviations, you are bound to lose at least 24 pounds of fat within 28 days.
What makes a world of a difference is that the creator of this proven weight loss system, Brian Flatt, takes the time to educate you on what your body really needs, how to regulate hormones, and what the best way to approach health is. You will learn everything from the food pyramid and the role of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat in your body to hormones and the basics of metabolism.
The key to losing fat and sustaining your optimal weight throughout your life is in maintaining the levels of your blood sugar under control, and one of the ways to do this is to lower the consumption of carbohydrates and increase the intake of fats and proteins. Also, the feeling of hunger occurs when your blood sugar levels drop, and that’s when you start craving all the bad foods that will stall your weight loss progress. To keep this from happening, it’s advised to eat a balanced and nourishing meal every three hours. That way, you will never feel hungry or starve yourself, and you’ll be losing weight as never before.
Another thing that is emphasized in this weight loss program is the importance of drinking enough water and the positive effects it will have o your whole system. As you begin to lose fat, you’ll begin to lose the water that has been stored in your body, which is why you need to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, in order to clear your body from waste and toxins, as well as prevent your body from retaining water again.
By following these simple rules, you are guaranteed to lose fat the healthy way by lowering ghrelin, restoring the insulin balance, reducing cortisol overload and boosting adiponectin. If you have hormonal imbalances and have waited for a healthy diet plan that won’t leave you hungry or deprived, that will provide fast results and eliminate cravings, look no further than the 4 Week Diet System.