5 Hormones That Make You Fat
5 HORMONES THAT MAKE YOU FAT
Can you believe we’re a few weeks into 2016? Hopefully you’re doing well when it comes to your resolutions! If your resolutions were health-related, but you’re not losing the weight, it’s important to note that restricting calorie intake or limiting your diet may not be the only issue. Chances are, your hormones are to blame!
Hormones can impact your ability to use calories, balance blood sugar, boost metabolism, burn belly fat, and feel satisfied from foods. Before you start worrying or changing your dieting plan, read about the 5 hormones that make you fat and may be hindering your journey to weight loss. If you think you may be fitting into one or many of these areas of imbalance, meet with one of our functional medicine practitioners to run a lab to assess the imbalances and make a more direct intervention with nutritional supplementation and formulas.
Leptin plays a huge role when it comes to satiety. Research shows that lower levels of leptin can lead to over eating and weight gain. Leptin is stimulated by ample fats in your diet and is produced most effectively when stress levels are managed. Corn syrup, agave, and other refined fructose sources can disrupt your leptin hormones, which lead to lack of satisfaction.
This sexual hormone plays a huge role in attaining supple skin and maintaining bone health, as well as belly fat and increased fat storage. Many hormones can be converted into others, so testosterone, for example, can be processed through an enzyme and into estrogen. Fat stores are acting in hormonal ways and excess belly fat leads to an increased conversion of estrogen. Dominance of estrogen can lead to mood disturbances, infertility, elevated blood pressure, and fibroids.
Reduce excess estrogen by ensuring your animal and dairy products are hormone-free, as well as avoiding plastics and estrogen-related compounds, such as soy isolate. Eat foods rich in fiber, such as beans, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds to aid in trapping and detoxifying estrogen. You also may consider trading out your plastic water bottle for our stainless steel “I Believe in Food-as-Medicine” non-toxic option!
The primary stress hormone released during fight-or-flight plays a huge role with increasing body fat, decreasing muscle tone, and hinders immune function. This requires managing your sources of stress, as well as monitoring your perception and coping mechanisms.
I work with clients to improve their resilience to stress and to have more vigor by supporting them with stress management and adrenal treatments. Vitamin C is highest concentrated in adrenal glands and B vitamins play a role as converters to build adrenaline and cortisol hormones, while tonifying the gland. Bell peppers, kiwi, broccoli, berries, and citrus are all great sources of vitamin C.
Adiponectin is made in the body’s fat stores and plays a role in how efficiently the body metabolizes calories. It creates thermogenesis or caloric burn through increased temperature and is found in grey fat vs. the white fat in the body. Adiponectin helps your body use glucose and insulin more effectively, which in turn decreases body fat.
Boost your body’s adiponectin with ample sleep (8 hours is recommended), yoga, and resistance training. For a food-as-medicine approach, eat foods with monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil and incorporate turmeric root into your diet.
Dopamine plays a role in your desire for cravings. This hormone often gets depleted during a stressful day, which leaves you wanting to fill the void and ultimately results in a food coma. Maintain adequate dopamine levels by managing stress and providing your body with L-tyrosine, the precursor or building block for dopamine in the body. Seaweed, eggs, and wild fish are great sources!
Want a snack that will combine all of these hormones? Give this delicious white bean spread a try!
White Bean Spread
FOOD AS MEDICINE:
This recipe provides B vitamins, boosts your metabolism, and aids in the conversion of neurohormones, all while providing fiber to aid in detoxifying estrogen stores in the body. The healthy fats and acids contribute to adiponectin and the reduction of cortisol aids as a driver for burning fat and reducing fat storage. When served with a protein, this hearty snack works to maintain satiety, while providing nourishment to balance hormones and support optimal body composition.
1 can of cannellini beans, drained (Eden brand has Kombu and is BPA-free)
1 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon kelp flakes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt, to taste
Combine beans and lemon juice and mash with fork. Once combined, add in olive oil, herbs, and sea salt. Serve with zucchini chips and raw carrots or spread on a collard green and eat as a roll-up with in-house roasted turkey.
For more delicious food-as-medicine inspired recipes, pick up a copy of my Naturally Nourished cookbook!