Learn more about hormones and the role they play in your body composition. Plus, 5 easy tips for stabilizing your hormones.
Are willpower and self-control the real solution to low energy and increased weight?
It might actually be your (powerful) hormones.
And we’re not just talking about sex hormones here; we’re talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. The hormones that actually control your energy and body composition.
In this lesson, we'll review some of the critical links between your hormones and how they affect your energy and weight. The links may be stronger than you think.
What are Hormones?
Healthy, happy hormones are all around the “health waves” these days. And for good reason!
Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body.
Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part.
For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. Insulin is released into the bloodstream when your blood sugar gets too high. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).
Your hormones control your blood sugar, metabolism, appetite, and more. Having healthy blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and body composition.
So, how can your hormones get out of whack to zap your energy and pile up the fat pounds?
📍Common Hormonal Imbalances
In optimal health, your hormones would work great, and you’d have ample energy and maintain a weight and body composition that is healthy for you.
But often, there are problems with this whole setup. One common issue is that too much or too little hormone may be released to have the desired effect. This is known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e., hypo- or hyperthyroidism).
Another common issue is that, even if the right amount of hormone is released, the cells they communicate with can start ignoring them. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e., insulin resistance).
As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, they can definitely cause issues with your energy and body composition.
🔋 Hormones and Energy
Your metabolism is key to controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. One of the main players of this is...you guessed it! Your thyroid hormones.
Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you may feel cold, hungry, and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot and jittery and lose body fat & muscle.
What you actually want is an ideal metabolism, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and an ideal body composition for you. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.
⚖️ Hormones and Body Composition
Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin controls your blood sugar and whether that sugar will be stored as fat or not. And when your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.
You also have hormones that specifically control your appetite! The hormones ghrelin & leptin control how hungry and full you feel. When those get out of whack, you may want to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and unsatisfied...even if that’s not true.
And craving foods (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full will drive you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do.
And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. And not just any fat - belly fat!
⑤ Tips for Stabilizing Your Hormones
Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control many functions. They control your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. These directly affect how much energy you feel, how much you weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.
Here are a few “hormone stabilizing” tips that might help you with your energy and body composition:
① Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before insulin signals your body to store it as fat.
② Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation, or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat-inducing) cortisol.
③ Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables, fish, legumes, or even an egg.
④ Balance your blood sugar with extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds.
⑤ Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water.
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Hey there! My name is Marissa Rivera-Davis, and I'm a certified health fitness professional and founder of Her365 Fitness, a 24-hour studio gym & wellness community for women. I help women find the time and energy to move more and eat better so they can finally achieve the health & fitness goals that matter to them. My mission is to empower women with the skills and support they need to break free from a mindset of limitation & restriction to find pleasure and joy on their path to improved well-being. Learn more here.