Losing Weight With Hormonal Imbalance: Is It Possible?

Various hormones play a role in our weight. A shift in hormone balance can lead to difficulty losing weight and unwanted weight gain – even if you don’t drastically change your eating habits.

I have personally been in this boat! I found myself struggling to lose weight and just feel healthy overall, even though I was trying everything. In the end, it turned out I was dealing a hormonal imbalance.

By using an elimination diet in combination with mindful eating I was able to get my hormones in better balance, which helped me lose the unwanted weight I had put on. Additionally, this struggle led me to become a certified health coach from Cornell University. Using my own experiences and training, in this post I am sharing my thoughts on how to go about losing weight with a hormonal imbalance.

Can You Lose Weight With a Hormone Imbalance?

You can lose weight with a hormone imbalance, but it’s usually much more difficult. The best course of action when your are battling losing weight with a hormonal imbalance is to try and rebalance your hormones simultaneous to your weight loss journey. If you work to get your hormones balanced, this will improve your chances of losing weight and keeping it off.

You might find that you have to work harder to lose weight when your hormones are haywire than you when your hormones are functioning normally. This means paying more attention to what food you eat and how often you move your body.

Hormones That Hamper Weight Loss

When certain hormones are out of whack, this can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals or even lead to unintentional weight gain. The following hormones are the most likely to hamper weight loss and are the ones you should keep an eye on.

Estrogen

Estrogen is a sex hormone that women have more of than men. It is responsible for regulating the female reproductive system.

Both high and low levels of estrogen (with the latter occurring during menopause) can lead to unwanted weight gain, especially around the torso. An imbalance of estrogen can also put you at risk of high blood pressure and some types of cancer.

Insulin

If you’ve heard of insulin before, it’s probably been in relation to diabetes. Insulin is actually the main storage hormone in all our bodies. Insulin helps the body store glucose, a sugar you get from food, in the liver, muscles, and fat cells to be used later.

Throughout the day your body secretes small amounts of insulin, which transfers glucose into your cells. Your body will use this insulin either now or later on.

Insulin resistance is a common condition in which your cells no longer respond to insulin, leading to high blood sugar because the insulin doesn’t transfer glucose to the cells. Insulin resistance is a form of hormone imbalance that causes obesity, so sufferers should focus on increasing their insulin sensitivity to balance it out.

Leptin

Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain when your stomach is full. When it isn’t working properly, leptin can’t communicate fullness signals to your brain, therefore leading to you eating more and eventually gaining weight. Leptin resistance can occur as a result of chronic inflammation, which underlines why minimal stress and a healthy lifestyle are so important.

Ghrelin

If leptin tells your brain when it’s full, ghrelin does the opposite. This hormone regulates hunger and signals to your brain when your body needs food. When ghrelin levels are unbalanced, you can feel like you need to eat more than you actually do, resulting in overeating or binge eating and consequently weight gain.

Cortisol

Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone. Ideally, your body should only release cortisol in genuinely dangerous situations. But heightened stress can lead to chronic inflammation, which means cortisol is secreted when it’s not necessary.

While it benefits your body to secrete cortisol from time to time, chronic stress and inflammation can lead to an imbalance in cortisol. In turn, this means it might be much harder to manage your weight.

How To Lose Weight With a Hormonal Imbalance (Balancing Hormones For Weight Loss)

If you’re struggling with hormonal imbalance, it’s best to get your hormones back in check before trying to lose weight, or at least focus on rebalancing your hormones at the same time as pursuing weight loss. With this in mind, here are some simple ways to go about losing weight with a hormonal imbalance. Let’s learn how to get your hormones back to their natural balance without having to overhaul your entire lifestyle or routine.

1 – Reduce Stress

One of the main contributors to hormone imbalance is chronic inflammation, which often occurs as a result of a stressful lifestyle. Stress is not good for keeping hormones balanced. Too much stress is a recipe for weight gain and a whole host of other nasty symptoms you don’t want to experience.

Ways to reduce stress include journaling, increasing mindfulness, starting a regular yoga practice, and setting reasonable boundaries. If you find you’re taking on too many responsibilities to please others, prioritize yourself for a while, and don’t be afraid to say no.

2 – Start a Regular Yoga Practice

Yoga is one of the best types of exercise you can do to combat hormonal imbalance. Not only is it great for the body (it boosts balance, posture, and strength), but it’s great for the mind too. The breathing exercises help to calm the nervous system.

A regular yoga practice burns calories and builds strength, making it great for weight loss too. If you’re new to yoga or simply want to have access to a regular yoga routine, check out this bundle of yoga classes. These classes are specifically designed for women with little time who want to add yoga to their regular routine.

3 – Eat the Right Foods

Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, eggs, and nuts are great for re-balancing hormones. Center your diet around whole foods for the best results, avoiding anything too processed and eating foods as close to their natural form as you can get them.

Food has a huge impact on not just weight, but hormones too. By sticking to a simple, but healthy meal plan, you can work on losing weight and balancing hormones simultaneously.

Not sure where to start? My easy and FREE 3-day hormone balancing diet meal plan can help. Just fill in the form below for access,

4 – Avoid Hormone Imbalance Foods

Some foods make the issue worse rather than rectifying it. As tasty as foods such as hamburgers, donuts, candy, and refined carbohydrates are, eating too much of them contributes to hormone imbalance and weight gain. This list of hormonal imbalance foods to avoid should help you figure out what to cross off your grocery list.

5 – Add Exercise Into Your Routine

If you’re currently living a sedentary lifestyle, this no doubt isn’t helping your weight gain or hormones. Add exercise into your routine even if it’s something simple such as getting a few thousand more steps per day. If cardio isn’t your thing, try a beginner yoga challenge or weight training to increase muscle mass and boost your metabolic rate.

6 – Get Enough Sleep

Sleep helps to regulate everything in your body, from your mood to your appetite. Adults should aim for between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, so if you’re not getting that, poor sleep is probably to blame for a significant portion of your issues.

To boost your sleep, come off social media in the evenings, try to keep the time you go to sleep consistent, and don’t drink caffeine in the late afternoons and evenings.

7 – Speak to a Medical Professional

If you feel like you have already tried all the lifestyle interventions mentioned, and still find that your weight won’t budge or your hormones are still unbalanced, there may be something more serious at play. Speak to a medical professional who can run tests to establish the cause and advise you in detail on the best next steps.

Tips for losing weight with a hormonal imbalance Pinterest pin.

Can Losing Weight Help With Hormonal Imbalance?

As well as balancing hormones helping with losing weight, it works the other way around too. By losing weight, you can help get your hormones back to their natural levels, especially insulin.

While it can be difficult to lose weight with hormonal imbalances, sticking to a calorie deficit can help. While reducing your calorie intake (or focusing on burning more calories) is important, a crash diet isn’t the answer. Instead, focus your diet on whole foods.

By prioritizing whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes, you can eat larger meals if you want to. These types of ingredients are low-calorie. By reducing your reliance on refined sugar and processed foods, you can also reduce the number of calories you consume in a day.

If managed correctly, you can lose weight with a hormonal imbalance!

When levels of hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, and leptin become unbalanced, you can experience unpleasant symptoms, including adult acne, headaches, fatigue, and weight gain (especially around the stomach).

While weight gain is one of the unwanted side effects of a hormonal imbalance, that doesn’t mean you can’t lose that weight, especially with a little hard work. By combining sufficient sleep, eating well, and regular yoga, you can work to rebalance your hormones and lose weight. With just some simple lifestyle tweaks, you’ll be feeling as good as new in no time!

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