How Women’s Sex Hormones Affect Everything From Weight Gain to Mental Health.
All winter long, you avoid the scale that sits dormant in your bathroom like it’s a bad-news volcano that might erupt. Maybe you give it some knowing glances from time to time, but you certainly don’t get on it. Until you’ve gone on that diet or started that exercise routine, you’d rather not know what troublesome number is growing there.
And then the weather becomes warmer. And maybe you do start that diet or that exercise routine, and something weird happens! You can’t stop getting on the scale! If you avoided it like the plague before, now you’re checking it with the frequency of an anxious cook watching a turkey in the oven at Thanksgiving.
Your diet continues, you push harder into your workouts, try to cut back, but it’s like something or someone is rigging that scale every morning or night before you get on it! You feel like it should be changing more, and it just isn’t. You become frustrated, angry, and maybe even a little hurt. It feels personal, and you feel stuck.
While maybe a little winsome in the retelling, we know this story happens to one degree or another because we hear it and see it all the time. People try to lose weight, they try to better themselves, but it feels like the odds are stacked against them. Or at the very least, one odd.
What’s revelatory is, most of the time, they’re right: there often IS something unseen that is blocking their progress. What is it?
Sex hormones. Go figure.
SEX HORMONES AND YOU
First, a quick primer: sex hormones are made in a handful of places in the body, namely
- The ovaries
- Adrenal glands
- And tissues such as organs or fats.
These hormones help to regulate bodily functions (like sleep or hunger), play essential roles in development, and of course, help stimulate our sexual responses and arousals.
When hormone levels drop or become imbalanced – which can occur for several reasons, certain side-effects arise. Among them are things like:
- Hot flashes
- Gastro-intestinal distress
- Low sex drive
- And, you guessed it, weight gain.
Making the issue even more frustrating and complex is that weight gain further imbalances the hormones, creating a vicious cycle that carries over from the scale into other areas of life as well. This cycle is one of the reasons why so many women feel like they’re in a never-ending battle with their minds and bodies.
According to a study in the Journal of Women’s Health, women have a higher chance of weight gain and obesity than men in developed countries. The reason? Hormonal changes, especially at menopause.
In their long-standing fight with weight and emotional wellness, most women often fight a silent and unseen villain—their hormones.
HOW TO HELP YOUR HORMONES WORK FOR YOU
The natural question then is, what do we about it?
There are a myriad of solutions that can be tried, and we’ll outline a few steps below that can be helpful. The first and most important conclusion is to realize that your body is not like anyone else’s body. The comparison here is only useful in identifying issues, not in charting what success looks like. That will be dictated by your body’s specific makeup, and thus, not applicable to others. What healthy balance looks like for you could vary widely.
That being said, there are a few things every woman can do to help her body and hormones work for better for her, especially as it relates to weight loss:
- Find and treat root causes – Most conditions, whether they’re of a physical nature or emotional\psychological, have root causes that can be treated. Knowing what those root causes are can help you plot a course of action to bring your condition, hormones, and life back under control.
- Find a balanced diet that works – many diets cut out essential food groups that further send your hormones into imbalance. Be careful of carving out too many important foods. Develop a diet that focuses on lots of healthy veggies and fruits, organic protein, good fats, whole grains, and less sugar.
- Avoid triggers for hot flashes such as temperature, certain hot beverages, or foods high in spiciness.
- Take up gentle yoga. Yes really. It doesn’t have to be intense or for long periods, but yoga has been shown to help rebalance hormones and aid in weight gain, which further allows hormones to find their balance—two birds with one stone.
At PlatformHealth we’re dedicated to helping people like you find practical, actionable steps that help solve whatever issues you’re working on. Whether it’s determining your hormone levels to find imbalances, or helping you find the proper diet, or recommending cutting-edge supplements to give you a leg up – we’re always curious about ways to help you.
Ready for Balance?
Ready to return the balance to your hormones and turn that scale in your bathroom into a friend instead of a long-standing enemy? Click the link below to take the next step! We’re rooting for you!
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