Combine Diet, Exercise and Balanced Hormones for Better Weight Loss
Losing weight is hard. But with age, it gets even harder.
Metabolism slows down. Responsibilities relative to family and career constrain time, making it hard to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits. And…let’s face it…the pandemic has us all indulging in more comfort food than usual.
Gaining a pound or two over the span of a year is no big deal for most people. But over time those pounds can accumulate, leading to health issues like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The internet abounds with schemes and products for quick weight loss, but the hard reality is…there is no silver bullet when it comes to losing weight.
Having said that, the secret to weight loss is “simple” (if not necessarily easy): you have to burn more calories than you consume.
There are three factors which, when taken together, can make this more achievable. These factors fall into three broad categories:
- Hormone balance
It sounds easy. Just eat less, right? Wrong. Anyone who has ever tried to eat less to lose weight knows it’s easier said than done.
The challenge for most people stems from appetite control (or lack thereof). So…what can you do to make appetite control easier? Some good strategies include:
- Reducing the carbohydrates in your diet. They tend to stimulate cravings.
- Increasing how much protein you eat.
- Eating more vegetables (particularly those that are high in fiber).
- Intermittent fasting.
Protein and high-fiber vegetables take longer to digest, making you feel full for longer. Eating more of these foods will also prevent the blood sugar spikes and crashes (and therefore cravings) that high carbohydrate foods can cause.
Many people have success with low-carb approaches to eating, such as keto dieting, and high-fiber diets, such as the Mediterranean Diet. Intermittent fasting can also be effective when it comes to reducing calories consumed and reducing cravings.
Just as you can reduce your overall calorie intake with the strategies noted above, you can also increase the calories you burn through exercise.
For best results, combine different types of exercise:
- Cardiovascular training (like walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc.) is important for burning calories and strengthening your cardiovascular system. High interval training can be particularly beneficial when it comes to boosting metabolism.
- Resistance training (i.e. working with free weights, weight machines, bands, kettle balls, or even your body weight) is important for building muscle. Building and maintaining lean muscle is an important (and yet often overlooked) part of losing weight because muscle burns more calories than fat…even when you’re sleeping.
Put together, both types of exercise will increase your metabolic rate. In simple terms, they make your body burn more calories…not just while you’re exercising but also afterward.
Hormones are possibly the most important…and often the least understood…part of weight loss.
Because hormones control virtually every process in your body, they affect everything form energy and appetite, to metabolism and muscle growth, and even fat storage. Hormones can even impact how motivated you may be to exercise or adhere to a particular eating strategy.
Hormones are so pivotal…that when they are out of balance, it can make weight loss nearly impossible. This is the analogy we often use: if you’re trying to lose weight, and your hormones are working against you, it will feel like you’re pushing a heavy rock up a steep hill. Unfortunately, the older you are, the greater the chance that hormone imbalance comes into play.
The hormones that are primarily involved in weight control are:
Among other things, testosterone helps men and women to maintain healthy amounts of muscle mass…which contributes to a healthy metabolism. Unfortunately, testosterone production declines with age. As a result, metabolism declines, and weight gain follows.
- Thyroid Hormone
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
- Leptin and Ghrelin
Estrogen supports a healthy metabolism in women. This may be why women tend to gain weight once their estrogen production drops during and after menopause. For men, the rate at which testosterone converts to estrogen can increase beyond what’s optimal as men get older, causing weight gain (particularly around the belly).
Thyroid hormone has everything to do with metabolism, which is why low thyroid levels are often associated with unexplained weight gain. Meanwhile, most people will become thyroid deficient with age.
Healthy levels of HGH have been linked to improved body composition in the form of more muscle, and less fat.
Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone”, whereas leptin (when working properly) reduces appetite once your body has enough fat stored for energy.
Of the two, leptin seems to be the more important for weight management. Researchers believe that people who are overweight become less responsive to leptin. As a result, they don’t always feel full when they should.
It’s clear that deficiencies and imbalances in these key hormones can prevent traditional tools for weight loss…like diet and exercise…from yielding results. This is why hormone replacement therapy should go hand-in-hand with diet and exercise strategies when putting a plan together for weight loss.
Are you having trouble getting your weight under control? Renew Youth is here to help you with bioidentical hormone therapy, supplements, and scientifically-based advice.
Call us at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.