You probably know people, who blame hormones, genetic predisposition and bad environment in their excessive weight. Or are you one of them?
In reality, the reason is often about our dietary choices, lack of exercises and unhealthy habits.
So, if you drink alcohol cocktails every day, “visit” your fridge at night and sit in the office the whole day long, genes and hormones have nothing to do with your overweight-problem.
However specialists say that in some cases increased appetite, food cravings, water retention and other things that lead to weight gain, may be a sign of chemical imbalance in the body.
Hormones play very important role in regulating your appetite, metabolic rate, mood and physical activity. If something goes wrong in their production and functioning, you may notice unpretty fat folds in the mirror and unwanted number on the weights.
Here are ten hormones, which may be responsible for your unintentional weight gain:
#1. Estrogen – this female sex hormone can not only control your menstrual cycle, but also change your appearance, mental performance and sleep. Lack of this hormone is associated with nervousness, mood swings, hot flashes and accumulation of fat around the waistline.
#2. Thyroid hormone – thyroid gland normally secretes thyroxine and triiodothyronine to maintain optimal body temperature, metabolism, brain health and digestion. If this little gland becomes underactive, numerous processes get disrupted that results in weight gain, mental sluggishness, cold intolerance and constipation.
#3. Cortisol – when you’re stressed, your adrenal glands begin to produce this hormone in order to help your body activate defensive mechanisms and cope with negative emotions. But long-lasting influence of negative emotions, which keeps cortisol levels slightly elevated, may result in increased appetite and food cravings.
#4. Insulin – when you have a meal, sugar from food is absorbed into your blood very quickly. Raise of blood glucose levels signals your pancreas that it’s time to release hormone insulin, which is designed to move sugar from bloodstream into the cells. They use this glucose as energy fuel to function properly. Eating processed and high-sugar foods regularly can make body cells resistant to insulin. Therefore, this hormone can’t deliver glucose from food into the cells. The pancreas tries to overcome cells’ insensitivity, producing more and more insulin. Higher insulin levels were found to have a close link with obesity.
#5. Testosterone – it’s normal for woman’s body to create small amounts of male reproductive hormones. Sometimes problems may occur, leading to excessive production of testosterone. Women, whose ovaries produce too much of male hormones, often have polycystic ovaries, deep voice, hirsutism, insulin resistance and excessive weight.
#6. Leptin – after a good meal, when you’re full, your fat cells generate hormone leptin to say the brain that it’s time to stop eating. But this mechanism doesn’t work in people, who carry extra pounds. Their cells become insensitive to influence of leptin. This commonly leads to overeating and weight gain.
#7. Ghrelin – this is another appetite-regulating hormone. When your stomach is empty, levels of ghrelin raise up, making you to feel hungry. Eating some foods normally reduces production of ghrelin. Researches found that in overweight individuals ghrelin production stays high, even after having a large portion of meal.
#8. Neuropeptide Y – stress may cause significant chemical imbalance in our body. For example, it can trigger excessive production of neuropeptide Y, which increases appetite and cravings for sweets.
#9. Melatonin – sleeping well is one of the most important weight-loss tips. During sleep, your body secretes melatonin and growth hormone, which help restore your body, heal it and improve metabolic rate. Inadequate sleep (less than seven hours per night) disrupts circadian rhythms and impairs melatonin generation. This causes low-grade inflammation which is a great risk factor for obesity.
#10. Serotonin – well, serotonin is a neurotransmitter, not a hormone. It is responsible for delivering signals to brain cells and regulating your mood, sleep, appetite and tolerance to pain. If you’re depressed or have vitamin deficiency, serotonin levels drop down that leads to insomnia, food cravings, moodiness and chronic pain.