The Disturbing Reason You’re Not Losing Weight That Has Nothing to Do With Diet or Exercise

It’s no secret that dieting is not easy. It requires paying special attention to your food choices and making time for exercise. But just as there are many methods for weight loss, there are many factors that can sabotage your weight loss journey as well.

But first, pay attention to weight loss sabotagers

Vegetables and salmon

Make sure your diet is right. | iStock.com

If you’re actively trying to lose weight, it takes more than just cutting back on calories. The wrong foods, the wrong exercise, and even not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your weight loss goals. But if you’re doing everything “right” and the scale still isn’t budging, you may have to look inward for the reason — literally.

The hormone connection

Woman struggling to button her pants

Your hormones can make it difficult to lose weight. | Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Hormones are special chemical messengers in your body that are created in your endocrine glands. They control most of your body functions, from your emotions to your hunger — so when they’re “off,” it can really affect you. Needless to say, hormones can be detrimental to weight loss.

Narrowing in on the main “weight gain” hormones and figuring out how to keep them balance can help you lose weight once and for all.

 Leptin

female feet on a weighing scale

If you are overweight you may have built up a resistance to leptin. | iStock.com

Leptin is one of your “hunger hormones.” It’s made in your fat cells, and it’s designed to help you know when to stop eating. If you’re obese, you may have built up a resistance to leptin. To keep it under control, monitor your amounts of fructose, which is found in sugary processed foods and in fruit.

Cortisol

Group Of Women Doing Yoga Indoors

Do your best to learn how to relax. | iStock.com

Cortisol is the stress hormone, and it can be a real trouble for women who are trying to lose weight. High levels of cortisol encourages the conversion of blood sugar into fat for long-term storage. Reducing stress in your life might be easier said than done, but the rewards will be worth it.

Estrogen

Female hands lacing running shoes. Closeup

Regular exercise can help keep your estrogen levels in check. | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

At normal levels, estrogen actually helps keep you slim — it controls the production of insulin, a hormone that manages blood sugar. But when your estrogen levels are off, it can turn you into a weight-gaining machine. Eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise are the best ways to balance your estrogen levels.

Insulin matters

Group of intercultural friends having Thanksgiving dinner

Control your portion sizes to keep your insulin at a stable level. | Shironosov/Getty Images

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, and its essential function is to process sugar in the bloodstream and carry it into cells to be used as fuel or stored as fat. Needless to say, it’s imperative to keep your insulin levels in check. Chronically high levels of insulin can lead to metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy, low carb diet and controlling your portion sizes will help keep your insulin levels low.

How to turn off your weight gain hormones

Group of women walking along beach

Monitor your exercise and diet for best results. | Jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images

Keeping your weight gain hormones in check will make a huge difference in your success. Eat plenty of protein, cut back on sugar, and make room in your schedule for exercise. If you still suspect an imbalance, see your doctor.

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