How Your Hormones Affect Weight Loss

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Brain neural connections firingMost weight loss programs focus on one factor.  To lose weight you must create a calorie deficit.  Simply said, you’ve got to burn off more calories than you eat.

That makes sense and is true but…there’s more to the story that is too often not told.

Following the “burn calories than you eat” system works real well at the start of most weight loss programs.

Most anyone who has ever dieted will tell you they lost weight when they followed a calorie deficit plan.  Then the weight loss stops.

The first response to that is “well… I was losing weight by eating less and moving more so I’ll eat even less and move more”.

Unfortunately the result is normally no additional weight lost.  After a certain point, energy deficit alone stops working.

In fact it can damage your metabolism and force your body to add body fat.

Once you’ve hit your “fat loss plateau”, energy balance is less important and controlling your hormones is critical.

Some hormones. such as leptin, control the majority of your overall fat loss efforts  It helps regulate appetite, satiety (feeling full) and your “starvation mode”.

This doesn’t mean leptin is your problem.  In fact, if you’re eating enough and trying to create a calorie deficit with training, leptin probably isn’t the issue.

There are hormones that are a bit more “sneaky” in how they effect your body.  They determine more than just IF you gain fat…they determine where you gain it and impact your ability to lose weight from those areas.

Everyone has their own “favorite” fat storage location.  It may be your belly, back, butt or legs.

These “problem areas” are created by your internal hormonal environment.  These hormones force your body to use particular fat storage locations.

Lower body fat storage is very common in women.  We even refer to that as having a pear shaped body.  This type of fat storage is heavily dependent on the female hormone estrogen.  The higher your estrogen levels, the greater likelihood you’ll store fat in your lower body: mainly thighs and hips.

Muffin tops, love handles, lower back fat can be linked to your insulin levels and how ell your body utilizes it.  How well you are able to process and respond to glucose (sugar) in your body is determined by your insulin sensitivity.

High sensitivity levels means your body efficiently and easily uses carbs for energy.  This makes you less likely to store carbs as fat.

If you’ve got low sensitivity to insulin you don’t deal well with carbs and most likely, anything other than a low carb diet will lead to packing on some unwanted fat.

Belly fat.  Abdominal fat has a lot to do with your diet and overall body fat levels.  Beyond that we’ve got to look at the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol has gotten lots of press over the past few years.  You probably know that it’s called the stress hormone.  When you’re under physical or mental stress you body produces cortisol.  Unfortunately, that encourages belly fat storage (like you don’t have enough stress already without getting more belly fat!).

These three hormones all make weight loss more difficult.

The good news is there are specific training techniques that can reduce the effect these nasty hormones have on you.  Done correctly you can see nice, quick results.  Done incorrectly, you almost are guaranteed to add fat to the problem areas.

Check back soon for the next update.  You’ll get some training ideas to help tame your hormones and make that fat melt off you.

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