Estrogen and testosterone are known for the roles they play in the reproduction process. But what many people don’t know is that their hormones are also crucial to weight management. Beyond that, other hormones such as insulin, cortisol, and leptin could also hinder weight loss efforts.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, then your hormones may be having a negative effect on your weight loss efforts. Here’s what you should know.
The Effects of Estrogen
In women, estrogen can cause weight gain because it encourages fat cells to grow. Because of the increase in fat cells, estrogen works against the growth of lean muscle mass. This can cause metabolism rates to decrease, which effectively slows down weight loss efforts.
Estrogen tends to have a larger effect on women than men because women have more of it. When there is too much estrogen in the body, it causes a decrease in testosterone and triggers weight gain.
The Effects of Testosterone
Studies show that men may have an advantage over women when it comes to weight loss. One reason is that men have 10 times more testosterone than women do. With a higher level of this hormone, it’s easier for men to develop lean muscle mass and avoid fat growth.
A decrease in testosterone levels, also known as hypogonadism, can lead to an increase in weight gain, which sabotages weight loss efforts. Too much of this hormone in women can have just as much of a negative effect as too much estrogen. Excessive amounts of this hormone in women increases their risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain.
The Effects of Insulin, Cortisol, and Leptin
There are a few other hormones that need to be in check for maximum weight loss results. Insulin regulates your blood sugar, and if it is thrown off track, then it will begin to store sugar as fat. Cortisol is the body’s natural regulator of stress. Higher amounts of stress will cause higher amounts of cortisol—leading the body to store fat instead of burning it.
Leptin is a hormone that is produced by fat cells in the body. Although leptin alerts your body when it is full or satisfied after eating, too much leptin will result in leptin resistance. Leptin resistance will cause weight gain because the hormones are no longer signaling for you to stop eating when you are full.
A hormonal imbalance in both men and women can trigger weight gain and derail weight loss efforts. Even with diet and exercise, it is important to make sure that there is a hormonal balance at all times. As long as your hormone levels are kept under control, you are on the right track to achieving your weight loss goals.
To learn more about your medical weight loss options, contact us at DFW Bariatrics and General Surgery today.