Can’t Lose Weight? These 3 pesky hormones could be to blame

You’re always on a diet, barely eating anything. Or you exercise until your biceps ache and your face turns blue. But nothing is working. Losing weight used to be so easy for you but now losing even a few pounds is a battle that you just can’t seem to win. Like many women, you are at your wit’s end as to what to do. But the reason for your inability to control your weight may be something you never thought about; your hormones. The following hormones can make the difference between losing and gaining weight:


Leptin is a hormone made in your fat cells. It sends a message to your brain telling it that you are either hungry or full. It works great when it’s in balance, but if it’s not, you can overeat and gain weight. Long-term leptin imbalance can result in leptin resistance. People with leptin resistance will feel hungry even if they have eaten a full meal. But there are ways to avoid leptin resistance. Here are some:

  • Avoid leptin resistant foods. This means staying away from foods with trans fats and processed foods. A long-term diet of these types of foods can eventually lead to leptin resistance.

  • Avoid sugar. Sugar can increase leptin levels and make you feel hungry when you aren’t.

  • Exercise. Regular exercise boosts both your energy and your metabolism.


Leptin, like ghrelin, regulates appetite. When the stomach is empty, it releases ghrelin into the blood. Then the brain gets the message that it is time to eat. The more of this hormone is in the bloodstream, the more you want to eat. The lower it is, the more satiated you’ll feel. In many overweight people, this hormone does not coordinate with the brain and they eat food when they are not hungry. There are ways to bring ghrelin back into balance:

  • Eat more protein. Protein makes you feel full. This may prevent ghrelin from sending the wrong messages to the brain. Don’t worry if you are a vegetarian. Protein sources can be plant or animal-based.

  • Avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can wreak havoc on your hormones. Studies have shown this and other forms of sugar to be one of the main causes of weight gain.


Ever heard of women talking about gaining weight when they started going into menopause? Well, estrogen is likely the culprit. Estrogen is a hormone that is produced in the ovaries. When estrogen is in balance, the optimal amount of fat is stored to maintain the functioning of the reproductive organs. But, when there’s an estrogen imbalance, such as when a woman goes through menopause, too much fat gets stored and you can gain weight.

For women who want to replace the estrogen lost during menopause, there are a few options:

  • Hormone replacement therapy or HRT. Your doctor may prescribe estrogen to replace the amount lost by menopause.

  • Avoid BPA. BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical. The endocrine system produces hormones that regulate metabolism. When BPA enters your system it can interfere with the functioning of these hormones. BPA can be found in plastic food containers and water bottles. Reduce your risk by using paper or glass containers for microwaving food. Also, opt for reusable BPA-free water containers instead of plastic bottles.

  • Avoid Phthalates. Phthalates are also endocrine disruptors. These chemicals are in many man-made fragrances. Minimize the use of scented cosmetics, soaps or detergents. Try fragrance-free products instead.

Source by Leslie C Smith

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