Hormones play a powerful role in our bodies and can have a major effect on your weight and metabolism. When our hormones are out of balance, they can cause weight gain, fatigue, mood swings and a host of other health issues. Understanding how hormones affect your weight and metabolism can help you make lifestyle choices that keep your body in perfect balance.
The hormones produced in the thyroid gland—specifically thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) —regulate your body’s metabolism, which is the rate at which your body turns food into energy. If your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, your metabolism will slow down, leading to fatigue and weight gain. On the other hand, when the thyroid is overactive, it can lead to an increased appetite, which can also cause weight gain, as well as an increased heart rate, anxiety and, in extreme cases, tremors.
Growth hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and is essential for growth and development. The key side effects of low levels of growth hormone include reduced muscle strength and mass, fatigue, low energy levels, increased body fat and decreased bone density. Low growth hormone levels can also slow down your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight.
Insulin is an important hormone released by the pancreas and helps the body absorb glucose from food. If the body is unable to process insulin properly, its cells become resistant, which in turn can cause type 2 diabetes and lead to weight gain. Low-sugar diets and regular exercise can help reduce insulin resistance, aiding in weight loss and improving overall health.
Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. It can help regulate your metabolism and make it easier to burn calories. However, high levels of cortisol can make it difficult to lose weight and can lead to other health problems. Managing stress levels can help keep cortisol in balance and improve overall health.
Oestrogen and Progesterone
Oestrogen and progesterone are hormones released by the ovaries that help regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. Low levels of these hormones can lead to irregular periods, which is one of the major causes of weight gain in women. Women who are having trouble losing weight should consider having their hormone levels tested to see if there’s a hormonal imbalance.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and is produced in the testes. Low testosterone can lead to lower muscle mass, reduced sex drive and low energy levels. Weight gain is another common symptom of low testosterone, but diet and exercise can help balance testosterone levels.
Hormones play an important role in both weight and metabolism, and keeping hormones in balance can help improve overall health. Knowing which hormones are responsible for weight gain or loss can help you determine the best lifestyle choices for your body and make it easier to manage your weight and metabolism. If you’re having trouble with weight gain or other hormone-related issues, we recommend talking to your primary care physician.