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I Eat Healthy, I Exercise – Why Can’t I Lose Weight?!

I HEAR YOU! The traditional thinking is that losing weight is based on a reduction in calories: calories in should be slightly less than calories out, leading to weight loss. With this train of thought, one should simply be able to lose weight or maintain based on calories, right? It’s not that simple. 

We are beautiful, complex human beings in every way and because of this, there are many factors that can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Let’s narrow our focus today to discuss two of these factors: the sex hormones and the hormone cortisol

So where do these hormones come from? Well, our endocrine system is a series of glands throughout the body that are responsible for producing hormones. These hormones then control a variety of systems in our body including: respiration, metabolism, reproduction, movement, sexual development and growth. 

Let’s start with cortisol: this hormone is magnificent! It is responsible for giving us a clear mind, energy and adaptability during times of stress. However, it is not meant to be a constant source to get us through every day. When stress is continuous and cortisol is pumping out constantly, it can begin to have negative effects on our body. Elevated cortisol shuts down digestion and slows your metabolism- after all, would you be thinking about digestion, elimination and procreation if a bear is chasing you? Because of cortisol’s functions- prolonged stress and high levels of this hormone cause elevated blood sugar, storage of belly fat, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and loss of muscle. 

Then we have sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.  When sex hormones are imbalanced, weight gain is often a side effect. When we have increasing levels of fat storage in our bodies, the fat cells can actually contribute to producing more hormone imbalance- a double whammy of weight loss sabotage! We have to consider outside factors that affect our sex hormones, especially environmental toxins. These toxins function as endocrine disruptors meaning they disrupt the functions of our hormones and impede our natural systems. Excess cortisol also steals from normal hormone production because again, survival is priority! 

There are ways to support your endocrine system and level out hormones to promote weight loss
  • As discussed in a previous blog, meditation can begin to lower cortisol in as little as 4 days! Look for the stressors in your life contributing to elevated cortisol and remove those, seriously, not just think about it.
  • Increase fiber in your diet and make sure your bowels are emptying daily. This helps eliminate toxins and excess estrogen from your body.
  • Avoid endocrine disruptors- it’s time to avoid known toxins that cause hormone disruption. Check out this page for a list of the most common disruptors. 

As there are other contributing factors that make weight loss difficult, the providers here at Inspired Health can help identify what is going on inside you as an individual. We offer targeted testing, proper nutrition, and an individualized support plan to help you achieve hormone balance, great energy and a healthy weight. Let us know how we can help! 

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We are available for in person and TeleHealth appointments.

By connecting Functional Medicine with Ancestral principles, we are able to utilize evidence-based modern science, lab testing and technology, alongside nutrition, herbal and lifestyle approaches to address the root cause of disease. This 360° analysis of your health guides the creation of a customized regimen specifically tailored for you, moving you along your path towards inspired health. More on how we work here.

Be sure to visit our online store of natural supplements at The Inspired Health Apothecary to begin your path toward hormonal balance and good health this season and the next!

Inspired Health Apothecary is a Bend, OR brand and boutique with a mission to provide high quality physician grade natural supplements you can trust! All of our supplements are: Physician Grade, Gluten free, Allergen and Heavy Metal Free.

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References:
[1] “The Endocrine System.” 2020, https://www.hormone.org/what-is-endocrinology/the-endocrine-system
[2] “How to fix your hormones and lose weight.” N.D. https://drhyman.com/blog/2016/08/05/how-to-fix-your-hormones-and-lose-weight/
[3] “Estrogen production and action.” September 2001. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11511861
[4] “Environmental toxins and the impact of other…” April-June 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6501744/
[5] “Meditation Challenge: change your life in as little as 4 days.” February 2019. https://inspiredhealthmed.com/meditation-challenge/
[6] “Endocrine disrupting chemicals EDC’s.” 2020 https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/endocrine-disrupting-chemicals-edcs

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