Metabolism and Hormones - Making Natural Weight loss Easier
How do hormones affect your metabolism?
Research has proven that hormones slow your metabolism and cause weight gain. But balancing your hormones and kick starting your metabolism makes natural weight loss easier. Hormones such as Leptin, Ghrelin, Insulin, and Cholecystokinin (CCK) all influence your metabolism. Thyroid hormones also have an affect making weight loss slow.
These hormones are all evident in health conditions that affect hormonal balance such as:
- Endometriosis influences your metabolism making weight loss difficult
- Fibroids slow your metabolism and hormones cause weight gain
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) causes insulin resistance slowing your metabolism and making natural weight loss hard.
- Ovarian Cysts slow your metabolism and cause weight gain
- Thyroid conditions slow your metabolism causing rapid weight gain and natural weight loss seems almost impossible.
- Menopause slows your metabolism due to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and thyroid hormones this makes natural weight loss slow.
- Adrenal Exhaustion causes insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome making natural weight loss slow.
- Pregnancy & Child Birth can cause hormonal imbalance that affects your thyroid. This slows your metabolism making natural weight loss difficult.
When we refer to 'metabolism' we are referring to chemical processes occurring inside your body allowing normal functioning. These processes require energy from food.
The amount of energy (calories) your body burns at any given time is regulated by your metabolism. You can't control your metabolism, but you can use natural treatments to make it work for you!
Your metabolism is controlled by hormones and your nervous system. Its functioning can be influenced by a number of things and among these are genetic disorders and hormonal problems.
The two main components of your metabolism are:
- Anabolism - energy is stored in fat cells or used to repair your body.
- Catabolism - the breakdown of food components (such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats) into their simpler forms, to be used to create energy.
Your Metabolic Rate is the rate your body uses or expends energy; this is particularly relevant when you are trying to lose weight naturally. There are three components of your metabolic rate that you need understand.
- Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR) - Your BMR determines the amount of calories burned at rest by your body and the amount of energy your body needs to maintain itself. It usually contributes 50-80 per cent of your total energy used. Muscle mass is largely responsible for the BMR, so anything that reduces your lean muscle mass will reduce your BMR and make natural weight loss slow.
- Energy used during physical activity - Energy used during exercise is the only form of energy expenditure that you have any control over. In a normally active person, this contributes 20 per cent of daily energy use.
- Thermic effect of food - This is the energy you use to eat, digest and metabolise food. It contributes about 5-10 per cent of your energy use. Your BMR rises after you eat because you use energy to metabolise the food. The rise occurs soon after you start eating and peaks two to three hours later.
Your BMR, the major contributor to your metabolic rate, is influenced by a number of factors:
- Muscle Mass - the more muscle you have, the faster your BMR.
- Age - metabolism slows with age, due to muscle loss and hormonal changes.
- Genetics - your metabolic rate may be partly decided by your genes.
- Amount of body fat
- Hormonal and nervous controls
- Dietary deficiencies - for example, a diet low in iodine reduces thyroid function, slowing metabolic functioning.
- Crash dieting eating too few kilojoules encourages the body to slow the metabolism to conserve energy. There is also loss of lean muscle tissue, which further contributes to the drop in BMR.
- Amount of physical activity - hard-working muscles need plenty of energy to burn. Regular exercise increases muscle mass and 'teaches' the body to burn kilojoules at a faster rate, even when at rest.
- Drugs - some drugs can influence your BMR and make natural weight loss difficult.