Sometimes no matter what we do, it seems impossible to lose weight, especially from specific “trouble areas” on our bodies. You know what I mean – the stomach, hips, butt and thighs. If you feel like you are doing everything right with your diet and exercise, but still not seeing any results, it is possible that your hormones could be a factor.
Hormonal imbalances can have many negative effects, including weight gain and the inability to lose weight, so correcting those imbalances can be crucial for your results. Your hormones control the majority of the events that are going on in your body on a day to day basis, and when you have them optimally balanced it is much easier for you to do things such as lower your total body fat level, while increasing your lean muscle mass.
So how can you manage a hormonal imbalance correctly? There are many things that you can do, but a great place to start is through smart training and exercise. If this sounds like a good option for you, here are a few things you should know first:
Strength Training to Improve Insulin Sensitivity
One of the first steps you can take to help naturally balance your hormones is to start, and continue with, a proper strength training program. This will help you elevate your insulin sensitivity, causing the cells in your tissues to become more responsive to this particular hormone.
When you eat carbohydrates, insulin is released from the pancreas and that is what dictates the likelihood of these carbs being converted into body fat stores. The more insulin sensitive you are, the more you reduce your risk of gaining fat because you are able to more easily use the carbs you ingest for energy, or for storage in muscle cells. Because of this, a proper strength training program will keep you leaner over time, while also lowering your risk for diabetes, which is characterized by poor insulin sensitivity levels.
Sprint Work to Lower Cortisol
Rather than doing long, steady state cardio training, you can help to balance your hormones through sprinting, which can help to minimize the levels of the hormone cortisol that’s being released into the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can break down muscle mass, and lead to the accumulation of fat in your abdominal region, which nobody wants.
Keeping your workouts intense and short will also have this same effect of lowering your Cortisol levels. You should avoid letting your workouts go on any longer than 45 – 1 hour, especially because chances are that you are not working at the intensity level that is required in order to reap the maximum benefits from your workout beyond this point anyway. With extended workouts you can tend to just be contributing to an increase in your Cortisol levels, which will be counterproductive for your weight loss in the end.
When you train correctly for lowering your cortisol levels, you’ll stay leaner and finally be able to lose that stubborn belly fat.
Increase Your Natural Testosterone Levels
Another great way to improve your results through your hormones is to increase your natural testosterone levels by lifting heavy weights. Both males and females release testosterone, however females do not possess nearly the same level of testosterone that males do. Testosterone helps to keep your body lean, strong, and fit.
When you challenge yourself by lifting heavier weights, you will increase the natural amount of testosterone that your body releases, which in turn will help you to burn more body fat. To optimize this process, you need to make sure that your weights are challenging enough for you, and that your rest periods stay around 30-60 seconds in between each set. Doing this will create the optimal environment for this hormone, and therefore ensure that you are getting the most possible benefit from these workouts.
Getting Help With Your Hormonal Imbalance
If you think that a hormonal imbalance may be inhibiting your weight loss, or causing other issues with your health, proper training and exercise can be helpful for getting things back on track. Unfortunately, sometimes it is just one part of the puzzle and may not be enough to give you the complete relief that you need from hormonal symptoms if your imbalance is more severe, or has been going on for some time. If you are already doing these things, and still feel that you could use help with your hormones, you should seek out a Dr. who specializes in this type of Functional Medicine. They can provide you with more information about what you are experiencing and why, and guide you in the right direction for proper testing and treatment. Take this hormone replacement to find out if you may be dealing with a hormonal imbalance, and how serious it might be.