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9 Hormones That You Really Should Keep In Balance

 There are numerous hormones in the human body that can contribute to weight gain if their levels are out of balance. Gaining weight is easy, and is influenced by factors such as stress, age, genetics and poor lifestyle choices. Sadly, losing weight is not. Having any of these 9 hormones out of balance can lead to weight gain, so make sure you read on to learn how you can keep them in check:
 
1. Thyroid hormones 
hormones
Located at the base of our necks, the thyroid gland produces T3 and T4 hormones together with calcitonin, which are responsible for maintaining the body’s metabolism. Underproduction of these hormones leads to hypothyroidism, which can lead to water-related weight gain.
How to avoid it:

•   Consume iodized salt.
•   Eat well-cooked food and avoid raw vegetables.
•   Take vitamin D supplements.
•   Consume food rich in Zinc content such as oysters and pumpkin seeds.

2. Insulin 
hormones

Insulin is a hormone that’s produced in the pancreas and helps to carry glucose into the body’s cells, which are in turn used as energy or stored as fat. This is how the body maintains glucose levels in the blood. Insulin production can be affected by overconsumption of processed food, unhealthy snacks, alcohol or artificially sweetened drinks.

What tends to happen is that the body develops a resistance to insulin, which means that glucose stays in the bloodstream rather than being absorbed by muscle cells. In turn, this causes a spike in blood sugar levels, leading to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes.

How to avoid it:

•   Consume green leafy vegetables, seasonal fruits, and seasonal vegetables.
•   To improve your omega-3-fatty acid levels, consume fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, flaxseeds.
•   Drink at least 4 liters of water every day.
•   Start working out at least 4 hours a week.
•   Avoid alcohol, late night snacks, aerated and artificially sweetened drinks.

3. Cortisol  
hormones
Adrenal glands secrete the hormone cortisol in the event of feelings of depression, anxiety, stress or physical injury. Many individuals experience elevated levels of cortisol due to their bodies being in a constant state of stress (which is usually brought on by poor lifestyle choices), and this can have a detrimental impact on overall health by boosting visceral fat deposition and stimulating the maturation of fat cells.
How to avoid it:

•   Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
•   Avoid processed food, deep fried food, and alcohol.
•   Practice deep breathing, yoga, and meditation for at least one hour every day. It helps in reducing stress levels.
•   Spend time with your family and close friends. There is no better way to unwind!

4. Testosterone 
hormones
Although testosterone is usually associated with men, it’s also secreted by females. Its function in the body is to boost fat, strengthen bones and improve libido, but its production can be affected significantly by factors such as age and high-stress levels. In women, this leads to the loss of bone density, muscle mass, and obesity.
How to avoid it:
•  Workout regularly. It helps improve testosterone levels.
•   Avoid alcohol.
•   Consume protein supplements.
•   Include fiber-rich food like whole grains, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed in your diet.

 
 
5. Progesterone
hormones
Progesterone is a steroid hormone that’s secreted by the corpus luteum to stimulate a woman’s uterus in preparation for pregnancy. It’s important for levels of this hormone to remain balanced in order for the body to function properly because it can cause weight gain and depression when levels drop. Progesterone levels are affected by things such as the use of contraceptive pills and the onset of menopause.
How to avoid it:

•   Exercise regularly.
•   Try meditation.
•   Avoid stress.

6. Estrogen 
hormones

Levels of the primary female sex hormone need to remain as balanced as possible in the body, and this is because high estrogen levels can lead to weight gain and the cells that produce insulin in the body becoming stressed. High estrogen levels arise as a result of natural overproduction in the body, or due to consuming a diet that’s rich in estrogen.

In contrast, low estrogen levels tend to arise in premenopausal women. Seeing as the body goes in search of other estrogen sources when levels are low, the body starts converting all available sources of energy to fat, which can lead to weight gain.

How to avoid it:

•   Consume whole grains, fresh vegetables, and fruits.
•   Avoid alcohol.
•   Exercise regularly.
•   Avoid processed meat.

7. Leptin 
hormones
Leptin is the body’s “energy expenditure” hormone, which regulates energy balances and inhibits feelings of hunger. It’s affected greatly when we eat food that’s high in sugar due to the oversupply of fructose being converted into fat and being deposited in various areas of the body. Leptin is secreted by fat cells, but the body becomes desensitized to it as more and more of it is produced. As a result, the brain stops receiving signals to avoid eating.
How to avoid it:
•   Avoid food rich in sugar content. Consume no more than 3 servings of fruit per day.
•   Consume dark green leafy veggies.
•   Avoid processed food.
•   Get proper sleep. 7-8 hours of daily sleep is recommended.
•   Keep yourself hydrated!
8. Ghrelin
hormones
Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, stimulates appetite and increases fat deposition. People experience elevated levels of ghrelin when they’re on a strict diet or while fasting.
How to avoid it:
•   Workout regularly.
•   Eat every 2-3 hours.
•   Drink 1½ cups of water 20 minutes before a meal.
•   Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and food rich in protein content.

 
9. Melatonin
hormones
Melatonin regulates sleep and wakefulness and is released while we sleep to help the body heal, improve body composition and build lean muscle. However, this process is disrupted if we don’t get enough sleep, and ultimately could lead to inflammation-induced weight gain.
How to avoid it:
•   Do not eat late at night or just before going to bed.
•   Get sufficient sleep.
•   Sleep in a dark and cold room.
•   Turn off all gadgets before sleeping.
Images by Deposit Photos.
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