Hormones and Weight Gain
They are beautiful and threatening all in the same sentence.
On one hand, they grace us with the ability to have children, give us energy and spark our creative cycles.
On the other, hormones drive us up-the-wall emotionally and have the ability to bring us to our knees within minutes.
There are 4 glands at work that balance our your hormones; pituitary, thyroid, adrenals and ovaries (pancreas in menopausal women). Granted all 4 work together, but two tend to get the spotlight (especially when we’re talking LBs): adrenals and thyroid.
These two glands, the adrenals and thyroid, are all about energy production and metabolism. The adrenals make the energy for your body and your thyroid doles it out.
To keep it simple, think of your adrenals as the energy producer and your thyroid as the energy manager. If either of these glands is on the down low, then energy tends to sag and pounds can add on quite easily.
A Little More Specifics For You
Your amazing human body has two adrenal glands located at the top of each kidney. Each adrenal gland is composed of two parts: the outer part called the adrenal cortex and the inner adrenal medulla. Both areas of the adrenals secrete specific hormones to affect many different bodily functions.
Cortisol is a glucocorticoid that is secreted by the adrenal cortex.
Cortisol is involved in our body’s stress response and helps regulate metabolism.
When stress goes up, cortisol levels rise too. Higher cortisol levels in the blood make us feel more hungry and increases cravings for “comfort” foods.
Cortisol also has a sweet relationship with the thyroid. The thyroid gland needs just the right amount of cortisol to function properly.
Too much cortisol (cause by a stress response of the adrenal glands), causes your body cell’s to no longer respond to the thyroid hormone signal.
Whew…..that’s a big deal.
In essence, your adrenals are making energy, but your body can’t respond to it. And sooner than later, your system needs more and more thyroid hormone to get the same metabolic effect.
If your system can’t provide the thyroid hormone, weight gain is sure to follow suite (whether we like it or not).
The Not-So-Crazy-Works-For-Everyone Secret to Weight Loss
Are you ready?
Eat. More. Veggies.
I know most of us think that we eat enough veggies, but honestly you can never have enough.
Let's make sure that we've got this straight. I’m not suggesting that we become vegetarians. It’s really important to get a balance of proteins, fats, and carbs. Yet, most of us can benefit from the idea of being a “vege-phile” [a person who loves veggies, grabs veggies and goes for more veggies]. We don't need to eat like monks, but eating more veggies fuels our system and helps our thyroid in ways that we can not even imagine.
Vegetables are your power-packed, guilt-free, I-love-me food. Because they are so loaded with all the good stuff and easy to digest, you can virtually eat as much as you want without putting a drag on your metabolism. In fact, the more veggies you eat, the more you’ll rev up your metabolism.
Sneak in More Veggies with these EZ Tips
1. Chop Ahead: For some reason, veggies just aren’t as easy to reach for as cheese and crackers. Here’s what one client did when she heard the eat-more-veggies tip; she cut veggies on Sunday and put them in a clear Tupperware container for the week. That way she could see them and grab ‘em easily. [By the way- she’s dropped 8 pounds in a 4 week time period….not bad, ‘eh].
2. Have Veggie Snacks: Research shows that it’s hard to get enough veggies in at meals alone. Go ahead and beat the research by having veggies when you’re hankering for a snack. Here’s the good news: veggies are guilt-free foods so go ahead and munch away on as many as you want.
3. Go for Ferments: Veggie ferments are power packed for two reasons. #1: They are ready to go. Just add as a side condiment to your meal. #2: They are loaded with good probiotics for digestion. It’s like getting a bonus with your veggie package.
4. Veggies After Dinner: It can be easy to munch away on any old thing after dinner. Eventually one snack turns into another and suddenly we’re four snacks down the road. Think veggies after dinner and get the munchies out while you’re crunching on red peppers, carrots, or cucumbers.
If You Care, Make Sure to Share
If you’re digging the eat-more-veggie idea and thinking that it just might help you shed a couple pounds, then pass this post along to a friend or two.
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Here's to fresh veggies and a healthy thyroid