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Can You Use Hormone Therapy to Lose Weight?

Nov 11 2019

Can You Use Hormone Therapy to Lose Weight?

Beneficial Effects of Hormone Therapy for Weight Loss

Calories in versus calories out. That’s how weight loss has always been framed amongst the medical and fitness community. By eating fewer calories juxtaposed with losing calories through exercise, fat and weight are supposed to drop. It seems like a no-brainer how that relationship between diet and exercise works for achieving weight loss. However, many people pursuing weight loss who’ve diligently followed the mantra “calories in, calories out” have found themselves at a plateau — at a point where all their efforts seem futile as the numbers on the scale remain steadfast and the fat still ever-present. You may have even fallen into the trap of fad diets such the keto diet. Your body’s biology has a lot to do with it.  So how can you use hormone therapy to lose weight?

 Following the age-old wisdom of caloric expenditure may work for some but yield little to no results for others. What it delves down to is more significant than just committing to a diet and workout regimen or counting every calorie and macronutrient. For some of us, we’ll get the results as expected from adhering to that mantra, but for others, there’s a hidden force impeding weight loss: hormonal imbalances. Hormones are fundamentally chemical signals integral to controlling and coordinating various biological activities within ourselves; processes like sexual reproduction, growth and development, metabolism, and mood are some of the many biochemical operations governed by hormones. 

Primarily, weight loss resistance in many people comes down not to their inadequacies in impulse control or commitment but because of sabotage from their bodies. As it turns out, while calories matter to some, hormones matter more — the hormones under scrutiny here as follows: cortisol, insulin, leptin, and estrogen.

  • Cortisol is a hormone that responds and regulates stress. Stressors in our life like our careers, family, finances, etc. can exacerbate the levels of cortisol in our system. Over time, prolonged high levels of cortisol have effects on the body via draining serotonin levels or affecting sleep. Notably, though, is how cortisol causes the body to retain and store fat as well as increase sugar cravings.
  • Insulin has similar effects on the body’s ability to store fat. People with normal insulin levels can absorb glucose generated from consumed foods as fuel. Those who have inadequate insulin levels find their bodies unable to utilize the glucose resulting in the liver turning the extra glucose into fat. 
  • Leptin is an essential signaller for appetite. Upon finishing a big enough meal, the body produces leptin to let itself know to stop eating. This signaling can get messed up as a result of excess body fat; fat cells end up producing excess leptin, which the brain struggles to make sense of. In turn, a positive feedback loop is created where the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce, which overfloods the receptors in your brain, causing you not to feel full, resulting in eating more and gaining more fat. 
  • Estrogen is supposed to be counter-balanced by another hormone called progesterone. Lower levels of estrogen or estradiol have been found during menopause. Estradiol has been studied and noted as contributing to the regulation of metabolism and weight. Lower levels result in weight gain predictably in the hips and thighs.

Understanding that biological agents are working against our weight loss goals may cause despair or feelings of helplessness. But all is not lost. These imbalances in hormones causing the plethora of weight resistance symptoms can be addressed and treated to realign us with our weight loss goals. Hormone therapy seeks to restore imbalances by providing the body with the correct levels of various hormones, such as the ones listed. Vitality Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine offers plenty of options to make the once impossible goal of weight loss a reality again.