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6 Effective Ways To Suppress Your Weight Gain Hormones

6 Effective Ways To Suppress Your Weight Gain Hormones

There once was a time when doctors educated their patients about how to lose weight by telling them to “eat less and exercise more”. Now, most researchers realize that the advice is a bit too simplistic to effectively deal with the complicated problem of being overweight or obese. Things like hormones and genetics also play a big role in weight issues. But, while you can’t do anything about the genes you were born with, there are ways to influence, through your diet, the levels of several hormones which have been linked to weight gain.

1. Aim for a High-Fiber, Low-Sugar Diet

Insulin is one of the hormones which has been linked to weight gain, since it encourages cells to take the sugar you eat and store it in your body as fat. This begins a vicious cycle: as you put on weight, your body requires more insulin to bring sugar into the cells, which in turn encourages you to put on weight. Eventually, your body is unlikely to be able to keep up with the insulin needs of your body – and this is where Type 2 diabetes can begin.

A low-sugar, high-fiber diet, however, is a good choice to control insulin levels naturally: fiber will break down slowly in the body and help to avoid the spikes in blood sugar which also spike up insulin levels. Fiber also helps improve digestion and avoid hunger pains, making it easier to lose weight.

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2. Eat Protein Throughout the Day

While you don’t have to pile on the steaks and pork chops with every single meal, it is a good idea to eat a little protein throughout the day. This doesn’t always have to be animal-based foods like meat, eggs, or dairy but can also include nuts and seeds and legumes (beans, lentils or peas).

Why is the protein so important? It has been shown that a diet with adequate amounts of protein helps to regulate a hormone called Ghrelin. Most people have probably never heard of this hormone, but it is incredibly important in regards to weight and is called the “hunger hormone”: high levels of it in your system will send “feed me now” signals to your brain, making it easy to overeat. The good news is that at least one study by the American Diabetes Association found that, at least in lab rats, protein could help suppress this hormone and shut off the hunger signals it sends.

3. Choose Your Dairy Wisely

Unless you are lactose intolerant or have a specific allergy to milk, dairy products as such aren’t bad for you. But you need to choose those products wisely. Many large dairy owners in the industry have been using artificial growth hormones  in their cows for years to stimulate the production of milk and meat and while this may increase profits, the hormones in this milk – which were not designed for humans – has been linked to weight gain and the early onset of puberty for those who use them regularly.

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So when picking out milk, yogurt or other items in the dairy case, choose those that are organic and/or labeled as “hormone free” so that you can enjoy these items without worrying about the long-term effects they could be having on your weight.

4. Be Careful of Grains

Grains – especially whole grains – aren’t necessarily bad for everyone. However, if you have a problem with sluggish thyroid hormones, you might want to seriously cut down on them. Several studies have found that a grain-rich diet can have the effect of slowing down the thyroid even further.

This is a problem, since thyroid hormones are some of the most important players in the weight loss game: they help to regular the metabolism, the process by which our body breaks down calories and fat and turns them into energy. The lower the thyroid levels, the slower your metabolism – and the harder it will be to lose weight.

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5. Skip the Soy Products

Soy is tricky: while it is a low-fat, low-calorie, plant-based source of protein, it also contains chemicals called phytoestrogens that can block the utilization of real estrogen in the body. When estrogen levels are optimal, this optimizes the levels of a hormone called leptin. Leptin is incredibly important in regards to weight, because it regulates satiety, for the feeling of fullness. When leptin levels are normal, the body feels satisfied when it eats rather than being constantly hungry.

So, due to its effect on estrogen and leptin levels, it is best to avoid the soy altogether if you are trying to lose weight.

6. Cut Down on Caffeine

Coffee and tea are not as demonized as they used to be, since researchers have found that these drinks are also rich in antioxidants that can provide the body with a wide array of health benefits. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you might want to consider seriously watching your caffeine intake.

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Why? Caffeine can raise the levels of cortisol, the now-infamous hormone that rises in response to stress and signals to your body that it is time to pack on the fat, especially in the abdominal area, where it does the most harm. So if you are dieting, consider keeping the caffeine intake to a minimum and replace coffees and teas with their decaf equivalents or simply drink more water and other non-caffeinated beverages.

These dietary changes are not necessarily about calorie intake – they are more about using the components of the food you eat to help regulate – naturally – the hormones that play a role in weight gain. If you eat wisely, you can turn those hormonal changes to your own advantage and make it easier to achieve your weight loss goals.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on July 2, 2020

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

How can you get relief from neck pain?

There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

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  • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
  • How old are your mattress and pillow?
  • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
  • How do you manage stress?
  • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

Remedies for Neck Pain

Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

1. Everyday Activities

One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

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A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

4. Stress and Stress Management

Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

5. Accident or Injury

If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

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  • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
  • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
  • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
  • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

 

Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

1. Gua Sha

This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

2. Swimming

You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

3. Chiropractic Massage

Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

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I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

  • Cervical Manual Traction
  • Flexion-Distraction
  • Cervical Mobilization
  • Ultrasound
  • Cervical Drop Technique
  • Trigger Point Therapy

There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

The Bottom Line

If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

Reference

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