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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 November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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