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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

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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