Is it possible to lose weight when you have hormonal imbalances? Let’s unpack this topic a bit further and let me start by telling you a bit of my personal story.
Several years ago before becoming a functional registered dietitian, I dealt with my own hormonal imbalances. It happened as a result of not being responsible with the amount of stressors I was putting my body under on a daily basis. My pre-existing already sensitive menstrual cycle soon became less and less consistent. Shortly after this happened, I started to rapidly gain weight. I was exercising the exact same, maybe even more and eating the same as well.
Why does this happen? Why do our hormones play such a huge role in our weight management? Our hormones are a symphony that work together as one system, called our endocrine system. When one hormone becomes off-balanced, the others begin to not work as efficiently. The first domino or hormone to fall could be cortisol, insulin, or the more well known reproductive hormones like estrogen and testosterone. Regardless of where this hormonal imbalance starts, it is this disruption in symphony that causes change in mood, energy, libido, sleep, weight, and so much more.
So how do we address weight loss with hormonal imbalances? The first step is getting to the root of which domino fell first. That first domino to fall must first be addressed, supported, and corrected before moving on to the next. For some this might look like focusing on their adrenal health through stress management, rest, workout adjustments and daily habits. For others this might be improving insulin sensitivity through macronutrient profiles at meals and herbal medicine targeted at improving metabolic wiring.
To lose weight, the body must feel safe. You can waste many months and years spending time counting every calorie you eat and every calorie you expend. However, the functional nutrition method is to first start by rewiring your hormones to send the signals to your body that weight loss can happen.
Weight loss is possible with hormonal imbalances, however, supporting your hormonal symphony must be an initial pivotal component to this process. Once you have supported the hormones, creating a sustainable weight loss plan that addresses total daily caloric intake and total daily expenditure is the next important step. However, it is important to note that for some, this might not be possible for several months after beginning their hormonal balancing journey.
Sustainable weight loss looks different for every person. For some, they might thrive on higher carbohydrate intake due to hormonal imbalances with the thyroid and for others they might thrive on lower carbohydrate intake due to metabolic hormonal resistance.
The body will let you know when it is ready, you must provide it the tools to succeed.
Not sure where to start on your hormonal balance journey? We can help! Set up an introductory call to learn more.