95 % of people who make New Year's Resolutions at the beginning of the year fail in achieving them by the year's end. Usually, resolutions are far too specific e.g want to lose 20 pounds or quit smoking.
I think we need to replace the resolutions with a shift in our mindset and focus on the why and the how.
If we want to lose some weight let's dig deeper and find out why is our body gaining weight.
When it comes to weight gain we need to have our hormones in balance. Our hormones work as if they are in a big symphony. If just one hormone is out of sync with the other hormones you may start to feel symptoms.
The particular hormones that affect weight gain are cortisol and insulin. These hormones affect your muscles and fat cells. Hormone levels go up and down daily but when cortisol and insulin are chronically elevated you may experience the numbers on your scale going up. Elevated cortisol is catabolic; it breaks down your muscles and increases fat storage. Cortisol is a stress hormone and during this pandemic, many people experience a higher level of stress than usual, it will also affect your insulin level on purpose. Chronically elevated insulin will increase your fat cells and causes fat storage.
When we are in a stressed state we tend to crave foods with a high glycemic index and it becomes a double whammy.
When you eat food that contains lots of refined processed carbohydrates such as white bread, pizza, pasta, pastries, and sweet desserts or a very large amount of carbohydrates at once, it triggers a surge of insulin and it helps get the sugar out of the blood and into the cells, where it can be used for energy or stored for later. This storage occurs through lipogenesis which is a process in which sugars are converted to fat and stored in fat cells (adipocytes). Chronic excessive intake of these foods promotes higher and higher insulin release to minimize the oxidative damage to blood vessels caused by elevated blood sugar.
Insulin promotes fat storage and inhibits the breaking down of fat in adipose tissue to be used for fuel. A build-up of fat, especially around your waistline occurs due to high levels of sugar (glucose) that will be converted into fat. Unfortunately, the fluctuation of insulin can leave you feeling hungry soon after a meal, often craving more sugary carbs, and then it becomes a vicious cycle.
Of course, weight gain is not as simple as just this one aspect. Many hormones work together in a delicate balance, e.g. glucagon, leptin, ghrelin, cortisol, growth hormones, and thyroid hormones. Insulin’s role is not to be underestimated. Therefore you can’t assume anything until you test your hormones. Take the guesswork out and do a proper test at a health care provider who knows what they’re doing with hormone testing and apply a strategy.
If you are struggling with weight gain and would like to hear more please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Until next time