After the last series about the most important hormone for weight management, I have dedicated the next post series to other hormones important to learn weight management: More About Hormones.
Hormones are probably the inhabitants of our bodies with more personality, for better and for worse. Directly or indirectly, hormones are responsible totally or partially for many of the actions and situations occurring in our bodies such as mood changes, feelings, sexual attraction, metabolism and growth. More relevant to our discussion, they are directly and highly related to weight gain and loss. Having said that, some people, even doctors, tend to blame hormones for all the negative situations happening in our bodies, including weight gain. Well, it is not that… and it is never the hormones per se causing the situation.
Something is behind the changes in the natural equilibrium of the hormones, which naturally have the ability to be in perfect equilibrium. There has to be a reason for hormone imbalance. Sometimes, there is a sickness directly involved, or maybe a medication to treat another condition that could affect hormone balance. But most of the time, we create such imbalance with simple bad life habits that interact with normal hormonal equilibrium.
Our body is an incredible machine where thousands of actions occur one after the other. It is a perfectly balanced mechanism. It is amazing how it can work so perfectly. It is incredible to observe how the body can still work even when it is submitted to all the external stress factors such as pollution, sun radiation, sleep deprivation, stress, pesticides, colorants and many more. There are certain things that we can’t avoid in our daily life, like radiation caused by depletion of the ozone layer or pollution, although we could try to live in a cleaner environment. There are other things that we can try to avoid or at least minimize. We can fully control all the products we ingest and get into our body.
Hormone activity is usually associated with the molecular structure—the physical appearance—of the hormone. In some way or another, that structure interacts with other parts involved in a metabolic process, activating a response. Some of the pesticides, colorants, preservatives and even authorized drugs, interact directly or indirectly in the normal functioning of some hormones. They could change the shape of the hormone, or occupy the space where the hormone has to act, or it can simply “distract” the normal functioning. The effects can be short term or long term, and the negative activity can accumulate over time. Any hormonal change can have a very negative impact on our bodies. The more natural and more artificial-free our nutrition is, the lower the chances of negatively interacting normal functioning of our hormones. Remember when we were talking about artificially sweetened zero-calorie drinks? How they interact with the sugar-insulin equilibrium? How the sweetener will make our body think we are ingesting something sweet (even a zero-calorie one) and will release insulin and activate the same mechanisms as direct sugar? How in the end, a hunger response will be activated once the body realizes that after activating the metabolic mechanisms, there is nothing real to use as energy, so it claims the “real thing”? In the short term, you are not ingesting calories directly, but in the long term, artificial sweeteners will disturb the sugar metabolism the same way as simple sugars, maybe even worse. In the end, this will result in weight gain, either because of extra hunger, because of excessive storage caused by the inability to regulate our body fat mass, or even because of lowered basic metabolism—fewer calorie consumption by our bodies—when we try to curtail hunger by drinking those beverages.
When you start a natural diet, eating natural products versus manipulated products full of preservatives, pesticides and colorants that interact with your hormones, you will see an improvement in your overall health. You will achieve lower bad cholesterol level, a decreased blood pressure, lose weight, and develop healthier skin. It doesn’t mean you can’t eat prepackaged or even precooked meals; just try to read the food composition to make sure there are not too many unnecessary ingredients, and try to use them as little as possible. Not only that, but there are also hormone-friendly foods that can help you balance the right hormone equilibrium. I will give you some examples in a later post.
I think that by now you have a good understanding of how complex the hormonal world is and therefore how important it is to balance its equilibrium. You also need to understand that all body mechanisms are interrelated, therefore, when managing hormonal aspects related to our weight management, some aspects like stress, happiness, sleep, sex, etc., could also be involved. I would like to give you a general idea of the hormones that can be involved in our weight management so you are aware of them and pay special attention to them. We already considered insulin at length, so I will talk about other hormones in my future posts included in this series: “More About Hormones”.