Ask the Pantry Doctor: How to Look Good Naked

It’s time again for Ask the Pantry Doctor, and this time it is how to look good naked.

Last week there was an article in the Washington Post discussing why it was harder for women to lose weight than men.  I have been wanting to blog about this topic for awhile, so I thought now was a good time to follow up on that article.  I get questions almost daily from friends, family, and clients regarding stubborn pounds that just won’t go away.

I run/walk everyday with my dog for 3 miles.  Why can’t I lose any weight? 

I’ve got to get to the gym and get some more cardio in.  I have to lose weight.  

I need to eat less. 

I’ve had a few weekends with the girls this summer, but overall have been pretty healthy.  The scale still won’t budge! 

I get really hungry at night and want to snack!

look good naked

First of all, women are just plain different than men and weight loss is nothing different, unfortunately.  To understand why you can’t lose the stubborn fat, you must first understand hormones.  Click for this free guide to hormones  that I compiled so you can learn how they effect fat loss .  It includes questions to pinpoint you to different hormone imbalances and explains what we need to do to regain control and look good naked!  I hope you find this useful.  I have many clients on fat-loss programs that help retrain the body to burn fuel efficiently.

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself if you think you might have a hormone imbalance hindering your weight loss:

Do you have an excess of abdominal fat?

Are you feeling unusually fatigued?

Are you bloated?

How about craving sugar?

 Do you have trouble sticking with a diet?

Do you want to snack a lot, especially at night? 

Do you have crazy PMS symptoms?

Do you have too much body fat around the hips?

Is it difficult to lose weight?

Do you have a history of gallstones, uterine fibroids, cervical dysplasia, endometriosis, or ovarian cysts?

Do you feel like you are prone to putting more weight on when you are stressed, even when you have been eating the same amount of food you always do?

Let’s take a look at the hormones that make a difference in a BIG way when it comes to weight loss:

Insulin | This is a fat-storing hormone, and the more it circulates in the body, the more our body wants to store fat. Period.  If you ask yourself any of the questions above, chances are insulin resistance is the culprit.

Warning signs of insulin resistance:

  • belly fat
  • tendancy to crave carbs
  • feeling of fatigue
  • foggy thinking
  • high blood glucose levels
  • high blood pressure
  • high triglyceride levels (150 mg/Dl of above)
  • low HDL levels (under 40 mg/Dl for men/ under 50 mg/DL for women)

 

Leptin | This is the hormone in the body that controls hunger and feelings of fullness.  This hormone is also tied directly to insulin levels.  Release of leptin sends a signal to the brain telling us that we are full.  When people are overweight, they have a lot of leptin floating around in the bloodstream, but it does not send a signal to the brain telling it that the body is full.

Warning signs of leptin resistance:

  • obese
  • craving carbs
  • large appetite
  • reverse T3 elevated

Estrogen |  Too much estrogen relative to progesterone is known as “Estrogen Dominance”.  This causes fat gain, water retention and bloating.  There are only two ways accumulate estrogen dominance: our body makes too much of it  or we get too much through our diet/environment.  Accumulating estrogen is not hard.

Warning signs of Estrogen Dominance:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Irregular or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods
  • Bloating
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
  • Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
  • Cold hands and feet (a symptom of thyroid dysfunction)
  • Hair loss
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • Foggy thinking, memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping/insomnia
  • Heavy PMS symptoms

Cortisol | This is known as our stress hormone.  There are several ways in which stress can contribute to weight gain. Too much cortisol can slow down your metabolism, making weight gain inevitable.  People that experience chronic stress tend to crave more sugary, fatty foods.  These are less healthy and lead to weight gain. Excess stress has been linked to higher levels of fat, in particular abdominal fat.

Warning signs:

  • mood swings
  • digestive problems
  • heart disease and high blood pressure
  • sleep problems
  • weight gain, especially in abdomen
  • skin aging and wrinkling

Learn how you can regulate your hormones and regain control of your weight.  Click on this for a free guide to hormones and fat loss: hormones.  In this guide you will learn how to teach your body how to burn fat more efficiently. If you struggle with any of these symptoms and want a more in depth plan to help you get back on track, send me a message by filling out the form below.  I hope this was helpful in deciphering the signs and symptoms of hormone imbalance. [sc:apple]

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