It is quite common for people on a weight loss program to lose weight at the start of their program, then have their weight loss come screeching to a halt. This is where they plateau, which is a very frustrating and discouraging place for people to be. Eating less calories, exercising more, nothing seems to help. Why does this happen?
The answer is hormones. Obesity is a dysfunction in hormones. Your hormones orchestrate functions in your body. They can make you a fat storing machine or a fat burning machine, a tired, unmotivated person or an energetic, driven person. A depressed individual or a happy individual. People don't realize how important proper hormone function is for a healthy, happy and energetic life.
For example, insulin is your fat storing hormone. So frequently eating or snacking, or eating foods that spike insulin will cause insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes. Fatigue and fat storage can result from issues with insulin.
Leptin is another important hormone regarding weight loss. Leptin is a hormone that affects thyroid function and metabolism. It also acts as a fuel gauge to tell us when we've consumed enough food. Leptin is stored in our fat cells, so overweight people have excess leptin and likely have leptin resistance. This confuses the body and their full signal gets lost which can lead to overeating. When someone loses weight, leptin drops and this signals the metabolism to slow down to conserve energy, which works against someone trying to lose weight.
Excess stress hormone, cortisol, will also interfere with proper hormone function. Also low testosterone or high estrogen in men will encourage fat storage.
Here are some ways of breaking through the plateau:
1. Reduce or balance stress: eliminate any stress you can from your life, use relaxation activities to help balance stress hormones. Try meditation, nature walks, yoga, tai chi or pleasure reading.
2. Try intermittent fasting: fasting will help balance your hormones and help your body burn stored fat. The book "Engineering The Alpha" teaches a feast/fast approach for better leptin function. This is basically a cheat day where you consume plenty of calories and carbs, followed by a 36 hour fast the next day. This raises leptin levels on the cheat day so you're not stuck with low leptin and a slowed metabolism.
3. If you're not doing this already, add high intensity resistance training as your exercise. For men, this will help raise testosterone levels, which in turn will help burn fat.
4. Get plenty of high quality sleep: This is so important for optimizing your hormones.
5. Focus on your gut health: Proper gut health encourages proper hormone function. By focusing on gut health, you will probably shed pounds of fat and feel incredible. Be sure to eliminate processed foods, excess sugar, alcohol and caffeine and any foods you're allergic or sensitive to from your diet. This will help reduce inflammation. Then be sure to eat plenty of probiotic foods and prebiotic fibers for proper gut health. We need a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut.
To break through the weight loss plateau we need to focus on hormone health. The "Take Back Your Mojo" digital download course will teach you about how this works and help you create your personalized plan to get your hormones working optimally.