Hormones And Weight Loss

Hormones And Weight Loss

Hormones And Weight Loss – The Role Hormones Play In Weight Loss Resistance

The connection between hormones and weight loss is scientifically documented, but what is exactly behind hormone dysfunction? Here we will define exactly what is causing hormone-related issues as well as solutions so you can quickly regain your health and lose weight. When dealing with endocrine problems, losing weight is not as simple as cutting calories or increasing exercise. Instead, hormone dysfunction must be addressed, as it is the main cause of undesirable weight gain. 

Hormones regulate metabolism, hunger, and satiety cues, making them vital to our ability to maintain a healthy weight. If your hormones become imbalanced, it can be difficult or even impossible to shed unwanted pounds. Common hormone-related issues that contribute to weight gain include insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, low testosterone levels, and excessive cortisol.

Hormones And Weight Loss

When your hormones are out of balance, it affects the way your body metabolizes food. The metabolism process involves breaking down and using the nutrients in food for energy. When your endocrine system isn’t functioning properly, metabolic processes can be slowed down or even stopped completely. This means that you may not be getting all the nutrition needed for normal energy production, which can lead to fatigue and weight gain.

In addition, an imbalance in hormones can also disrupt your body’s ability to respond to hunger and cravings. When hormones are out of balance, it can be harder for you to feel full after eating, which can lead to overeating and eating too many of the wrong kinds of foods. This can make it harder to lose weight, even if you are following a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Hormones And Weight Loss – Insulin Resistance May Be Why You Can’t Lose Weight

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin which can lead to difficulty losing weight. This occurs when the body’s cells become overwhelmed by glucose and do not respond adequately to insulin signals, resulting in high blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar levels cause an increase in fat storage and prevent your body from effectively using the calories you consume. With insulin resistance, your cells become unable to effectively use glucose for energy which leads to weight gain. In addition, insulin resistance can also lead to other health problems such as stroke, and heart disease.

The best way to combat insulin resistance is by limiting carbohydrate consumption to zero and ideally, fasting.1 2 3 4

hormones and weight loss - insulin resistance

Hormones And Weight Loss – Thyroid Hormone Resistance And The Inability To Lose Weight

Hypothyroidism can lead to the inability to lose weight, as a thyroid hormone deficiency slows the body’s metabolism and prevents it from burning calories efficiently. Additionally, hypothyroidism can cause fatigue, making exercise difficult or impossible for some sufferers. Furthermore, hypothyroidism makes it harder for the body to absorb essential vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for weight loss. People with hypothyroidism may also have difficulty dealing with stress, leading to emotional eating or overeating, both of which can hinder successful weight loss.5

An adequately functioning thyroid is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and physique. Unfortunately, thyroid dysfunction is very common in today’s world, making it seem almost normal. Without thyroid hormone, the body’s cells can’t receive the messages that dictate how fat is burned and stored. 

The liver normally converts T4, the inactive version of thyroid hormone, into T3, the active version of thyroid hormone, but if it is unable to do this then it can’t function properly. Additionally, if the liver converts T4 into reverse T3 (rT3), an inactive form of T3, then again, the thyroid will not be able to function optimally.6 7 

Having altered levels of thyroid hormones are directly linked to insulin resistance, which in turn leads to unwanted weight gain and even obesity. To maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to ensure that the thyroid is functioning properly. 

Read more about how thyroid function and the ability to lose weight are related.

Endocrine glands and fat loss

Hormones And Weight Loss – Low Testosterone Levels And The Inability To Lose Weight

Low testosterone levels can have a significant impact on your ability to lose weight. Low testosterone causes a decrease in lean muscle mass, which leads to an increase in fat storage and overall body weight. Additionally, decreased testosterone levels can lead to lower energy levels, making it difficult to muster the energy necessary for exercise and other forms of physical activity. 

In addition, low testosterone can also cause an increase in appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods, which further contribute to weight gain. Therefore, maintaining healthy testosterone levels is essential for successful weight loss.8

Unfortunately, men of all ages are producing less testosterone, as overall testosterone levels are significantly lower than they were in any previously recordable time period.9

Hormones And Weight Loss – Excessive Estrogen Levels And The Inability To Lose Weight

Excessive estrogen levels can be a major contributor to weight gain and the inability to lose weight. Estrogen is an important hormone that helps regulate many bodily functions, including metabolism, mood, and reproduction. When estrogen levels get too high, it can cause metabolic changes in the body that make it difficult to lose weight.

High estrogen levels can cause a decrease in the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which can lead to weight gain and difficulty losing fat. High levels of estrogen can also increase appetite and cause cravings for sugary or fatty foods. This can contribute to overeating, weight gain, and difficulty losing weight.10

Hormones And Weight Loss – Leptin Resistance Leads To The Inability To Lose Weight

The association between hormones and weight loss is especially pronounced in leptin resistance. Leptin resistance is a condition in which the body fails to properly respond to leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells that helps control appetite and metabolism. When leptin resistance is present, the brain does not recognize that there is enough leptin in the system and continues to signal hunger. This can lead to decreased metabolic rate, increased fat storage, and difficulty with weight loss.

When leptin resistance is present, it can be difficult to lose weight because the body isn’t responding to the hormone signals appropriately. This can lead to cravings and overeating, which further contributes to weight gain and makes it even harder to lose fat. In addition, leptin resistance may alter metabolism in ways that prevent weight loss, such as causing the body to burn fewer calories throughout the day.11

hormones and weight loss - leptin

Hormones And Weight Loss – Excessive Cortisol Levels And The Inability To Lose Weight

Excessive cortisol levels in the body can be a major problem, especially when it comes to being able to lose weight. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and released into the bloodstream in response to stress, fear, or excitement. It helps regulate blood sugar, metabolism, and other functions related to maintaining homeostasis. Too much cortisol can lead to increased calories being stored as fat, cravings for unhealthy foods, and difficulty losing weight. 

Excess cortisol has been linked to a range of health issues including obesity, high blood pressure, depression, and even anxiety. It can also cause your body to retain more water, leading to bloating and inflammation. Furthermore, excess cortisol can interfere with your body’s ability to use the energy from food or exercise, making it difficult to lose weight.12

How Can We Address Hormone Dysfunction And Finally Lose Weight?

Chronic inflammation results in hormone dysfunction, as it can interfere with the proper functioning of the endocrine system. When inflammation is present, hormones can become imbalanced or disrupted leading to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, infertility, depression, and anxiety.

Since obesity is linked with systemic inflammation, the key to being able to lose weight is to pinpoint the cause of inflammation and put an end to it.13

Inflammation can be caused by many different things including poor diet, toxins in the environment, lack of exercise, stress, and even infections. The body tries to protect itself from these stressors by releasing immune system chemicals such as histamine and prostaglandins. These chemicals create an inflammatory response in the body that can interfere with hormone production and cause hormonal imbalances.14

inflammation and fat

Hormones And Weight Loss – Put An End To Inflammation And Lose Weight

Chronic inflammation is often caused by the accumulation of toxins in our bodies. Some of the worst offenders are mold and heavy metals like mercury and lead. Mercury is especially potent, as it is a powerful neurotoxin that disrupts the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary gland, which in turn affects hormones and weight loss. 

Mercury interferes with thyroid hormone levels and the transcription of related HPT-axis genes, resulting in an altered process of thyroid hormone metabolism. This mercury-induced inflammation can lead to a variety of symptoms including difficulty being able to lose weight, low energy levels, and mental fog.15 It is important to reduce your exposure to heavy metals and remove them from your body in order to lose weight and improve your health.

Read more about removing heavy metals from your body.

Hormones And Weight Loss – Stay Away From Endocrine Disruptors If You Want To Lose Weight

Endocrine disruptors are synthetic chemicals that interfere with the hormones in our bodies. These chemicals can be found in a wide range of products, from detergents and cosmetics to pesticides and food additives. They work by disrupting the normal activities of hormones, which can lead to a variety of health problems in both humans and animals.

One of the most common effects of endocrine disruptors is obesity. Endocrine disruptors can interfere with hormones that control appetite and metabolism, leading to weight gain. In addition, they can reduce the body’s ability to break down fat, making it harder to lose weight.16 Endocrine disruptors may also cause changes in hormone levels that can make it difficult to stick to a healthy diet.

Common endocrine disruptors include phytoestrogens, BPA, phthalates, perchlorate, PFAS, PBDE, PCB, and dioxins.17 Read more about endocrine disruptors and other toxins in everyday products.

Hormones And Weight Loss - endocrine disruptors

Hormones And Weight Loss – Put An End To Inflammation To Finally Lose Weight

Here we looked at chronic inflammation as it relates to hormones and weight loss. However, there is more to it than that, as diet and exercise also play a role in weight loss.

Read more about losing weight.


1 Albosta, M., & Bakke, J. (2021). Intermittent fasting: is there a role in the treatment of diabetes? A review of the literature and guide for primary care physicians. Clinical diabetes and endocrinology, 7(1), 3. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40842-020-00116-1

2 Li, C., Sadraie, B., Steckhan, N., Kessler, C., Stange, R., Jeitler, M., & Michalsen, A. (2017). Effects of A One-week Fasting Therapy in Patients with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolic Syndrome – A Randomized Controlled Explorative Study. Experimental and clinical endocrinology & diabetes : official journal, German Society of Endocrinology [and] German Diabetes Association, 125(9), 618–624. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-101700

3 Cheng, C. (2017, February 23). Fasting-Mimicking Diet Promotes Ngn3-Driven Î2-Cell Regeneration to Reverse Diabetes. Cell. https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(17)30130-7

4 Richard D. Feinman, Wendy K. Pogozelski, Arne Astrup, Richard K. Bernstein, Eugene J. Fine, Eric C. Westman, Anthony Accurso, Lynda Frassetto, Barbara A. Gower, Samy I. McFarlane, Jörgen Vesti Nielsen, Thure Krarup, Laura Saslow, Karl S. Roth, Mary C. Vernon, Jeff S. Volek, Gilbert B. Wilshire, Annika Dahlqvist, Ralf Sundberg, Ann Childers, Katharine Morrison, Anssi H. Manninen, Hussain M. Dashti, Richard J. Wood, Jay Wortman, Nicolai Worm, Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base, Nutrition, Volume 31, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 1-13, ISSN 0899-9007, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2014.06.011.

5 Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid). (2022, November 16). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hypothyroidism

6 Kapadia, K. B., Bhatt, P. A., & Shah, J. S. (2012). Association between altered thyroid state and insulin resistance. Journal of pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, 3(2), 156–160.

7 Longhi, S., & Radetti, G. (2013). Thyroid function and obesity. Journal of clinical research in pediatric endocrinology, 5 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 40–44. https://doi.org/10.4274/jcrpe.856

8 Mogri, M., Dhindsa, S., Quattrin, T., Ghanim, H., & Dandona, P. (2013). Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males. Clinical endocrinology, 78(4), 593–599. https://doi.org/10.1111/cen.12018

9 Travison TG, Araujo AB, O’Donnell AB, Kupelian V, McKinlay JB. A population-level decline in serum testosterone levels in American men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jan;92(1):196-202. doi: 10.1210/jc.2006-1375. Epub 2006 Oct 24. PMID: 17062768.

10 Grantham, J. P., & Henneberg, M. (2014). The Estrogen Hypothesis of Obesity. PLOS ONE, 9(6), e99776. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0099776

11 Pan H, Guo J, Su Z. Advances in understanding the interrelations between leptin resistance and obesity. Physiol Behav. 2014 May 10;130:157-69. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.04.003. Epub 2014 Apr 12. PMID: 24726399.

12 Hewagalamulage, S. D., Lee, T. K., Clarke, I. J., & Henry, B. A. (2016). Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity. Domestic animal endocrinology, 56 Suppl, S112–S120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.03.004

13 Forsythe LK, Wallace JM, Livingstone MB. Obesity and inflammation: the effects of weight loss. Nutr Res Rev. 2008 Dec;21(2):117-33. doi: 10.1017/S0954422408138732. PMID: 19087366.

14 InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. What is an inflammation? 2010 Nov 23 [Updated 2018 Feb 22]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/

15 Sun Y, Li Y, Liu Z, Chen Q. Environmentally relevant concentrations of mercury exposure alter thyroid hormone levels and gene expression in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis of zebrafish larvae. Fish Physiol Biochem. 2018 Aug;44(4):1175-1183. doi: 10.1007/s10695-018-0504-2. Epub 2018 Apr 24. PMID: 29691693.

16 Endocrine Disruptors. (2022.). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm

17 Koniecki D, Wang R, Moody RP, Zhu J. Phthalates in cosmetic and personal care products: concentrations and possible dermal exposure. Environ Res. 2011 Apr;111(3):329-36. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2011.01.013. Epub 2011 Feb 18. PMID: 21315328.

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