Not Losing Weight During Quarantine – Another Reason
Weight loss does not involve a single strategy or plan. There are many factors that affect your ability to lose weight. In our early lives, our hormones were balanced. Weight loss was relatively easy. Hormone balance is hard to control as we age, and can make weight loss nearly impossible when it is out of balance.
As the years have grown on you, weight loss is more difficult. Fat retention becomes easier! It might be caused by insulin resistance, leptin resistance, and more (hormone imbalance). There is usually not just one cause of gaining weight.
We typically do not get our hormones checked. Most of us do not know if our hormones are in balance or out of balance unless something triggers the doctor to order tests. And hormone balance is critical to maintaining a healthy weight.
A large percentage of those overweight suffer from abdominal obesity – a very risky kind of body fat. Men with low levels of free testosterone find it extremely difficult to lose weight, especially belly fat. This becomes exacerbated if they also have excess estrogen combined with low levels of free testosterone (hormone imbalance).
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels also impact fat retention in the abdominal region. Low levels of DHEA (hormone imbalance) usually result in a higher probability of accumulating extra fat around your middle.
Blood Tests Determine Your Hormone Balance
How do I know I might have low levels of DHEA, or free testosterone, or excess levels of estrogen? The simple answer is a blood test. Your doctor can review the results of your lab tests and determine if your hormones levels are normal.
Restore Hormone Balance
If you need to restore your hormone balance, there are many prescription drugs and creams that can restore testosterone and estrogen to normal levels. DHEA levels can be raised with over the counter supplements.
Supplementation to Restore Hormone Balance
There is a way to reduce excess estrogen in men and boost free testosterone at the same time. It is by taking specifically designed formulas of plant extracts (myomin, chrysin, Curcuma zedoria, Cyperus rotundus, and more) that inhibit the aromatase enzyme – this enzyme converts testosterone into estrogen.
The following foods have been shown to lower estrogen – tofu, edamame, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, mushrooms (white and portobello), and turmeric. Please note that the bioavailability of curcuminoids in turmeric is exponentially increased in the presence of black pepper extract (piperine).
Foods that should be avoided include dairy, red meat (cows given high doses of estrogen to increase milk), alcohol, some grains, peanuts, and chickpeas. Overall calorie reduction, more quality sleep, stress management, and some pharmaceutical drugs (Aromasin, Femara, letrozole, and Arimidex) reduce estrogen.
My wife was on Arimidex following her breast cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Indole-3-carbinol, (I3C) is the active estrogen inhibitor in cruciferous vegetables. It was highly effective to reduce my wife’s estrogen levels safely during her five years of follow-up visits with her oncologist. Talk to your physician if the side effects of the prescription drug are excessive and see if there are other options.
Note – estrogen inhibitors have a strong likelihood to reduce bone density. Regardless of which prescription drug regimen you are on, the need for an annual bone density scan might be advised.
Tuna, low-fat milk, egg yolks, oysters, exercise, lifting weights, vitamin D3, stress management, and extra quality sleep are known to increase testosterone naturally.
Additionally, the plant extracts mentioned a few paragraphs above can decrease the level of the sex hormone-binding globulin. Globulin binds with free testosterone and is one cause of decreased free testosterone in aging men. Restore hormone balance – estrogen and free testosterone levels – to eliminate one cause of weight loss resistance.
Thyroid Hormone Levels
Thyroid hormone levels should be checked with your annual physical. Thyroid hormones are T1, T2, T3 (triiodothyronine), and T4 (thyroxine). T1 and T2 are not measured because they have no demonstrated clinical value.
Your metabolic rate is controlled by your thyroid hormone. Those deficient in thyroid hormone (hormone imbalance) can be prescribed appropriate medicine to increase the level of this hormone in your body.
It is extremely difficult to lose weight if you have low levels of thyroid hormone (hormone imbalance). Common thyroid drugs are Armour and Cytomel. Armour contains both T4 and T3 while Cytomel contains only T3 (synthetic version). Synthroid is a synthetic version of T4.
Thyroid balancing is difficult. Talk to your doctor about any side effects as you are trying to balance the thyroid hormone.
Nonprescription Assistance with Thyroid Imbalance
Some doctors recommend intense exercise to their patients with low thyroid hormone levels (hormone imbalance). Iodine levels can be increased with seaweed extracts that have been shown to be beneficial in treating low levels of thyroid hormone. Another supplement to consider is coconut oil. I am amazed at the benefits of coconut oil. It got a bad rap back in the ‘80s and is actually extremely good for you. I use it instead of cooking oil often. Extra virgin coconut oil capsules are also available.
Estrogen and Menopause
Women in menopause also suffer from an increase in belly fat due to dropping levels of estrogen (hormone imbalance). Natural estrogen replacement, rather than horse-derived estrogen drugs, have been effective in weight loss, particularly around your abdomen. Consult your physician to determine the right bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Use the Internet to Research Your Options
The Internet provides a lot of information for restoring your hormone balance. I extract it, research it further, analyze it, look further to see if I get confirmation – good or bad – which supplements, treatments, therapies, etc. are good for various ailments and conditions.
It is your health – take charge and be able to ask intelligent questions when you see your doctor. Get the blood tests needed to verify your hormone balance. It is a critical part of determining what you really need to do to lose weight.
The older we get, the harder it seems to lose weight and body fat. There are many competing chemical reactions ongoing in the human body. Addressing one issue, insulin resistance, for example, does not guarantee weight or fat loss. What worked for you at 30 years of age will probably not work for you at 60 years of age. We are a constant work in progress and need continual adjustment.
F. M. ‘Red’ O’Laughlin, III, is a researcher, author, and public speaker. He speaks on health and wellness, aging, personal growth, and motivation. Red states often that, “If you treat symptoms, you will always treat symptoms. You must treat the cause of a problem to correct it.” I research what happens at the cellular level in the human body, biochemically speaking. I look for cause and effect relationships. I identify the causes of health problems. I write and speak about those causes and the potential options for correcting those problems.