Have you had the same lifestyle and eating habits for years, but suddenly the numbers on the scale seem to be creeping up very fast? Well, it’s not all in your head. There are internal forces in your body that can lead you to gain weight without ever changing any of your external behaviors.
The Masters of Your Internal Universe
You body is run by a complex and highly sensitive system of hormones. When that system is balanced, your health – including weight and metabolism – is in peak condition. But it doesn’t take much to alter and unbalance your hormonal system. And the combination of age and sedentary lifestyle can result in weight gain you didn’t even see coming.
When hormones are mentioned, most people immediately think of those associated with sexual and reproductive development (testosterone and estrogen are the two most familiar). These sex hormones are incredibly important when it comes to your weight before puberty, during your sexual peak, and after the prime of your reproductive years.
When women and men age and reproduction becomes less of a driving biological urge, the levels of their sex hormones lower. That drop directs fat cells to accumulate – especially around the midsection. It’s why middle-aged men and post-menopausal women both have a tendency to carry the same spare tire.
Hormones are responsible for telling your body how and when to convert glucose in the blood into energy. If those signals are read wrong, the body reacts by trying to send the message again, and again, and again. After a while, the body develops insulin-resistance, which is the condition that leads to type-2 diabetes.
Then there’s the problem of imbalanced hormones sending the wrong message so that the body can’t metabolize glucose and instead turns it in to fat and stores it – leading to weight gain. Both of these situations increase in likelihood as you age.
When your hormones are imbalanced, your body looses its ability to use food (energy) correctly. The imbalance signals your appetite to increase because your system believes it’s not getting adequate sustenance. Since your body doesn’t know what to do with the calories it has already, not to mention all the extra coming in, everything ends up converting into excess fat.
Then there’s a set of hormones that send the signals that indicate when your stomach is full. But when those hormonal wires get crossed – a situation often caused by lack of sleep – you never feel satisfied, regardless of how much you eat….and eat…and eat.
It’s a Vicious Cycle
Out of whack hormones lead to obesity if left unchecked. Obesity in turn wreaks even more havoc on hormones than age does. What’s worse, when you’re obese your delicate system of hormones eventually rewires itself and the imbalance becomes the default that regulates your body’s functions. That’s why diseases like diabetes are so prevalent among those who are obese.
Exercise is the Answer
There is one surefire way to reestablish the delicate hormonal balance that age and obesity disrupt, and that is exercise. Regular physical activity makes your cells more efficient at using energy, including the stores of fat that aging places throughout your gut.
Working out ignites your metabolism, increasing your insulin sensitivity and your body’s ability to process blood glucose. And finally, exercise encourages more restful sleep, which levels out the hormones that regulate your appetite.
Exercise is the very best external fix for your precious internal forces.
Together we can create a personalized plan for you that will get you to your optimal levels of health and fitness. Through exercise and proper nutrition you’ll reset your hormonal systems to their prime.
Call or email today to get started!