When it comes to weight loss, sometimes we focus too much on calories and exercise and forget about all the other things that can influence weight loss success.
For example our hormones.
They are an important part of the master control system of your entire body.
They directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. Things that actually control your energy and weight.
But let me get this out of the way first: weight loss or rather body fat loss is achieved by creating a safe calorie deficit, and not simply by “resetting your hormone balance”.
However, if they are a bit out of whack, they can slow down your weight loss progress. Therefore it’s a good idea to find ways on how we might support our hormonal system for improved weight management.
For instance, the hormones made by your thyroid gland control your metabolism.
Even if those hormones are slightly low, weight management won’t be as smooth as we’d like.
The thyroid gland needs about 140mcg-150mcg of iodine per day for optimal function.
But as a vegan, it’s a bit difficult to reach that amount.
Seaweed is a rich source, but do try to avoid kelp. It can have dangerously high levels [can have up to thousands of mcg instead of 150mcg] and that can damage our thyroid.
FIX #1. Ensure correct iodine intake.
Either take iodine via your multivitamin supplement or use 10g of dried nori sheets. That will give you ‘about’ 180-232 mcg. But unfortunately, that’s the only vegan source worthwhile thinking about. The rest of our food has very small amounts.
Check out this list of iodine content in some vegan and nonvegan foods. Scroll to about the middle of that article once you get there.
In 2020 I read that “about in 20 people in the UK have a thyroid problem, but that statistic could be much higher with many individuals unaware they have an issue. There are suggestions that the prevalence of some thyroid disorders is on the rise and so too are the number of prescriptions for thyroid hormones.”
Let’s move on to the hunger and fullness hormones.
FIX#2. Optimise Ghrelin and Leptin with protein, sleep, and exercise
Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite, and also plays a role in controlling body weight. It determines how quickly hunger comes back after we eat.
And leptin is the satiety hormone, telling you that you’re full.
When they don’t behave themselves…you are hungry even though you’ve recently eaten and somehow you never feel full.
Research tells us we can re-balance them by:
- Getting enough sleep
- Engaging in regular exercise
- And eating enough protein. Protein activates the fullness hormone and reduces the hunger hormone.
FIX #3. For Cortisol reduction, try stress-relieving activities.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that loves to layer body fat around the middle of our body.
Therefore, to reduce the levels of that hormone, engage in stress-relieving activities such as meditation, walking, deep breathing exercises, and enjoyable hobbies like colouring or painting etc.
Fix #4. Balance your blood sugar and insulin with a better diet and exercise
Eating too many processed carbs or even too many healthy high fibre carbs can place too much of a load on your blood sugar and insulin levels. This can cause unwanted weight gain because insulin
Eat modest amounts of starchy carbs only and increase your fibre and protein intake for better results.
And if you need any help with how to create a balanced eating plan for hunger control and weight loss, visit us at Nicki’s Vegan Weight Loss Café for free tips, check out my free mini plans or read up on my download programs.