Hormones and Weight Gain
We cover this important subject on two pages of our website.
On the first page, you'll find the general introduction as well as a brief discussion of 5 important hormones related to lasting weight loss, namely, insulin, leptin, cortisol, ghrelin, and andiponectin.
If you wish to read that page, you'll find its link awaiting you at the bottom of this page.
The natural methods discussed there work well for both males and females.
On this page we explain how to increase lean muscle to decrease body fat.
Young or old, male or female, increasing lean muscle mass will help you to achieve lasting weight loss and allow you to eat more food!
Hormones are the chemical messengers of your body. They travel in your bloodstream delivering messages to tissues and organs.
Aging and hormones
Male and female aging
Birth and death are opposed concepts. Since everything living dies, in a sense, life is a continuous process of dying. We are all aging.
Though aging may bring unpleasant signs and symptoms, it's better than the only alternative! Furthermore, aging also brings the rewards of wisdom.
As we age, we naturally lose muscle and get fatter. As we age, production of growth hormone in the pituitary declines. This causes a decline in the production of insulin-like growth factor.
Yes: we can eat certain types of food and do certain types of exercise.
It is as straightforward as that!
Here on our website we show you, step by step, exactly how to do it.
In particular, effective strength-training exercises will increase lean muscle mass and body fat. Young or old, male or female, this type of exercise is will enable anyone to lose body fat. We recommend just 2 thirty to forty minute workouts weekly.
Especially when combined with eating well and (2 or) 3 ten or twenty minue intense cardio workouts weekly, you will lose body fat. Not only will exercising well enable you to achieve lasting weight loss, but also it will allow you to eat more food!
It is never too late to start. Just take it one step at a time -- and we show you exactly how to eat well as well as how to exercise well.
It doesn't matter whether you are male or female.
We all have the same muscles.
Just as all adults can and should benefit from fitness exercise, all adults can and should benefit from strength exercise. To balance hormones and weight gain, and achieve natural weight loss, you really are never too old to begin. If you don't exercise, which will greatly help you to age as gracefully as possible, you'll simply lose more muscle mass and get fatter as you get older.
So why not just supplement with growth hormone or the hormone insulin-like growth factor? The short answer is that it's expensive and dangerous. Such hormone supplementation is also unnecessary: exercise can yield the same favorable changes in body composition.
Don't confuse hormones and weight gain or aging with age-related diseases. Aging is a natural process. If you have a problem with growing older, that has nothing to do with hormones. You simply need to adjust to aging. There is certainly nothing wrong with delaying the onset of age-related disease and inevitable decline as long as possible. Following a program like the one presented on this website will help you do that.
What about anti-aging medicines? There are no effective ones.
There's no reason why some won't be developed; it's theoretically possible to extend the human life span. If such medicines were developed, would they be affordable? Even if they were available and were affordable, would they be a good idea? The truth is that the idea of death can be a great motivator. "The great matter" in Zen is the issue of birth and death. Instead of searching to avoid the inevitable, we'd do better to use meditation for peace of mind and tranquility.
Male and female body composition
Alcohol, incidentally, interferes with growth hormone release. Its direct affects are toxic. Alcohol poisons nerve and liver cells, and it irritates the upper digestive tract as well as the urinary system.
In women, alcohol is a significant risk factor for breast cancer. If you use it to relax, please at least don't use it as your primary method of relaxation. Furthermore, alcohol makes lasting weight loss more difficult. Its calories are like carbohydrate calories except that the body must use them immediately because it cannot store their energy. This means that the calories of any food you consume while you are drinking will more readily be stored as fat.
What if you enjoy alcohol occasionally? Fine!
We suggest the following. Give yourself several alcohol-free days weekly; in other words, don't drink daily. Also, don't drink on an empty stomach. Consider supplementing with B-vitamins (especially thiamine) on days you drink. When you do drink, drink moderately (two drinks for a man and one for a woman).
With respect to your body composition, the good news is that there are different ways to manipulate exercise routines, the macronutrient percentages of your food, and the timing of your meals to influence various relevant hormones such as growth hormone, insulin, insulin-like growth factors, and the adrenal hormones.
The bad news is that one also should consider such other physical factors as sex, age, fitness exercise program (including frequency, intensity, and duration), and strength training (including frequency, intensity, and duration).
Furthermore, one should also consider the factors that influence rest and recovery such as frequency, duration, and quality of sleep as well as stress and stress reduction techniques such as the frequency and effectiveness of meditative or breathing practices.
In other words, it's complicated! No wonder we get confused.
What's the solution for hormones and weight gain? Do nothing?
No. Our website is here to help you.
Our free program
Keep examining your progress on that program and adjust it whenever appropriate. Keep learning. It can be fun tweaking it to make it even more effective for yourself as time goes by.
Any good comprehensive program, such as ours, includes psychological training as well as physical practices such as eating well, exercising well, and recoverying well.
Please keep a diet and exercise journal. Remember the old saying: the shortest pencil is better than the longest memory! Over time, look back over your journal to adjust the program to suit your individual situation even more by paying attention to the results you are actually getting. If you use the recommended psychological and spiritual tools to develop and maintain a positive attitude, doing that will be as fun and interesting as it is beneficial.
Female menopause and weight gain
The two phases of the human female menopause are the pre- menopause period and the post-menopause period. Some women experience pre-menopause signs and symptoms several years before menopause while others do not.
Premature menopause is that which occurs before the age of 45 years. Premature menopause can occur even before the age of 40 years. It many occur naturally due to genetics or because of medical intervention such as surgical removal of an ovary.
The post-menopause period is the third stage in a woman’s life cycle. As estrogen levels decrease during menopause, women run a higher risk of developing such conditions as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
The symptoms may include hot flashes, weight gain, joint pains, electric shock-like feelings running down the legs, arms, or other parts of the body, hair loss, headaches, insomnia, muscle aches, poor energy, constant fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, tension, irritability, lethargy, depression, poor concentration, and so on.
In the pre-menopause period, hot flushes may begin as warm prickling sensations in the back, lasting for seconds to several minutes. Later, in the post-menopause period, the hot flashes are often more severe, may affect the face and the whole body, and last much longer.
In addition to the avoidance of refined processed carbohydrates, natural supplements, products, and remedies can provide further support.
So it is possible to achieve natural weight loss, high energy, and optimum health both during and after menopause.
Moreover, for overweight women who have had poor energy, mood swings, etcetera, decades before the menopause, or throughout most of their lives, menopause can be a liberating new beginning by adopting a program of eating well and exercising well.
Lean muscle mass to replace body fat
Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for increasing strength. It shuttles chemical messages directly to the DNA in the nuclei of cells telling them to grow. However, it is not yet understood exactly how testosterone promotes muscular growth.
In maturing males, there's a tenfold increase in testosterone levels during puberty. Testosterone production hits near peak levels in a male's late teens and slowly climbs until around age thirty. It declines gradually but slowly until around age fifty and then declines by about 1% yearly until death.
There is a rough correlation between testosterone levels and muscle mass. From the age of 40 until 70, average males lose about 12 to 20 pounds of muscle (and about 15 % of bone mass).
On the other hand, muscles can get stronger and grow larger at any age.
The muscle loss that accompanies aging is mostly a loss of type II muscle fibers. It may be caused more by disuse than by hormonal shifts.
It is known that proper strength training can increase the amount of testosterone.
Older strength trainees need not train any differently than young trainees with three exceptions: they need more recovery time, it's riskier for them to perform heavy singles, and they should warm-up more thoroughly.
Increase metabolism to lose body fat
The best way to achieve natural weight loss is to increase lean muscle mass. Larger muscles are METABOLIC FURNACES that permit us to eat well without getting fat. If you have ever seriously tried to do it, you already understand that it is difficult to achieve and maintain larger muscles.
Our bodies, including our hormones, operate on the principle of homeostasis on all levels. All cellular organisms attempt to keep the internal environments of their cells as stable as possible. If those environments became unstable, enzymes wouldn't be able to work and life would cease.
Homeostasis is the process of attempting to maintain the physical and chemical conditions required for life.
Gaining lean muscle mass changes our bodies. Large muscles require many resources for repairing, refueling, and enlarging. This is wonderful for those of us who eat, but it's as if our bodies think of it as wasteful. Even though the change is an improvement, they resist it.
At the slightest provocation, our bodies will shed muscle tissue, and they resist muscular growth by elevating cortisol during and after stress or hard training. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone. It has a negative impact on muscle growth and strength. An increase in cortisol means a decrease in muscle tissue.
Cortisol is important: it regulates the metabolism of protein, fat, carbohydrate, sodium, and potassium in cells. On the other hand, decreasing cortisol levels slightly after hard strength training may permit a greater increase in muscle tissue than would otherwise occur.
PS (phosphatidylserine) is a phospholipid that is found in all cell membranes. It is now available as a supplement derived from soybeans. PS seems to counteract some of the loss of cognitive ability associated with aging. It has a secondary benefit of being able to decrease cortisol levels after intense training.
We get stronger and fitter by stressing our bodies more than we have in the past. Assuming the stress isn't too great and they are allowed to recover properly, they adapt to this stress by improving their function. There's a fine line between training that improves our bodies and overtraining: training must be intense enough to improve our bodies and not so intense as to injure them. Training and recovery must be balanced.
One way the body combats stress and inflammation is by secreting cortisol. On the other hand, excessive cortisol secretion delays recovery and impairs muscular growth. PS can protect trainees from excessive cortisol production and from some effects of overtraining. It suppresses cortisol during exercise and mildly suppresses cortisol levels when the body is at rest.
The ideal is to have sufficient cortisol for energy metabolism but not enough to compromise recovery from intense training. PS reduces cortisol without creating a corticosteroid overreaction. It is a natural substitute for anabolic steroids (artificial testosterone).
Although they work, anabolic steroids are so dangerous that we strongly caution against using them unless directed to do so by a physician. They are artificial hormones whose use without the guidance of a licensed physician often has too many negative consequences.
Nor do we recommend that you supplement with PS, but you might want to experiment with it. There are no known side effects from prolonged PS administration as long as its PS extracted from soybeans. Effective dosages are unknown, but it's probably wise not to exceed 800 mg daily. (I [Dennis] supplement with PS daily.)
Learning the tactics
In relation to hormones and weight gain, the best general tactics for obtaining and sustaining a well-balanced endocrine system are eating well, exercising well, and recovering well.
Web pages to help you further
As we stated above, the safe and effective ways to deal with hormones and weight gain are covered on two pages of our website. On the first page about hormones (Fat Burning Hormones) you'll find the general introduction as well as a brief discussion of 5 important hormones related to lasting weight loss. You will find the direct link to that page on our site map/index.
The methods discussed on that page work well for both males and females. They also work well to cure pre- or post-menopausal weight gain and other menopausal symptoms.
Alternatively, click on the first page link listed below if you would now like to read about the foods that speed up metabolism for weight loss.
Foods that Speed Metabolism
Foods that Speed MetabolismAlternatively, use the link at the bottom of this page to return to 'Speed Up Metabolism,' which is the first page in this section of our website.
Our recommended books for this section of the site
Here are two initial reading suggestions in relation to this topic:
15 Minute Senior Workout: Low Impact Workout
If you are new to exercise, here is a useful low impact workout to start with. It will safely work your total body.
If you have already read part 1, this completes the hormones and weight gain section of our website.
Below are some useful links to National Institute for Health videos about correct eating and exercise as we age.
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