What do hormones have to do with weight gain?

Holistic Healthcare

The common approach to weight loss is to focus solely on dietary and exercise changes.  Though this is a major component of weight control, it alone misses a major component of metabolic stress. Weight management is also influenced by:

Unbalanced estrogen
Unbalanced progesterone
Unbalanced testosterone
Stress and cortisol levels
Blood sugar dysregulation
Thyroid concerns
Lack of sleep
Vitamin D deficiency


A major contributor to metabolic stress is hormone imbalance.  As we age, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels decline while other hormone levels that can have a negative effect on metabolism tend to increase.  These changes not only increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, but they also cause a shift on how the body stores fat.  Therefore, attempting to lose weight without addressing the hormonal component is like spinning your wheels in mud and causes many people to plateau.  Dietary and exercise do play a huge role in weight control and overall health and wellness, but treating any underlying hormone imbalances will help you successfully lose weight and make it easier to maintain a healthy weight throughout your life.


Even our view of adipose (fat) tissue has changed.  We used to think of fat as only having one inert function of storing energy for the body.  However, we now know that adipose tissue actually acts as an endocrine and metabolically active organ that abnormally signals the body.  Therefore, the more adipose tissue someone has, the more that his or her body is sending inflammation and abnormal messages both locally and throughout the body.  In fact, one of the major downfalls is that it acts as a storage site for extra sex steroids and therefore, extra weight leads to more hormone imbalances.  Because extra estrogen is stored in male fat and extra testosterone is stored in female fat, extra weight leads to men becoming more feminized and women becoming more masculine. Losing even ten pounds of adipose tissue can have a huge effect on your overall wellness.  It significantly decreases your chance of cardiovascular disease, dementia, sleep apnea, joint pain, diabetes, and even reduces your risk for certain cancers.   It also improves overall health, sleep, mood, energy, and libido.


Since hormones play such a significant role in weight gain, hormone evaluation is vital for many people tackling weight loss and is many times the missing link.  It is also the reason that a hormone assessment can help to break the weight gain cycle.

There are many different hormones that can be tested in order to approach care in a comprehensive and unique approach.  These hormones include:

Cortisol Rhythms
Melatonin Rhythms

It is important to find a practitioner that is aware of how to properly treat hormone imbalances.