Hormonal Weight Gain -
includes Estrogen weight gain
and other hormones too!
Hormonal weight gain is a reality. And while Estrogen weight gain seems to be the most prominent, a host of other hormones and prevalent at various life stages as well so hormones and weight gain go hand in hand.
There are three times in a womens life cycle when female sex hormones play and important role in her body changes:
* pregnancy and
What do these all have in common other than fluctuating sex hormones? Well they are all times of weight gain.
Hormonal weight gain
is the work of Nature
Nature knows what it's doing it knows just how much
your body needs at each stage of life for your body to function properly. The big problem is that this is when our biology and our culture clash.
Our culture demands thinness throughout our lifespan - but when we're able to sidestep what our culture wants, there are times when a fat spurt for women is absolutely necessary. These are the times when hormonal weight gain happens - it's your body doing biologically what it needs to do.
Our culture dictates that a certain body shape is more preferable than another - and yet at certain times of hormonal weight gain, our body shape may change in ways that feel uncomfortable because of the belief's we've been instilled with about what constitutes an apparently 'acceptable body'.
Hormones and Weight Gain
At puberty we go from having an almost boyish figure to having breasts, hips and a slightly more rounded tummy.
During pregnancy, most of our fat gain occurs around our buttocks hips and thighs, while our tummy's and breasts mainly enlarge due to 'baby-gain.' During menopause, our shape changes again to become more apple-shaped as hormonal weight gain distributes most of our weight around the belly
Let's take a closer look then at estrogen weight gain and other hormonal weight gains (collectively known as sex hormones).Estrogen (also spelt oestrogen):
You get three kinds of Estrogen found naturally in women's bodies: estradiol, the main estrogen made by women’s ovaries before menopause estrone, the main estrogen found in women after menopause estriol, made in the body from other estrogens.
But first, let's rewind a bit. Remember when you had that 'puppy fat' spurt at puberty? Well, it's the work of female sex hormones and mainly estrogen weight gain.
The estrogen hormone that dominates female development is estradiol. It promotes growth of breasts and uterus, and is the main hormone to blame for hormonal weight gain during the typical pubertal fat spurt.
During pregnancy, it's mainly estrogen and progesterone (plus some others) that are responsible for your changing body.
Years later, as your body winds down from it's reproduction phase and heads towards menopause, your estrogen levels decline rapidly. One of the most noticeable effects, of course, is the end of the monthly menstrual cycle due to the levels of estrogen being too low to stimulate the lining of the uterus. Estrogen plays a big role in menopausal weight gain.
As your body produces less and less estrogen, your body, being the miraculous machine that it is and knowing it needs a certain percentage body fat in order to function and stay healthy, looks for other places to get needed estrogen from.
Now, one of the things your fat cells can do it to produce estrogen. This means that your body converts calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. And here's the rub: the more fat you have, the slower your metabolism and the better your body stores food as fat, which is how your body packs on those extra pounds.
Other Sex HormonesProgesterone
During menopause, progesterone levels also decrease which leads to water weight and bloating. And even though this doesn't necessarily result in weight gain, you will feel heavier and of course you'll feel as if you've gained from your clothes.Androgen
This is the hormone that we can point fingers at for that weight gain that makes you look for apple-shaped, you know that middle-aged spread -it's androgen that is responsible for sending new weight gained to wrap around your mid-section.Testosterone
Testosterone is the hormone that helps your body create lean muscle mass from calories. And muscle is the tissue in the body which utilizes the most energy to keep alive, so it helps you burn more calorie than fat does. In other words, just as fat slows your metabolism, muscle speeds it up. So, when testosterone levels drop (as they do in natural menopause), your body produces less muscle and your body stores food as fat more easily.
To be a women is to have these hormonal changes... So what to do? What to do?
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