Almost anyone who has tried to lose weight will tell you that at some point in their weight loss journey, it becomes harder and harder to lose more weight. Weight loss plateaus like these can be frustrating and downright discouraging—it feels like no matter how much we exercise or how diligent we are with our diets the scale still shows us the same numbers.
The good news is that you’re not alone—in fact, as few as 20% of people are successful at losing weight and keeping it off long-term, according to a recent study.
However, it may not be your fault. There’s good reason to believe that hormones may be a huge factor in getting over that dreaded weight loss plateau. That’s why at Blue Sky MD, we often find our patients benefit from pairing our medical weight loss program with our hormone therapy.
Let’s dive into how hormone therapy can help you overcome weight loss plateaus and continue to make progress towards your ultimate weight goal.
How do hormones affect weight loss?
Several different hormones play a critical role in regulating weight loss, as well as numerous other physiological factors.
Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, regulates blood sugar and fat storage. When insulin levels are high, the body will store fat instead of burning it.
Growth hormone enhances fat loss by increasing the body’s metabolism.
Testosterone is a hormone that is found more abundantly in males than in females, but it is still important for both genders. Testosterone has a crucial role to play in weight loss because it increases the body’s metabolism, which can help to burn body fat more effectively. Testosterone is an important hormone for building and maintaining muscle mass, which is essential for overall health and fitness. When testosterone levels are lower, it can be more difficult to lose weight because the body’s metabolism slows down and it is harder to build and maintain muscle mass. Therefore, it is not just important for men to maintain healthy testosterone levels, but also for women. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help to naturally increase testosterone levels in the body.
Estrogen affects weight loss in several ways. Firstly, estrogen regulates metabolism, which affects how many calories you burn at rest. As estrogen levels decrease, metabolism slows down, leading to weight gain. Additionally, estrogen plays a role in fat distribution, with lower levels of estrogen leading to more fat storage in the belly and less in the hips and thighs. Furthermore, estrogen influences appetite, and lower levels can lead to increased hunger and cravings. These factors combine to make weight loss more challenging for individuals with lower levels of estrogen.
Thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism, also play a significant role in weight loss. When thyroid hormone levels are low, metabolism slows down, leading to weight gain. Learn more about hypothyroidism here.
Stress hormones such as cortisol can also affect weight loss. Constant high levels of cortisol can lead to a decrease in metabolism and an increase in fat storage. By paying attention to which hormones are in play, one can design an effective weight loss plan with a focus on diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors.
Leptin is produced by fat cells and signals to the brain that the body has enough energy stored. Leptin resistance can also make it challenging to lose weight.
Ghrelin, on the other hand, is produced in the stomach and stimulates hunger. When someone is trying to lose weight, their body may produce more ghrelin, leading to increased feelings of hunger and potentially hindering weight loss progress.
How can hormone therapy help with weight loss?
Often times a hormone imbalance can be a roadblock for consistent weight loss. If testosterone levels are abnormally low, for example, a patient may have a difficult time building muscle or finding the energy to exercise. Women who’ve gone through menopause tend to produce less estrogen
At Blue Sky MD, we’re able to provide lab testing to determine if any hormone levels are too low or too high, and provide hormone replacement therapy to correct the imbalance.
Once hormone levels are optimized, our patients tend to feel better and lose weight without reaching the plateau.
Does hormone therapy reduce belly fat?
Hormone therapy may lead to a reduction in belly fat, although indirectly. Hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone play a significant role in body fat distribution.
Women tend to accumulate more belly fat after menopause due to a decline in estrogen levels. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can replenish estrogen levels and improve fat distribution. Studies have shown that HRT can lead to a small but significant reduction in belly fat, likely due to improved estrogen levels.
For men, testosterone therapy helps build muscle and boost metabolism, which can help them shed pounds in their midsection, the most common area for fat accumulation in males.
How quickly will I lose weight on HRT?
Generally, most people start to experience some improvements within the first few weeks, including increased energy, stamina, sex drive, and muscle mass, while body fat begins to decrease accordingly.
However, healthy weight loss isn’t instantaneous under any circumstances. The amount of time it takes to lose weight isn’t the same for each patient, and hormone therapy takes time to begin restoring hormone levels to “normal” levels.
The time it takes for hormone therapy to start working varies among individuals and depends on how severe the hormonal imbalance is and the mode of administration.
Get help overcoming your weight loss plateau with hormone therapy and medical weight loss at Blue Sky MD
We have the tools and the answers you’ve been looking for at Blue Sky MD. We’ve helped thousands of patients across North Carolina find lasting success with weight loss and overall health through our combination medical weight loss and hormone therapy program.
We find that hormone therapy increases weight loss by around 10% in women. Additionally, male patients undergoing hormone therapy lose an average of 20-25% more weight than just through diet and exercise.
If you suspect you may be suffering from a hormone imbalance that’s preventing weight loss, take our free online health assessment. The assessment can help us determine if you’re experiencing any symptoms related to hormone imbalance and get you pointed in the right direction. If you have any other question about hormone therapy or weight loss, contact us today!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Hormones play a significant role in weight loss. Hormones control many of the body’s processes, including metabolism and hunger.
There are many options for hormone therapy available. The hormone therapy that works best for each individual depends a wide range of factors. At Blue Sky MD, we like to lean on bioidentical hormone therapy with pellets, which are more convenient and have less potential side effects than many other forms of hormone therapy.
Yes, a hormone specialist or hormone therapy clinic like Blue Sky MD can help you get to the root cause of your weight gain, which may be a hormone issue. We can help you analyze your hormone levels and detect abnormal levels that may be influencing weight loss.