It seems like weight gain is always a result of poor diet and lack of physical activity. But in reality, numerous studies show that sometimes women carry extra pounds because of changes in hormonal balance.

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Hormones keep under the control almost all processes in your organism. Your mood, metabolism, memory, menstrual cycle, skin appearance and muscle strength are regulated by these essential chemicals.

Even slight shifts in hormonal production may result in serious consequences. Experts say that hormonal imbalance may occur due to genetic abnormalities, age-related processes, stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices.

You may feel extremely sad, when see fatty folds on the waist or can't hook your favorite dress. Be aware, the problem may be in your hormones!

Here is the list of the hormones that can affect your weight and cause serious health problems:

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#1. Insulin – this substance is generated by your pancreas in order to turn glucose from foods into the energy fuel, move it inside the body cells and store extra glucose as fat. If you take too much processed foods, alcohol and sugar-full products, your body may become resistant to insulin. It means that cells can't use glucose, leaving it circulating in the bloodstream. Insulin resistance was found to have a close link with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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#2. Cortisol – have you ever heard about so-called “stress hormone”? It is released by the adrenal glands to activate all protective mechanisms and help cope with harmful influence of negative emotions. However, chronic stress causes cortisol levels to stay elevated all the time that may increase your appetite and sugar cravings, leading to overeating and weight gain.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#3. Thyroid hormone – little butterfly-shaped gland, located in your neck, creates chemicals to control your metabolic rate, mental performance, menstrual cycle and body temperature. When something goes wrong in your body, thyroid gland may fail to produce enough hormones that leads to unintentional weight gain, brain fog, drowsiness and hair loss.

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#4. Estrogen – this female sex hormones is synthesized by your ovaries during reproductive years to maintain stable menstrual cycle and help you conceive. In addition to this, estrogen plays an important role in keeping bones' density, normalizing blood pressure and regulating blood cholesterol levels. Menopause, breastfeeding, overtraining and fad diets can significantly reduce estrogen levels. Lack of estrogen is commonly associated with insomnia, vaginal dryness, irregular periods and weight gain.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#5. Ghrelin – when you starve during several hours, hormone ghrelin is secreted in your stomach in order to send signals to your brain that it's time to take a meal. Normally, levels of this hormone drop down after you eat some foods. But this mechanism doesn't work properly in obese individuals and those who follow extremely strict diet. It was found that in these situations, leptin decreases slightly after eating that can lead to overeating.

#6. Leptin – your fat cells have ability to produce some essential chemicals too. When you take your meal, they release “satiety hormone” leptin to say your brain that you're already full. Specialists say that those, who are overweight or obese, often suffer from leptin resistance. So, even after you've eaten a big portion of high-calorie foods, your brain may not understand that it's time to put off the spoon.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#7. Testosterone – it's normal for the woman's organism to produce some testosterone. The problems occur, if it starts to secrete too much male hormones. In many cases, excessive production of androgens causes polycystic ovary syndrome. In this condition, women complain of menstrual irregularities, difficulty conceive, inexplicable weight gain and excessive hair growth.

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#8. Peptide YY – this hormone, created by the gut cells, was found to reduce food intake. Taking processed foods and having high blood sugar levels may impair production of this component and increase risks of obesity.

#9. Neuropeptide Y - during stress or long-term fasting, brain cells may start to generate neuropeptide Y, which boosts your appetite and makes you crave high-carb foods.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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