Weight Gain: Is it Hormones or Habits

With the new year, many people often set resolutions to lose weight. While many lifestyle factors contribute to weight gain, there are also underlying medical issues that can make it more difficult for some people to lose weight. A person’s weight is largely the result of their lifestyle, but there are a lot of endocrine problems that can lead to a lifestyle that encourages an unhealthy weight.



How Hormones Impact Weight


The endocrine system is a collection of glands that secrete hormones, which are the chemicals that control the body. They control the metabolism, determine how quickly people grow, and generally guide the rest of the body’s systems. That is a complicated process, and there are a lot of ways for it to go wrong.


Hormone imbalances can make it easy to gain weight. That can be due to a direct impact on the digestive system, but it is even more likely for a hormone disorder to lead to lifestyle changes that make it hard to stay healthy.


Common Disorders


There are several hormone disorders that can lead to weight gain, but there are a few that stand out, because they are relatively common and because people rarely realize that hormones can cause these problems.


Hypothyroidism is one of the most common disorders that can cause weight gain. It occurs when the thyroid gland produces too little of the thyroid hormone, which is responsible for guiding the metabolism. People who have this disorder develop slower metabolisms, which tends to cause weight gain.


Why Habits Matter


Fat is a tool that the body uses to store energy. It cannot create that energy out of nowhere. It can only get that energy from food. Our bodies use that energy to power every other process. If we have more energy than we need, it goes into storage.


Our habits determine the amount of energy that we take in and the amount that we use. That is the single biggest factor that determines how much weight we gain or lose over time. Recognizing bad habits and replacing them with healthy ones will shift that balance and keep our weights under control. That process often involves recognizing the hormone disorders that caused the bad habits, but it can also involve a variety of other processes.


Healthy Habits


A healthy diet and regular exercise can do a lot to keep your weight under control. Every person’s needs are a little different, so we encourage individuals who want to improve their habits to talk to their doctors or a specialist in the field. They can help to construct a diet and exercise plan that will be safe and effective.


It is hard to break old habits and replace them with new ones, but it gets easier over time. After all, habits are hard to break. That makes the first steps more difficult, but practicing daily healthy habits makes it easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle for the long run.


A Connected System


The truth is that both hormones and habits will have an impact on weight gain for most patients because they influence each other. An individual’s habits are the biggest factor in determining their weight, but their hormones play a major role in determining what those habits are.


We believe that the key to staying healthy is to understand the whole picture and use that knowledge to treat any hormone disorders that are present while pairing that treatment with an effort to develop healthier habits. Contact SLMA today to meet with one of our endocrinology specialists, who can walk you through treatment options for hormone issues and associated weight gain.

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