The endocrine system is famously difficult to regulate. This system of the body, the one that governs hormones, might also be the reason you find it impossible to drop extra weight even with consistent effort and attention to diet.
Just which hormones are keeping your scales stuck?
This is the hormone responsible for policing the appetite. The modern diet overloads the body with fructose, and the liver can't keep up with converting it to energy, so it converts it to fat. These fats end up on your belly and in your liver.
As fat increases, leptin increases, and the body never sends the signal that you're full. More food, more fat, more leptin...
Cortisol sends the message to the body that the fight is on. The Stress Hormone causes fat production to increase in the way of primal self-preservation.
Where is it lurking in your diet? Cortisol is spiked by coffee, leading to more fat, more stress, more cortisol. Monitor coffee consumption, meditate, and lift weights to help regulate cortisol.
This is the big gun of fat production and retention. Higher levels of estrogen disrupt insulin production and blood sugar levels, leading to glucose storage in fat cells. Fat cells can swell four times their size under the influence of glucose.
Where is it coming from? Often in the standard American diet, meat. Factory-farmed meat is loaded with antibiotics and steroids. Once inside, they mimic estrogen and can overload your system. In addition, the inclusion of genetically-modified soy in virtually every packaged food means a steady flow of substances that look and behave like estrogen in the body.
While the pharmaceuticals in meat are contributing to rising estrogen levels, it's also the chemical toxins in the pesticides and GMOs as well as in the cans, fabrics, and cosmetics we use.
These toxins also mimic estrogen in the body, and when Xeno-estrogens reach critical levels in the body, they overload testosterone, causing it to shift out of balance under the influence of estrogen. Testosterone helps regulate metabolism and the burning of fat. Estrogen overload in its place adds the additional whammy of insulin sensitivity and fat production and storage.
More seriously, breast cancer and ovarian cancer are just two of the diseases linked to estrogen dominance. To promote healthy testosterone in the body, choose zinc-rich foods like oysters and pumpkin seeds. To minimize exposure to toxins, always choose BPA-free cans and plastics.