What Do Hormones, Weight Gain, and Metabolism Have to Do with Each Other?

Jan 30, 2020

What do hormones, weight gain, and metabolism have to do with each other?

This is an amazing question and one you need to understand if you ever want to fully control and manage your weight and your health.

If you struggle with 10, 20, 50, or 100 extra pounds, you need to understand this.

If you find your health slowly deteriorating as you take trips around the sun, you need to understand this.

If you are watching your family members struggle with their weight or health and you want to try and avoid the same fate, you need to understand this.

So let's get to it and start at the beginning.

All health starts on the cellular level.

Which means [healthy cells --> healthy you]

A [healthy you --> healthy weight]

But we need to fill in some gaps with how we get healthy cells.

Your body is made up of 37.2 trillion cells. These cells are divided up by their job and different cells do different things in your body. [1]

For example, you have 2 billion heart cells that just make up the muscle fibers and other cells in your heart that pump your blood.

You have skin cells, brain cells, liver cells, fat cells, and muscle cells. [1]

If you want a healthy heart you need healthy heart cells. If you want healthy skin you need healthy skin cells. If you want a healthy metabolism you need, mainly, healthy muscle and fat cells.  Ok, you also need a great liver with really healthy liver cells too.

Let's focus in on the muscle cell for today because the bulk of your metabolism comes from your muscle cells.

The word "metabolism" is the sum energy activity of all it takes to stay alive. It's all the calories used for breathing, keeping your body temperature at 98.6 degrees F, digesting your food, growing hair, recycling old cells, and even thinking.

This is why we talk about metabolism and calories together. We measure metabolism in units of heat called calories. 

It takes about 1400 calories every day just to run the basic machinery needed to stay alive every day. We call this your basal metabolic rate. [2]

You need healthy muscle cells to have a healthy metabolism.

You need muscle cells that can burn the energy correctly and do their job.

That's a huge part of a healthy metabolism.

In a muscle cell, you need muscle cells that can take sugar or glucose into the cells and be used for energy correctly.

[healthy cells --> healthy metabolism]

Let's keep going.

What controls healthy cells?

This is where hormones come in.

Certain hormones have certain jobs, just like certain cells have certain jobs.

For example, your thyroid hormone controls body heat (among other things).

The thyroid hormone tells your cells to burn more oxygen and energy to produce more heat to keep your body temperature stable. [3]

Guess what?

Certain hormones also control your appetite, when you feel full, and how and when you store body fat.

The hormones insulin and glucagon are the yin & yang hormones of how much fat your body stores. [4]

This is crucial to understand.

You need the right amount of hormone to trigger the cell to do its job correctly. 

Too much insulin?  That's not good!

Cells are overloaded with sugar and you store body fat.  With too much insulin floating around for too long, your cells are literally overflowing with glucose from your food. 

That's bad.  That's an unhealthy cell.

So now we can add to our equation:
[healthy hormones --> healthy cells]

[healthy cells --> healthy metabolism]

So now we have:

[healthy hormones --> healthy cells --> healthy metabolism --> healthy you --> healthy weight]

You can "damage" your metabolism by damaging your cells by having imbalanced hormones (hormones that are off when they should be on or vice versa, or even hormones that are on too long) so they may be signaling your cells in a way that hurts your health.  As is the case with too much insulin.

You can trace the equation back and forth to find the root cause of your excess body weight.  Where is the breakdown?

If you have a broken metabolism, you can travel back through the equation to see that you have either damaged your cells or your hormones and that has lead to your damaged metabolism.

[healthy hormones --> healthy cells --> healthy metabolism --> healthy you --> healthy weight]

Anything downstream of the damage will be affected.

Most women that have an unhealthy weight* have an unhealthy body which means their cells are damaged and struggling to do their jobs because their hormones are out of balance. It goes all the way back.

If you want a healthy weight, what do you need to do?

You need to have balanced hormones, like insulin to support healthy cells, which lead to a healthy metabolism, which leads to a healthy you, which then, and only then leads to real sustainable weight control.

Notice that there is no mention of a calorie imbalance. No mention of eating less to create a caloric deficit.

If you've been struggling with your weight and focusing your time, attention, and money on calories you have not been addressing the equation that leads to your desired weight and glowing health.

Remember:

[healthy hormones --> healthy cells --> healthy metabolism --> healthy you --> healthy weight]

This is what we tackle in the Freese Method Program.  This how we repair your slow and broken metabolism. 

We do it right.

 

*I like to follow the guideline that your waist in inches should be half your height in inches vs. BMI.   So if you're 5'5", you are 65" tall and your waist at your belly button should be <32.5 inches. [5]

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