Which Hormones Cause Weight Gain

If you’ve ever wondered how hormones contributed to weight gain or which hormones cause weight gain, the below video and article provides clear guidance. You will know how certain hormones sabotage your weight loss efforts. And, what you can do right now to lessen… even eliminate their impact.

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When it comes to losing weight, our body is actually designed to work against our efforts.

That’s why will power, discipline and deprivation as weight loss strategies fail so miserably.

Not only are these types of diets both mentally and physically painful…

…certain hormones counteract your efforts.

But once you know how and why these hormones work, weight loss becomes effortless.

I explain it all in my On-Demand Class – Effortless Weight Loss.

You can watch it here.

Before we get into the specifics of which hormones cause weight gain, let’s start with the #1 Secret to Weight Loss…

You Are Wired To Be Sabotaged

I’ll explain that with a personal story.

My daughter sat in front of me with tears in her eyes. At age 22 and sinking fast, her life had become unbearable. Diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at age 16, by now this chronic disease had put 35 pounds on her body. 

She was exercising. Eating all the right, healthy ways that we’ve all been told. 

And we were a fitness family. We owned a chain of health clubs with dietitians, fitness trainers, and nutritionists on staff. 

How could weight gain be possible?

Nothing seemed to make sense.

We went to doctors, alternative healing practitioners, and specialists. Did everything. Tried everything.

One night at dinner she explained to me, with apology and tears in her eyes, the incessant cravings that she could not overcome. 

She was drowning. Cravings  consumed her.

I didn’t know this was true yet but, instinctually I felt it…

I said to her, “Erin, it’s not your fault. I know it’s not. I’ve seen you try everything. There’s no way in the world that you should be in a 35 pound weight gain crisis with all your effort, sacrifice, mindfulness, etc….. you’re doing everything right.”

So, let’s be clear. Weight gain is not a character flaw. 

It’s nothing to do with organic eating or virtuous living. 

And it’s not about exercise.

Weight gain is about hormones… and knowing which hormones cause weight gain can go a long way to resolving both a weight gain and health crisis.

Weight Gain Is About Sabotage

If you are in a weight gain crisis, it is due to the fact that you, as all humans are, are wired to be sabotaged. 

When you look up the word sabotage in the dictionary, it is defined as ‘a multifaceted attack’.

Think about a war. The enemy coming at you straight on. They are coming at you from one side and coming at you from the other side. 

Multifaceted Attack. 

It’s very challenging to survive a situation like that… being sabotaged. 

And it’s a deliberate obstruction to any cause or movement or effort.


Deliberately Obstructing Your Weight Loss Efforts 

Do you feel like that? Do you feel like you’ve been sabotaged?

How Weight Loss Sabotage Happens

I’m hoping  you’re feeling a rise of hope. Your weight loss failures had little to do with your efforts.

Defeat happened due to sabotage.  

Here’s How The Human Body Is Sabotaged From Being Able To Lose Weight…

We are actually more powerfully wired to accumulate body fat, to put weight on, rather than to take weight off. 

One of the first ways that we are sabotaged from being able to resolve a stubborn weight issue is at the hands of our body’s command center, our brain.

We are primal beings who are wired for survival. 

And three hormones play an important role in our survival that also cause weight accumulation..

So, let’s take a look at which hormones cause weight gain…

Saboteur #1 – Dopamine

The first hormone that sabotages our weight loss efforts but also keeps us alive, via a life preserving action, is a neuro-transmitter known as dopamine.

Dopamine creates the emotional and physical rush we get that makes us feel alive and energized.

Dopamine helps us feel light-hearted and positive or upbeat. 

Some of us might call it a sugar rush. Or a feeling of euphoria and happiness. 

Think about comfort foods. 

Why are they called comfort foods? 

They make us ‘feel’ comforted. They make us ‘feel’ at ease.

Before modern times, our ancestors would forage through the forest for food. 

If we stumbled upon food, like berries for example, and consumed it, that was a pro-survival, life preserving action. 

So your brain is wired to ‘tell’ you, “Repeat that.” “Repeat that.” “Repeat that.” 

Your brain commands, “Repeat that” because that action, eating quick energy food, provides immediate fuel which is critical to keeping you alive. 

Your body is wired, through physical sensations, emotions, and feelings, to take in energy and to hold on to it. 

When we eat foods that deliver a quick shot of glucose, our brain releases dopamine. 

It’s the dopamine that makes us feel good. I call it an Action Association. We associate that  rush of feeling good with the action of eating that sugary kind of food. 

Now, when I say sugar, I mean all glucose, all fructose, all sucrose, all lactose. Any kind of food whose basic components are some form of sugar. 

The Greatest Source of Dopamine Release

Dopamine release is especially triggered by grain-based foods such as bread, cereal, baked goods, pasta, etc…. 

Grains are plant foods with the highest glucose or carbohydrate values. That means sugar to your body.

Saboteur #2 – Endorphins

Another way our weight loss efforts are sabotaged is through emotion. 

Our emotions are our feelings that occur because of brain activity. 

We hear exercisers proclaim, “I love my endorphins!” 

Endorphins are responsible for the “runner’s high”.

And like the dopamine effect, endorphins also provide that rush of feeling good. 

It’s an excitement. 

Certain Smells Can Release Endorphins

If you were just to open up a bottle of vanilla extract, the scent of it can give you an endorphin rush.

Yes. Smelling vanilla extract will trigger an endorphin response. Gives us a bit of understanding regarding aromatherapy. The body responds to different scents.

Crazy thing is, jumping out of an airplane will give you an endorphin rush. 

Here’s an interesting one… Gossip stimulates a release of endorphins. 

Now, it doesn’t have to be destructive gossip. There is good gossip, right?

But, think about it… gossip involves human connection through social interaction.

And for our ancestors, social interaction was key for survival. We were much more likely to survive if we connected with other human beings. 

Since our brains are wired for survival, you can see why gossip would produce an endorphin release. Connecting and belonging are critical to survival. 

So, the brain rewards that behavior with a shot of feel-good. Which in turn, encourages us to repeat that action.

Let’s Review Which Hormones Cause Weight Gain

Saboteur #1 – Dopamine

Dopamine reinforces sensations of pleasure stimulated by thrills, change, adventure, anything in association with quick excitement. 

Playing football or eating tacos while watching others play football both generate a degree of dopamine. 

The message from the brain is always the same, Seek pleasure. Avoid pain.  

Foods that give us that rush of pleasure are the ones that give us a quick burst of energy which enables us to respond to any threat or life-endangerment. 

We are wired to desire to ensure that the species will go on. 

Saboteur #2 – Endorphins

Endorphins gives us that ‘high’ as a reward reinforcement to repeat a specific action. 

Isn’t it interesting that both dopamine and endorphins are involved in eating and socializing? 

 The social component of food; family, culture, love, tradition, spirituality, sports teams, celebrations, coworkers, the lunch room. 

Food and social connection are constantly linked. We are hard pressed to find a social event where food isn’t involved. 

The double impact of food-induced endorphin rise plus social interaction-induced endorphin rise exerts powerful influence over us.

Saboteur #3 – Insulin

With this third hormone, the weight gain trifecta is complete.

Our mighty fuel regulating hormone insulin is the last weight loss saboteur. 

When insulin is overly present in our body, it makes burning body fat virtually impossible. 

Insulin is a life preserving hormone. We cannot be alive without it. 

But if you are in a weight gain situation like my daughter had been in, insulin levels are elevated.  

Insulin is released every time your bloodstream experiences an influx of glucose. 

Blood sugar. 

Blood sugar or blood glucose is the direct consequence of eating.  And once we understand how to eat SHIFTed, insulin levels quiet down. 

And guess what? Weight loss happen! 

The triple win is that when you eat SHIFTed, the dopamine and endorphin release lessens because you’re no longer craving the foods that drive those emotional responses. 

Eating can indeed become a non-emotional event! 

Talk about freedom! 

To be losing weight without incessant cravings and emotional ravings is truly a relief many don’t believe is possible. It is not only possible but easier than you might think. 

It just takes a bit of know-how. Intellect over-rides emotion. 

And when you understand how it all works, you are in control….not your primal brain. 

Hormones will definitely sabotage your weight loss efforts. It’s time to try smarter instead of harder.  

Additional article related to ‘Which Hormone Cause Weight Gain’ include:

1.)  Hormonal Weight Loss –

2.) Weight Loss Without Hunger –

About Barbara McDermott

Regarded as America's #1 Insulin Suppression Coach, Barbara is the co-founder of SHIFT Health & Wellness Solution, and the best-selling author of the groundbreaking book, ‘FOOD B.S.’, With SHIFT, Barbara brings common sense to nutrition, weight loss and health gain. Her refreshing, no nonsense approach to uncovering the truth using non-negotiable rules of science demystifies food and how to defeat chronic disease once and for all.

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