By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Weight and hormones

Hormones can be a reason for excess weight.

Weight gain can be influenced by lifestyle and diet, genetic predisposition, age, childbirth and menopause. In fact, hormonal imbalance is the root cause of unwanted excess weight.

Below are five most important hormones affecting body weight.

Thyroid: hormones T3, T4 and calcitonin

The thyroid gland is responsible for the metabolism in our body.  It is a small but very important organ, as an insufficient amount of the main thyroid hormones provokes hypothyroidism. One of the symptoms of this syndrome is weight gain. Fat does not add volume to the body, but fluid that accumulates in the tissues of the body.

How to avoid the problem?

Add iodized salt to your diet, food rich in zinc and vitamin D, avoid raw vegetables and fruits.

Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

Pancreas: insulin

The hormone insulin is produced by the pancreas. It participates in the complex process of transferring glucose into the cell and transforming it into energy, or "storage" in the form of fat.  Eating a lot of fast food, alcohol, and foods with artificial sweeteners can trigger insulin resistance. This is dangerous, as it causes spikes in blood sugar, which in turn give rise to the development of 2 types of diabetes and obesity.

How to avoid the problem?

You should remove fatty foods, alcohol, soda from the diet and add vegetables, herbs, and seasonal fruits. Make it a habit to exercise and drink enough water daily (at least 1.5 liters).  Make sure you have sources of omega-3 fatty acids in your menu.

About the insulin resistance you can read here.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash


The cortisol produced in the adrenal glands is called the stress hormone. It begins to actively "work" when you are in danger, anxiety, stress, or suffer from physical damage to the body. Its main task is to reduce stress levels through the release of sugar into the blood and the regulation of metabolism. A modern person is in permanent stress, cortisol is produced regularly and is harmful to health. It provokes the deposition of visceral fat and the maturation of fat cells.

How to avoid problems? 

It is important to sleep at least 8 hours a day, take time for meditation, breathing exercises, avoid alcoholic beverages, and fried foods.

Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash


This hormone is called male, but it is also produced in the female body. Testosterone is responsible for fat burning, bone strength and muscle elasticity, and libido activity. Accordingly, if this hormone is no longer produced in the required volume, fragility of bones, loss of muscle mass and weight gain are observed.

How to avoid problems?  

Make sure you have plenty of fiber in your diet, avoid alcoholic beverages, exercise regularly, and don't forget about protein supplements.

High cortisol level in the 21th century

Photo by dusan jovic on Unsplash


Progesterone is an important female sex hormone that affects the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Its level in a woman's body must be balanced, otherwise depression and weight gain may begin. The decrease in progesterone levels is influenced by the use of birth control pills, stress and menopause.

How to avoid problems?  

Make it a rule to exercise, meditate and try to avoid stressful situations. Hormones are responsible for many physiological processes. Therefore, it is very important to regularly check the level of the most important hormones. Without this, it will be problematic to achieve good results when dieting, and even intense physical activity will not bring the desired effect.

Photo by Chander R on Unsplash

It is important that all hormones are stable and do not exceed the permissible limits. Of course, the state of the hormonal background is influenced by age, gender, lifestyle and many other factors. Men gain weight with testosterone deficiency and high estrogen, women gain excess weight due to problems with thyroid hormones and sex hormones. Obesity occurs due to improper synthesis of pancreatic hormones, in particular insulin, which can provoke severe hunger or overeating.

Correct weight loss should begin with a complete examination, which your doctor will recommend to you. Fighting excess weight is not just a matter of aesthetics, if you find the cause of excess weight, you will give yourself a chance to detect and stop very dangerous diseases at an early stage.

Cover photo by Dane Wetton on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

other blog posts

See all posts →

Get our latest updates to your inbox

Join our newsletter to receive regular updates on our blog posts, special offers, news, and more.
Thank you for your subscription!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

other blog posts

See all posts →