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Hormones, food and sleep intolerances, and stress: What effect does this have on our weight?

 Hormones, food and sleep intolerances, and stress: What effect does this have on our weight?

It would be a mistake to think that everything is specified on the plate! Other limiting factors play a role in the weight imbalance.

Counting calories at each meal can be counterproductive, as it ends up creating an adversarial relationship with food. In addition, our obesity does not reflect the difference between the number of calories eaten and those expended. Otherwise, how do you explain that some can eat croissants without

 gaining grams and some cannot, with the same physical activity? "," notes Dr. Arno Kukul, nutritionist, author of "Leave the ballast, eat in peace" (editor of Flammarion). Many factors come into play: genetic determinants, composition of the gut microbiota, sleep quality or stress management. The levers you can work on. To regain - or maintain - your healthy weight, without depriving yourself.

I balance my hormones

Many hormones affect body weight. If their production becomes chaotic, the silhouette will inevitably suffer. Leptin, which is made by adipose tissue, is the main appetite-controlling hormone. Dr. Emmanuel Lecornet-Socol, endocrinologist at Petit-Salpetriere Hospital (Paris) and co-author, with S. Palma-Chaminador, for Et si c'tait hormonal? (Well-being hatchet). To restore its effectiveness, fatty

 and sugary snacks should be reduced. Often hidden behind unexplained weight gain is a thyroid lazy girl. Taking estrogen by mouth (birth control pills) can also cause weight gain. But those administered through the skin, as part of menopausal hormone therapy, do not make you fat according to experts.

In practice: to strengthen the thyroid gland, the intake of iodine and zinc is necessary. It is found in large quantities in wholemeal bread, seafood, tofu, and seaweed. Selenium is also useful in protecting the thyroid gland from inflammation. Mackerel, monkfish, and Brazil nuts provide plenty.

Plus tip: limit alcohol intake (twice a week), as it increases insulin production and decreases the growth hormone that makes you fat.

I take care of my microbes

Its main role in weight regulation has been demonstrated. American researchers from Washington University in St. Louis transferred the intestinal flora of obese mice to lean mice. The verdict: They became obese without eating more or exercising less than before. Our gut flora actually modulates calorie usage and operates our metabolism. In overweight people, their diversity is poor. Many beneficial and balanced bacteria are missing.

In practice: eat foods that contain prebiotics, that is, foods that contain soluble fiber that the good bacteria in microorganisms love. So asparagus, shallots, artichokes, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, whole grains and apples should be on the menu regularly.

Bonus tip: To protect your gut flora, limit your intake of red meat to a maximum of one or two servings per week, and reduce your antibiotic intake to what is absolutely necessary.

I track my food intolerances

Undiscovered food hypersensitivity or intolerance (lactose, gluten, fructose, etc.) reduces intestinal permeability, which promotes inflammation in the body and water retention. The result: the abdomen is full of fat and flatulence, which leads to transit disorders as a result.

In practice: To get rid of food intolerances, write down your feelings several hours after each meal, to try to identify the food problem. Then perform an evacuation test: temporarily exclude the suspected food, for 2 to 3 weeks, to see if symptoms subside, then reintroduce it little by little, in order to assess your tolerance threshold.

Plus advice: If you suspect several foods, don't eliminate them all at the same time, but go methodically one by one, in order to discern the real "culprit." Keeping a journal can help.

I take care of my sleep

Lack of sleep disrupts the biological signals of hunger. Lack of sleep stimulates the secretion of ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite. Also, the pancreas secretes more insulin, which prevents fat cells from breaking down overnight. That is why the body of people who sleep small (5 hours per night) is larger than those who sleep medium and large (at least 7 hours). The difference has increased over the years: the former has a 32% increased risk of covering themselves by an extra 15 kilograms at 16 years, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

In practice: to sleep like a baby, melatonin has proven its immediate effect: 1 mg at bedtime. Also bet on medicinal plants: valerian in case of frequent night awakening, or hawthorn and passionflower to facilitate sleep, at the rate of two capsules at bedtime.

Bonus tip: Make your bedroom completely dark: A US study from June 2019 proved that sleeping in the presence of bright spots (alarm clock, computer light, night light, etc.) raises BMI.

I regulate my tension

Occasional stress can lead to weight loss because it leads to an adrenaline rush that causes the body to burn more calories. But chronic stress has the opposite effect. By increasing cortisol levels in the blood, it leads to sugar cravings and blocks the action of leptin, the appetite suppressant hormone. A study from the University of Florida (USA) in April 2019 also showed that with the same calories, stressed people gain more fat than relaxed people. The culprit: a molecule, neuropeptide Y (NPY), which develops adipose tissue under stress.

In practice: You can learn how to manage stress better. The science of Sufism and meditation makes it possible to mitigate its influence. Hypnosis is also a good treatment.

A helping hand in homeopathy

Certain granules can help lift the brakes that prevent you from losing weight. If there is a hormonal disorder (menopause, hypothyroidism, etc.), take Baryta carbonica 9 CH (3 granules, 2 x / d). If it comes to stress-related kilograms: Ignatia amara 9 CH (2 grains 3 x / d). Finally, if you stop smoking: Antimonium crudum 5 CH (2 granules an hour and a half before each meal).

Sometimes drugs

In the long run, some drugs provoke hunger and alter the body's basic metabolism: corticosteroids, antidepressants, anxiolytics, some antiepileptics and antidiabetics, according to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (US). These adverse effects do exist but are not systematic. Feel free to talk to your doctor about this.

expert opinion

Dr. Reginald Alloush, a diabetologist and nutritionist, is the author of the Hepato-Detox Method (Albin Michel Editions).

To pack on more fat, you can speed up the movement for 1 minute, then return to your own pace for 9 minutes. Repeat this sequence 1 + 9 four times in a row. This is called the practice of division. "


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