How Your Hormones Affect Your Body Shape

I used to think that our body shapes were solely determined by Mother Nature, which may  be only partially true, but through some research I found out that body shape was not always the direct result of an apathetic attitude toward working out and mother nature. Various body shapes can develop from improperly functioning glands or organs,

Leaders within the medical community, like Eric Berg, DC are finally clarifying body shape issues and their links to hormone imbalances in ways that the average person can understand. If you’ve ever had a hard time losing weight, keeping the weight off, have stubborn fat areas, gaining weight, or food cravings , I can guarantee that hormones are to blame. If you don’t believe me, then think about the person you know who can eat anything he wants and can still stay skinny. How? Yes, it’s  his high metabolism, but metabolism is controlled by hormones, 6 fat burning hormones and 3 fat making hormones to be exact.

A hormone is a chemical messenger in the body that is produced by endocrine glands in small amounts, released into the bloodstream, then carried to other parts of the body, where they cause specific changes in body function.

endocrine-system

The endocrine system, also called the hormone system, consists of many glands-such as thyroid, pancreas, thymus, ovaries, adrenals, parathyroids, and also the controlling pituitary pineal and hypothalamus glands. They are a complex system and communicate by sending messages to each other via the release of hormones into the bloodstream.

The endocrine system can get damaged by over consumption of excess sugar, alcohol, low calorie diets and exposure to toxic chemicals, which can disrupt or block glandular function.

I really think this clarification about metabolism should be addressed ALOT BETTER in today’s culture. Western Medicine does a horrible job about recommending everyone going on a traditional diet. Unless you understand your body, and know how your foods react to YOUR OWN body, the traditional ways of losing weight make most (not all) hormonal body functions worse. I will explain my rant in the part two of this post, where I will show you the before and after of my body after I stabilized my hormones.

But for now I want to give all my readers an overview about the relationship between the four main body shapes and hormones. In a major discovery, it was found that alterations or weaknesses in the functions of our glands or organs can contribute to different body shapes or distortions, which are largely designed by the accumulation of excess fluid and fat. Here is a description of the four main body types (1) and a summary of the medical findings that are associated with each type.

Adrenal Type

The body’s endocrine system is responsible for the production of hormones within glands that are located throughout the body. Everybody is originally equipped with two adrenal glands, and they are found above each kidney. These adrenal glands are the  stress glands of the body.

adrenal-glands
The lighter shade section are the adrenal glands, right over the kidneys

These glands secrete hormones that regulate blood sugar and energy production that is especially important to humans when they need to respond to imminent danger. However, if a person experiences chronic, sustained stress, the adrenal glands begin to malfunction. The result is the accumulation of unwanted belly fat that the body mistakenly thinks is necessary to protect vital organs. Besides an overwhelming amount of stress, the adrenal body shape type is caused by consuming too much sugar, starches and stimulants like coffee (2).

An ideal healthy Adrenal Body Shape would be the far left, while the consecutive ones following the first on are signals of a stressed out body.

adrenal-1

        The Adrenal body type will have a tendency to a sagging belly and a buffalo hump.

Nutrition for Adrenal Body Type

Adrenal body types tend to crave fatty and salty foods because these foods provide the most stimulation to the adrenal glands. When too much of these types of foods are consumed, the adrenals can become overstimulated, which can lead to weight gain. To combat this, adrenal body types should consume foods that are low in salt and fat, such as fresh fruit, low fat dairy products and whole grain carbs.

Thyroid Type

Your thyroid resides in the front of your lower neck and is about 2 and a half inches wide, and makes hormones that control the metabolism in all your cells.

 

Thyroid-location

The hormonal body shape known as the thyroid type occurs when a person easily gains weight all over their body as a result of impaired thyroid function. Thyroid disorders can cause a host of physical problems that manifest beyond just a lumpy shape. The thyroid, which is responsible for setting your body’s metabolic rate. Your metabolism affects energy production, fat burning, nutrient absorption and mental acuity. I found that medical professionals like doctors Abravanel and Morrison recommend to cut out sugar, caffeine and refined carbohydrates.

Just a note, if you take vitamins you may find that they really don’t contribute to your health. It will go right in and out of your system, your body won’t able to absorb these nutrients.

 

thyroid-1

The THYROID body type will collect fat all over the body and especially in the limbs.

Thyroid Type Nutrition

Thyroid body types should cut down on what he calls “thyroid stimulating foods,” like sugar, white flour, white bread , sour dough breads & pasta and white rice. Eat eggs, as well as vegetables, chicken, fish and moderate portions of red meat. In the beginning, some people may want to eliminate fruit, as it may contain too much thyroid stimulating sugar. Limit carb intake to whole grains, and completely eliminate caffeine.

Ovary/Gonad Type

The ovaries are female reproductive glands about the size of a large almond, one ovary located near each side of the uterus. The ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control the development of sexual organs and secondary sex characteristics, including the placement of the fat layer around the body.

Ovaries

For , women whose ovaries produce too much of the sex hormone called estrogen often develop distinctive pouches of fat on their lower abdomens that no amount of crunches can remove. Many women with this body shape correlate

Ovary Body Shape

The OVARY body types will have fat collected on the hips and thighs

When the ovaries become dysfunctional they can produce an excess of estrogen, which can cause more fat production or storage. It has been observed that there may be an association with the ovary body distortion, exhibited by an enlargement of the lower abdominal region (below the belly button), hips and buttocks.

For women in their childbearing years trying to conceive, having over-productive ovaries isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But for other women, it can cause saddlebags and that dreaded lower belly pooch. Sugar is a big trigger for the Ovary Body Type

(Just take a look at my pre post sugar body for proof!!) Unfortunately, the added sugar leads to more cellulite and the breakdown of muscle proteins.  Sugar has a toxic effect on our bodies, but especially this body type.

Ovary types can also suffer heavy periods and develop facial hair and acne, especially during that time of the month. Anything that is “cyclic”, such as headaches, PMS, bloating, and depression, can occur frequently with the ovary type, oftentimes during ovulation or about one week before a menstruation.

Nutrition For Ovary Type

Keep in mind that the sex glands are more active at night, so that is when their largest protein meal should be consumed. This body type should not eat a large meal or snack right before going to bed or they will not sleep well.

Avoid chips, spices, heavy creams, butter, desserts, caffeine, fats, oils, pork, organ meats, sugar, ice cream and all fried foods.

Load up on a great deal of vegetables, essential fatty acids, moderate amounts of fruit and low to no meat. Meat has no fiber and often contains synthetic hormones and other chemicals that exacerbate ovary hormone issues. Unless you get grass-fed beef that’s been treat without antibiotics and hormones.. 

Liver Type

The liver is the largest organ of the body weighing in at 3-pounds, and located under your right rib cage. It is a major organ for filtration and detoxification. Some of its other hundreds of functions are digestion, sugar storage and regulation, immune system responses, and important components of the bloodLiver position anatomy woman isolated

Although women can have bulging stomachs, the phenomenon that is also known as a “beer belly” is most prominently seen on men. This bodyshape type is directly related to an impaired liver and is called the liver body type.

 

liver -body-type

A liver type body will often crave the foods that will stress the liver even more, like fatty/fried foods, chocolate or alcohol. These body types typically have thin legs and a protruding belly (called ascites), which is basically the liver leaking a plasma-like fluid into a sac just above the intestines. Because a liver type has this belly pooch, people often equate them to having a fat stomach, but in reality, they actually have low body fat. Even if the person is 300 pounds, when most that weight in their belly, a lot of it could be fluid. People always incorrectly assume that all weight is equated to fat, when that isn’t necessarily so.

Nutrition for Liver Type Bodies

Researchers recommend that people with this condition stay away from foods and beverages that impair liver function like those that contain excessive amounts of sugar, fat and alcohol. Naturopath doctors also recommend the consumption of foods like leafy greens, garlic and beets that support liver detoxification (4).

Conclusion

Understanding what hormones regulate your metabolism is the first step in learning how to set your body up for optimal fat loss. Everyone has a unique resting metabolic rate determined by the amount of lean muscle they have, genetics (DNA makeup), and hormonal balances.

The secret to successfully increasing your metabolism and burning fat revolves around creating the optimal hormonal balances for maximizing your metabolic rate.

You probably already know that calorie restriction dieting can cause your metabolism to slow down and bring weight loss to a halt. The good news is metabolic slowdown doesn’t have to happen. Once you understand why it happens, you can take a number of steps to avoid it.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 to see how I combated my hormonal issues and drastically changed my shape.

 

References

1. http://thescienceofeating.com/2015/07/23/are-your-hormones-affecting-your-body-type/
2. https://www.sharecare.com/health/endocrine-system/how-hormones-affect-shape-body
3. http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/hormone-reset-diet
4. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/liver-cleanse-foods/

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