How to Balance Hormones to Lose Weight: A Holistic Approach

by Mara Welty November 10, 2023 7 min read

 how to balance hormones to lose weight

Think of hormones as air traffic control. They oversee and manage the intricate system of signals and responses within your body, ensuring that different processes take off and land smoothly — at the right times and in the right places. Without hormone balance, much like without air traffic control, there would be chaos and disarray, and the body's various functions would struggle to stay organized and coordinated.

In addition to playing a role in growth, development, reproduction and mood, certain hormones help regulate metabolism, hunger and fullness. Thus, hormonal balance is critical in order to maintain a healthy weight.

That said, various factors can disrupt hormone production, which can lead to weight gain or make it more difficult to lose weight.

What Hormones Play a Role In Body Weight?

Knowing how to balance hormones to lose weight first requires you to know which hormonesaffectweight. These hormones include:


Insulin regulates how the body absorbs glucose, which comes from the carbohydrates and sugary foods we eat. Produced in the pancreas, insulin helps the body store glucose in the muscles, liver and fat cells. When the body needs energy, it’s able to access this ready-made fuel. Since we get glucose from the food we eat, more insulin is produced after we eat to facilitate its breakdown and storage.

However, some people have insulin resistance. This means that even when the pancreas does produce adequate insulin levels, the body’s cells cannot respond to it correctly. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood since it’s not moved to storage. This causes blood sugar levels to rise, which can, in turn, cause:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision
  • Illness

To combat insulin resistance, the pancreas makeseven moreinsulin. This triggers the body to convert glucose to fat, thus leading to hormonal weight gain.

To balance your insulin levels to support weight loss, it’s recommended to limit foods that are high in carbohydrates and added sugars, since this can trigger insulin production. For example, you’ll want to avoid:

  • Fruit juices, soda and fountain drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Processed snacks, convenience meals and boxed foods
  • Sugary foods like baked goods, candy and ice cream
  • Refined grains like white bread, rice and pasta
  • Fried foods
  • Foods high in saturated fats, like chocolate, butter and red meat

Also, increase the amount of fiber in your diet through foods like chickpeas, apples, almonds and avocados. This can improve how sensitive your body is to insulin — which is a good thing. The more sensitive your body is to insulin, the more effectively cells will respond to the hormone when it’s produced. 


Your body fat releases leptin to tell your brain, or more specifically, your hypothalamus, that the stomach is full. Thus, if your body doesn’t need calories, it won’t be signaled to eat more. Effectively, leptin is essential in maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding overheating.

However, people can also experience leptin resistance. In this case, the message to stop eating never arrives to the brain. This can result in binge eating and weight gain. Being overweight can also cause leptin resistance. 

Unfortunately, balancing your leptin levels isn’t possible. However, you can make lifestyle changes to help manage the effects of leptin resistance. These include:

  • Watching what you eat – Since being overweight can cause leptin resistance, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight through a well-balanced diet. If needed, make a running tally of how much you’ve eaten in a day to make yourself aware of whether you may be overeating.
  • Exercising more often – To lose weight naturally, it’s critical to maintain a calorie deficit. In other words, you need to eat fewer calories than your body uses. While you can facilitate a calorie deficit through your diet, exercise can also help you burn off additional calories, which may have a positive impact on your weight loss efforts.
  • Improving your sleep quality – Some research has found that poor sleep may also contribute to leptin resistance, particularly in people who are overweight. To avoid this, make time in your night to wind down and create a comfortable sleeping environment. You can do this by lowering the lights, using essential oils and avoiding phone or television screens in the hours leading up to sleep.


Ghrelin is the “hunger hormone.” Naturally, it sends messages to tell the brain when the stomach is empty and in need of fuel. While it’s primarily produced in the stomach, small amounts of ghrelin are also produced in the brain, small intestine and pancreas.

In addition to triggering hunger, ghrelin also:

  • Helps with body fat storage 
  • Triggers the release of growth hormones
  • Regulates insulin production
  • Protects the muscles
  • Plays a role in metabolism

While people who are overweight have lower ghrelin levels than the rest of the population, their bodies are more sensitive to the hormone, which can cause them to binge on food and overeat.

On the flip side, restricting calories in an effort to lose weight can actually increase ghrelin levels in the body, increasing your appetite. Your metabolism will also slow down, meaning your body will burn fewer calories

To help keep your hunger levels and hormone production in check, you can watch your diet and food consumption, increase your activity level and work to improve your sleep schedule. 


Cortisol is the stress hormone. The adrenal glands, located in the kidneys, produce this hormone when you’re feeling stressed or nervous. In addition to controlling your stress response, cortisol also helps to regulate your metabolism and how your body uses the fats, carbs and proteins you consume.

Accordingly, it can also impact inflammation, blood pressure, blood sugar and your sleep-wake cycle.

In fact, stress can cause your body to enter a “fight or flight” state of being. Adrenaline levels increase and your pancreas also releases more sugar to give the body energy to react to an external threat.

When you experience stress, continued elevated cortisol levels can negatively impact your health. It can make it more difficult to fall asleep and complete day-to-day tasks. High cortisol levels can also cause weight gain.

To return your body to homeostasis, you can attempt to balance your cortisol levels by:

  • Prioritizing a restful sleep
  • Staying active
  • Practicing mindfulness through meditation, yoga or journaling
  • Avoiding foods with added sugars, refined grains and saturated fats


Estrogen is a female sex hormone, but it’s also present in people assigned male at birth (AMAB) — only in smaller amounts. In people assigned female at birth (AFAB), estrogen regulates various reproductive processes. It’s responsible for creating the lining of the uterus and stimulating ovulation. It also causes body changes experienced during puberty and when you’re expecting.

During menopause, estrogen levels decrease. Accordingly, people AFAB may experience vaginal dryness, mood changes, night sweats and hot flashes. Low estrogen levels can also contribute to the accumulation of body fat around the lower body. People who experience weight gain may also encounter unhealthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as well as heart issues.

To regulate your estrogen levels, you can:

  • Maintain a healthy weight or start a healthy weight loss journey
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid red meats, processed foods, sweets and refined grains

Neuropeptide Y

This hormone has a strong influence on your appetite and eating behaviors. Specifically, it can increase your appetite when produced in the brain and nervous system. 

Interestingly, when neuropeptide Y floods the brain, you may find yourself craving carbohydrates, such as starchy and sugary foods, more than anything else. It can also make you more inclined to eat with urgency.

That’s because neuropeptide Y is most often released after a period of fasting, and it can cause you to eat larger meals. It also works to delay feelings of fullness, encouraging you to eat more and more. If neuropeptide Y production becomes dysregulation, it can cause weight gain. To avoid unwanted weight gain  and begin losing weight, consider:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Monitoring your food intake
  • Eating nutritious foods
  • Avoiding unhealthy fats, sugars and carbs

Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1)

Like leptin, GLP-1 (a hormone that lives in the gut) indicates to the brain that the stomach is full and reduces your appetite once you’ve eaten. But, that’s not all it does. GLP-1 also helps regulate blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin production, but only when the body is experiencing high blood sugar levels. 

It also slows the rate at which food empties from the stomach and into the small intestine, making you feel satiated for longer. As such, GLP-1 production can slow the rate at which nutrients enter the bloodstream.

GLP-1 may not work as effectively in people who are overweight. To balance your GLP-1 levels you can:

  • Consult with a healthcare provider about GLP-1 agonist medication
  • Add probiotics to your diet to support gut health
  • Increase your intake of whey protein to increase GLP-1 levels

Balance Your Diet With INVIGOR8

Various hormones can impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. Fortunately, through lifestyle changes like a nutritious diet, you can help regulate how your body functions and return it to a state of homeostasis.

If you’re wondering how to increase your protein intake, the nutritious (and delicious) meal alternative INVIGOR8 organic superfoods powder is the choice for you. Crafted with probiotics, digestive enzymes and green veggies, the Superfood Shake protein powder ingredients create the perfect start to a healthy morning routine by supporting weight loss, controlling hunger, building lean muscle mass, and burning fat. And, it’s nutritionist-approved. 

If you’re looking to take your weight loss journey one step further, you can also check out our entire weight loss kit, which includes our superfood shake, as well as our signature appetite control support supplements and unflavored collagen peptides.



  1. Endocrine Society. Hormones and Endocrine Function
  2. Medical News Today. Diet tips to improve insulin resistance
  3. Cleveland Clinic. Ghrelin
  4. Cleveland Clinic. Estrogen
  5. Healthline. 9 Hormones That Affect Your Weight — and How to Improve Them 



About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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