Managing Your Weight During the Holidays

Between the stress of the holidays and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are plenty of  factors that might lead to your scale showing slightly higher numbers than the beginning of this year. Seasonal weight gain varies from person to person, but there are a few factors that can lead to a few more pounds during the winter months. Cortisol levels, testosterone, and thyroid health can all lead to an increase in body weight and body fat or be the reason why you can’t lose weight. 

Take control of your health as you prepare for the holidays and get a head start on your 2021 resolution to lose weight. 

Cortisol 

Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol is a naturally occurring steroid in your body that fluctuates depending on stress levels, depression, and anxiety. Vital for controlling blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, and regulating blood pressure, high cortisol levels have been proven to slow down your metabolic rate as well. While you should always get levels tested to know your cortisol levels, some key indicators of an unhealthy level can include acne, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and headaches.

Lowering your cortisol levels with healthy behaviors such as exercise, relaxation, normal sleeping patterns, and even laughing more can go a long way in improving your metabolic rate and mental health. 

Testosterone

While most people only associate testosterone with males, it naturally occurs in both genders. Responsible for metabolizing carbs, fat, and proteins, testosterone is a key factor in losing weight and getting your body back on track. 

Having a healthy testosterone level can lead to increased muscle production and reduced body fat. High levels of testosterone can lead to heart attacks, liver disease, and high blood pressure. However, if your body is not producing enough testosterone you may have a slower metabolism and an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. Key contributors to low levels of testosterone can include:

  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Erratic sleep schedule
  • High cortisol levels

How much testosterone your body produces changes over time and naturally tapers off with age. Getting tested to know where your levels are compared to where they should be can help provide a roadmap for a healthier you in the coming months and 2021. 

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

Produced by the pituitary gland in your brain, the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) helps the thyroid gland function correctly which impacts brain and body development, digestion, and weight gain or loss.

Hypothyroidism occurs when your TSH levels are too low and may lead to fatigue, weakness, hair loss, depression, memory loss, and increased sensitivity to cold temperatures. However, Hyperthyroidism is when your TSH levels are too high. During Hyperthyroidism, you may experience difficulty sleeping, nervousness, vision changes, fatigue, and sensitivity to heat. 

While females are more likely to experience thyroid dysfunction than males, getting your TSH levels tested is important to both genders. Essential to your metabolism, healthy levels can help burn body fat, naturally produce glucose which helps break down carbs, and regulate your internal body temperature. 

What’s Next? 

Having a healthy understanding of your cortisol, testosterone, and TSH levels can help you determine the lifestyle changes necessary to lose weight and keep your body healthy for the future. Take control of your weight loss journey and put your body in the best position possible for losing weight with ARCpoint Labs’ Health Panels. Get the information you need from people you can trust when you find your local ARCpoint Labs and schedule your appointment. With a variety of tests available without a doctor’s order, you can find out where your levels line up to where they should be, and start planning your weight loss roadmap. 

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