7 Hormones That Lead To Weight Gain And How To Control Them

In most cases, weight gain is equally associated with overeating and unhealthy eating. However, it can be caused by several hormones going bonkers. To the majority of us, gaining weight is simple and does not equal to losing weight.
A number of triggers such as genes, stress, age, and lifestyle cause hormonal imbalances leading to weight gain or even obesity.
The food and mood team at KWisepsychology.com has come identified 8 hormones that have proved to cause imbalances in the body causing weight gain. Besides, we present various ways to keep these hormones under control. Keep reading!


Which Hormones Cause Weight Gain And How Do We Control Them?

1. Insulin 



Insulin is one of the hormones secreted by the pancreas and helps in transporting glucose to other cells to supply energy or as storage as fats. Thus, regulating blood glucose levels.

Excessive intake of unhealthy snacks, alcohol, processed foods, and artificially sweetened beverages causes the body to develop insulin resistance. When this happens, the muscles fail to recognize the glucose-bound insulin resulting in high amounts of glucose remaining in your bloodstream. This leads to an increase in blood sugar levels causing a weight increase and diabetes type 2.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Start simple exercises and give it at least 4-5 hours per week. The exercise can include morning or evening walks, runs or jogs, rope jumping, etc.
  • Increase your water intake. You can start with at least 3 to 4 liters of water daily
  • Improve your levels of omega 3 fatty acids. This can be improved by introducing nuts, olive oil, fatty fish, or flaxseed to your diet.
  • Increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruits. This can be achieved by getting the seasonal fruits and vegetables.


2. Testosterone



It’s basically referred to as a male hormone as it is produced in large amounts by men; however, it is also secreted by women. Its main functions are assisting in fat burning, strengthening muscles and bones, and libido improvement.

High stress and aging cause a significant decline in hormone testosterone in women leading to loss of muscle mass, bone density, and obesity.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Exercise or work out more often. This improves the testosterone levels
  • Take protein supplements
  • Reduce or avoid alcohol intake
  • Introduce high fiber foods in your diet such as whole grains, flaxseed, or pumpkin seeds.


3. Thyroid Hormones


The thyroid gland; located at the base of your neck produces hormones T3, T4, and Calcitonin which are all responsible for maintaining metabolism in your body.

Limited production of these hormones is referred to as hypothyroidism which is associated with weight gain due to excessive accumulation of water instead of fat making you appear fat.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Take vitamin D supplements
  • Avoid raw vegetables and have more well-cooked foods
  • Consume foods that are rich in zinc such as pumpkin seeds and oysters.
  • Eat iodized salts


4. Progesterone


The levels of both progesterone and estrogen in the body are supposed to be balanced for normal functioning. However, at times the progesterone levels increase due to a variety of reasons. These factors include; birth control pills, stressing situations, menopause, among others. This can in turn lead to depression and weight gain.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Practice meditation
  • Try to avoid or minimize stress
  • Have regular exercises


5. Estrogen


Commonly known as the female sex hormone. Estrogen imbalances in your body lead to weight gain where high levels of estrogen are caused by an estrogen rich diet or overproduction of the same.

An increase in estrogen production in your body stresses the insulin production cells making it resistant to insulin. This causes an increase in blood sugar/glucose levels in the body resulting in weight gain.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Eat more of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetable
  • Exercise more regularly
  • Avoid consumption of processed meat
  • Avoid alcohol intake


6. Ghrelin

Also known as the hunger hormone and secreted primarily by the stomach. Ghrelin increases the deposition of fats and also stimulates appetite. There is a high secretion of ghrelin when you follow a fasting or a strict diet plan.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Ensure you eat after every 2 to 3 hours
  • Drink around 2 glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before a meal
  • Introduce more fresh fruits, proteins, and vegetables in your diet


7. Leptin


Leptin is a hormone that inhibits hunger and also regulates body energy balance. When we eat more foods high in sugars, the excess sugars in the form of fructose are converted to fats and deposited in various body organs. These fats cells in turn secrete leptin.

On excessive secretion, the body gets desensitized to leptin causing the brain to stop producing signals of satisfaction with food.

How Do We Avoid It?

  • Consume more of dark green leafy vegetables
  • Stay away from processed foods
  • Have enough sleep; the recommended is 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugars and specially processed sugars.


When not all of us are familiar with these hormones, we are pretty sure that you are now aware of what hormone causes your weight gain and probably how to control it. We are always happy to engage with you in the comment section


food and mood

Food And Mood: Mental Health, Mind And Eating Habits to Improve Mental Well Being

Being in the know of what foods and drinks we should eat and what to avoid at all costs might be very confusing, and especially when the advice you get to keep changing now and then. However, reliable sources reveal that what you eat does not only impact your physical health but also your moods.

Improving your diet helps you to:

  • Attain mind clarity
  • Improve your mood
  • Have more energy

How Do You Manage Your Mood With The Food You Consume?

Below are some of the tips to explore the relationship between what you eat and how you feel;

1. Stay Hydrated

Having enough fluids enables your mind to think and concentrate clearly. Lack of enough fluids has lots of damage and discomfort such as constipation which apparently puts no one in a good mood.


  • Doctors recommend you to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid in a day
  • Water being cheap and easily available to most people is the best option
  • Smoothies, juices, coffee and tea can all be added to your daily fluid count, although not the best in large quantities since they may contain caffeine and sugar.

2. Get Enough Protein

Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins, which make up the chemicals your brains require to regulate your feelings and your thoughts. It also helps you feel full for longer hours.

  • Good protein is in: eggs, fish, legumes (lentils, beans, and peas), lean meat, nuts, soya products and seeds such as pumpkin seeds


  • It is good to find more info on other proteins that may be available and good for your health to broaden your protein sources.

3. Consuming the Right Fats

Your brain is in a constant need of fatty acids such as omega -3 and -6 to keep working well. Instead of avoiding all fats, it is wise if you eat just the right ones.

  • The good fats are found in avocados, nuts (such as almonds and walnuts), oily fish, poultry, sunflower oils, eggs, milk and yogurt, cheese, olive, and seeds (like pumpkin and sunflower).


  • Try as much as possible to avoid anything that lists as “trans fats” or “partially hydrogenated oils” in the list of the ingredients. It can be tempting and especially when you feel low but it’s not good for your mood and physical health in the long run.

4. Protect Your Gut

In most your gut reflects your mental and emotional well-being. When you are stressed or anxious, your gut either slows down or speeds up; same as your bowel movement. You need foods high in fibre, fluids and exercise for normal and healthy digestion.

  • Foods for a healthy gut include whole grains, fruits, pulses, vegetables, yogurt and probiotics, beans, tubers such as sweat potatoes, arrow roots etc.


  • Give your gut time to adjust to your new eating habits, make the changes slowly and also allow yourself time to adjust
  • If you feel stressed and you think it is translating to your gut, then try some breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.

5. Manage Your Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is a stimulant, this means it will give you a quick burst of energy but may disturb your sleep (and especially when you have it few hours before bed), which may make you feel depressed and anxious. If you stop suddenly, it will give you withdrawal symptoms.

  • Caffeine products: coffee, chocolate, tea, cola, and manufactured energy drinks.


  • If you happen to consume too much caffeine products, try to switch to decaffeinated varieties
  • You might notice some feeling better moods when you take less or avoid caffeine products all together

6. Getting To Your 5 Meals A Day

Besides main course meals, fruits and vegetables contain high contents of vitamins, minerals and fibre important to keep you both mentally and physically healthy.

Having a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis if possible you will get a wide range of nutrients. 


  • All kinds of fruits and vegetable count in the 5 a day meal plan (fresh, tinned, juiced, dried and frozen)
  • The general rule should be a small bowl portion or the average glass.

7. Eat Regularly

Eating regularly while choosing foods that release energy slowly helps in keeping your sugar levels steady. Irregular eating habits affect your blood sugar levels and the effect is feeling tired, depressed and highly irritable.

  • Slow-release energy foods are oats, rice, wholegrain bread, cereals, nuts, seeds, and pasta.


  • Avoid foods that cause your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly as they translate the same to your mood too. These foods include sugary drinks, alcohol, sweets, and biscuits.
  • Having balanced breakfast kicks the day off with a good start.
  • Try eating smaller portions spaced out regularly throughout the day instead of having large dinner and lunch meals.

Managing Medication

Several foods are dangerous to eat while under certain medications. Examples:

If you are taking buspirone (commonly used to manage anxiety), you may need to avoid taking grapefruit and grape juices. This is because grapefruits affect the way the enzyme breaks down the medication. This causes the absorption of the drug to be too much or too little.

Antidepressants such as MAOI is not very compatible with fermented, smoked, dried, spoiled pickled or hung. When foods are exposed to the air, the tyramine component rises in the foods. Interactions of MAOI and tyramine can be very dangerous. You may also avoid caffeine products.

If you are taking lithium, then you may need to manage the level of salt intake

Your physician will give you any information if there is a need be before prescription and possible risks or side effects if there are any.