Fat-regulating hormones are the body’s natural defense against excess fat storage. When these hormones are in balance, your body is much less likely to store excess calories as fat. By working to keep these fat-regulating hormones in check, you can reduce your risk for obesity and related diseases.
Growing levels of these hormones trigger the release of other chemicals that signal the brain when you’ve consumed enough food for now with more than enough calories stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles.
When the body senses that it has an adequate supply of energy, it stops the production of fat-regulating chemicals and signals to your brain that you’re ready for more food. It’s important to know how each hormone works so you can take measures to keep them balanced on a daily basis and protect yourself from future obesity.
The Body Regulator
More than 100 types of hormones are present in the body. Hormones are simply chemical messengers that direct the cells. From breathing to sleeping, hormones are involved in everything we do. The functioning of our hormones is affected by a wide variety of factors. For example, physical activity, our mood and stress level, and the nutrients we provide to our body all influence our health.
The Hormone Wrecker
Eating habits contribute to hormonal imbalances. Toxins are everywhere. They enter the body with every breath we take. Toxins in processed foods clog up and contaminate our bodies. Consequently, day after day, year after year, toxins build up in our bodies, impairing our cells’ ability to utilize the nutrients we provide them with.
It is truly unnerving to realize that most people hardly take in the essential vitamins and nutrients their bodies require. In other words, the modern Western diet contributes to hormonal imbalances.
Hormones are like trains. They have a destination and know where to go. However, they don’t know the best route. The foods you consume act as signals to direct the hormone. In simple terms, the right foods are the key to leading the hormone to its destination, where it can deliver the right signal at the right time. However, eating the wrong food will lead the hormone in the wrong direction.
Basically, if you eat well and exercise but still cannot lose weight, it is likely due to your hormones. In many cases, hormones act as a barrier to fat loss.
7 Key Weight-Related Hormones
Fortunately, it is possible to break through the hormone barrier. Among the many hormones in your body, seven are essential to fat loss. By controlling them, you will be able to shed those unwanted pounds. Leaving them unmanaged will only lead to further weight gain.
The 7 key hormones that affect your fat loss are:
This hormone is essentially the body’s fat-burning torch. It signals the fat cells to release fat and uses it for energy. It is also a regulator of a person’s rate of metabolism. Yet many people have chronically low adiponectin levels. This can result in Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Obesity.
The amount of adiponectin in the body is closely regulated by several hormones. One such hormone, insulin, appears to play a role in the synthesis of adiponectin, although the actual concentration of the hormone in the body is not known.
Rather than taking an adiponectin supplement, the best way to increase your levels is to increase your consumption of foods like ginger, turmeric, and chili peppers.
Insulin is produced from the pancreas when we take in sugar (glucose). It has several functions, the main one being to regulate blood sugar levels. The carbs we eat are broken down by the body to produce glucose, which is the main energy source for the cells. Insulin allows the cells in our muscles, liver, and adipose tissue to take up and make use of this glucose.
Glucose that the cells cannot use is converted and stored as fat. This provides energy reserves to be used when glucose levels drop too low.
To regulate insulin release, take a couple of shot glasses of apple cider vinegar before your biggest meal of the day. Also, balance your carb intake with protein at every meal. Finally, focus on eating low glycemic index carbs such as fruits and vegetables, beans, and rolled oats.
The connection between ghrelin and obesity is complicated, but the good news is that lifestyle changes can help to regulate the balance of these important hormones. Ghrelin is known as the hunger hormone. Too much of it will make us always hungry. Keeping ghrelin levels in check is the number one way to control your bingeing and hunger pangs.
Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and the hypothalamus. It is also secreted in the brain and small intestine, and regulating the level of ghrelin can prevent a yo-yo effect. Its production is mainly controlled by food and sleep. Carbs and proteins restrict ghrelin production, making us feel fuller sooner.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep to stabilize ghrelin levels. If you want to keep your ghrelin levels under control, you need 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. In addition, you should eat plenty of nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods that will fill up your stomach. Examples are Jerusalem artichokes, oats, nuts, and red apples.
You’ve probably heard about cortisol and its effects on fat metabolism. Often thought of as an evil hormone, cortisol is actually an essential part of your body’s metabolism. In fact, cortisol has been found to be an important fat burner when released in the right amount.
In some circumstances, though, it can be destructive. Chronically elevated levels or chronic suppression of cortisol can make the hormone unbalanced, resulting in a variety of negative health consequences. it’s the hormone released in response to stress. Whenever levels of cortisol are high, your body stores fat. Like ghrelin, cortisol robs you of muscle tissue and causes cravings.
Cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands and released into the bloodstream. It has the functions of controlling blood sugar and reducing inflammation. In response to stress, the hypothalamus in the brain releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
This, in turn, leads to the release of the 3 key stress hormones; cortisol, noradrenaline, and adrenaline.
Deep breathing has been proven to reduce stress. Taking a few deep breaths will calm you down and decrease your stress levels. For example, breathe in for a four-count, hold for a count of 7, then breathe out for eight. Other stress-lowering techniques include mindful meditation, journaling, and yoga.
The pancreas produces glucagon to increase glucose levels. It also breaks down carbohydrates for energy. Glucagon is inhibited by consuming too many carbohydrates, resulting in the storage of excess glucose as fat.
The solution to elevated glucagon levels is to eat a high protein, low carb diet. Plan to get 20-30 grams of high-quality protein at each meal. Here are 5 awesome options …
- Chicken Breast
As opposed to ghrelin, leptin alerts the brain when we are full. It is triggered by our fat cells. Therefore, as the fat on your body increases, so does leptin. It may sound good, but too much leptin can numb the brain’s response to the hormone. Consequently, our bodies will no longer recognize when we are full. We don’t want that to happen.
Leptin is also one of the reasons that restrictive dieting is not a good idea. When we cut back drastically on our food intake, our fat stores shrink and the amount of leptin reduces. This produces hunger cravings.
It would help if you eat smaller meals in order to optimize leptin levels, allowing you to feel slight hunger pangs between meals. It will only take a few weeks for your brain to start responding correctly to leptin signals. You should also avoid restrictive calorie diets.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has also been shown to help elevate leptin levels. In terms of diet, focus on getting a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Sleep is also an important part of the leptin equation.
This hormone stimulates our fat-burning system, resulting in rapid calorie expenditure. A HIIT workout is the most efficient way to stimulate the release of norepinephrine in the body. There is also evidence that caffeine and green tea increase norepinephrine levels.
Unless and until you balance your internal body regulators, you are never going to be able to affect change on the outside. Taking the time to regulate your hormones will allow you to get your body’s orchestra playing in unison. Once you’ve done that, you’ll finally be in a position to reap the rewards of your exercise and nutrition efforts.