25 Dec 4 Hormones that Have A Big Impact On Weight Loss
The are many factors that impact how quickly you gain or lose weight.
The most obvious ones include how many calories you consume each day, which kinds of foods you eat, and how often you exercise.
Another contributing factor that is rarely discussed is the impact that hormones have on weight loss.
Researchers have found that hormones can actually play a significant role in determining how quickly you gain or lose weight.
They can have an impact on various physiological process relating to weight, including how glucose is processed in the body and where fat is stored.
In this article, I’ll take explain what hormones are and take a closer look at 4 hormones that can have a big impact on weight loss.
By being aware of these hormones and the role they play, you will be able to lose weight more efficiently and have a better understanding of the impact of hormones on your health.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers that are created by the endocrine glands.
They are secreted into the blood and transported to organs and tissue throughout the body to exert their influence.
Hormones can control or influence most major bodily functions, including:
- Development and growth
- Metabolism of food
- Energy levels
- Sexual function and reproductive health
- Mood and cognitive function
- Maintenance of body temperature
The endocrine glands that produce most of the hormones in the body include the testes, ovaries, pancreas, adrenal glands, thyroid, thymus, pineal gland, and pituitary gland.
Hormones are very powerful and even a small deficiency or surplus of a specific hormone have a dramatic impact on your health.
A small boost in testosterone levels, for example, can help you build muscle mass more effectively and increases your energy levels.
Which hormones can have an impact on weight loss?
There are several hormones that are capable of making physiological changes which can impact your weight.
Some of their effects include:
- Increasing your appetite
- Making you crave high-energy foods, which are usually unhealthy
- Changing your blood sugar levels, which impacts your energy levels and fat accumulation
- Changing where fat accumulates in your body
- Changing how efficiently your body metabolises food
These hormones include:
Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, regulates the body’s response to stressful situations.
When you encounter physical or mental stress, the pituitary gland tells the adrenal glands to release more cortisol, which will trigger a range of physiological changes including:
- Elevated heart rate
- More glucose being added to the blood for energy
- Changes to metabolism
- Higher alertness
- Higher blood pressure
Unfortunately, if you suffer from chronic stress, you may often have elevated levels of cortisol in your body.
This can sabotage your weight loss efforts by causing weight gain, severe fatigue, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and headaches.
You may be able to reduce your cortisol levels using stress reduction techniques like meditation, getting more sleep, exercising more often, and eating a balanced diet.
However, if you believe your cortisol levels are still high after using stress reduction techniques, speak to your doctor.
Insulin is an important hormone that is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.
It also replenishes the muscle’s energy stores and determines when excess sugar is stored as fat.
If you eat too much sugary food, your body’s insulin levels will become very high, as it tries to safely manage the incoming glucose.
Unfortunately, regularly overloading the body with insulin can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where the muscles, body fat, and liver stop paying attention to insulin levels.
As a result, your blood sugar levels may reach dangerous levels and it may become very hard to burn fat efficiently.
Avoid inulin imbalances by eating a healthy diet with low-glycemic foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and lean meat.
Leptin is a hormone that is produced by the body’s far cells.
Its primary role is to tell the brain when your stomach is full.
If you eat large amounts of sugary foods, it will store additional fat in your body, which in turn, produces more leptin.
Eventually, the body can become leptin-resistant, which makes it difficult for you to know when your belly is full — resulting in over-eating.
Avoid leptin imbalances by restricting the amount of sugary foods in your diet.
Oestrogen is an important sex hormone that is responsible for the development of female sexual characteristics including breasts and wider hips.
It also helps to regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Oestrogen and progesterone (another female sex hormone) are mostly produced in the ovaries, but it can be converted into other forms of oestrogen located in the fat tissue, adrenal glands, breasts, and liver.
Men can produce oestrogen through an enzyme called aromatas.
This enzyme can convert testosterone into estradiol, a form of oestrogen that is stored in the muscles, liver, brain, and fat cells.
When a women reaches menopause, her oestrogen and progesterone levels will begin to fluctuate and will begin to fall.
Unfortunately, this can result in the body storing more visceral fat — which is fat that is located deeper in the abdomen, around vital organs.
This type of fat is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat, which resides under the skin.
Women who have medical conditions that have resulted in imbalanced oestrogen and progesterone levels can also suffer from this kind of unexpected weight gain.
For men, an imbalance between their testosterone and oestrogen levels can also lead to weight gain.
If you are going through menopause and are concerned about fluctuating hormone levels causing weight gain, your doctor can prescribe hormone replacement therapy.
Both men and women concerned about hormonal imbalance should eat a balanced diet containing plenty of vegetables to limit hormonal fluctuations.
Processed foods, sugar, and red meat should also be avoided and a doctor should be consulted if necessary.
Reducing the risk of hormonal imbalances with lifestyle
There are several changes you can make to your lifestyle to reduce the risk of hormonal imbalances which can interfere with your weight loss, including:
Avoid foods that rapidly increase insulin levels
Limit your intake of alcohol, sugar, white bread, and other processed foods.
Drink green tea
Green tea contains amino acids that help you remain calm, reducing stress levels.
Eat foods containing glucagon
Protein rich foods like eggs, lean beef, chicken, cheese, yoghurt, fish and turkey can lift your glucagon levels — a hormone that speeds up fat cell metabolism.
Reduce your stress
Stress really is the enemy of weight loss.
Check out this great list for some ideas on stress reduction.
Get more sleep
The body uses the time you spend sleeping to balance your hormone levels.
Improve your diet
Keep improving on your diet, with a strong focus on adding more fruits and vegetables.
Thanks for reading 4 Hormones that Have A Big Impact On Weight Loss.
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