Hormones that Affect Fat Loss
by Cora Penafiel
In order to lose weight, there are hormones that make our bodies react to the activities we do to lose weight. Some people have a hard time losing weight because of those hormones. However, by knowing about the hormones, you can improve your weight loss efforts by “tweaking” them to help you be more effective.
One of the most powerful hormones that affects weight loss is insulin. Insulin is the body’s blood sugar regulator, and high levels may contribute to significant weight gain. If you take in a lot of carbohydrates, it could lead to high blood sugar levels, and because of this, there is a significant increase of insulin production in the body. Insulin production is the natural response of the body if there are remarkably high blood sugar levels present.
If the sugar in the body is not converted into energy fast enough for the maintenance of safe blood levels, the blood sugar will be converted into fat, which will then be stored by the body. Inevitably, we gain weight, and the cells in our body might become resistant to insulin and fat loss.
In addition to insulin being lipogenic, which refers to the production of fat, it also has a quality that can affect many weight-loss programs; it can also be antilipolytic. This means that insulin also works to stop the breakdown of fat, so that diets that promote foods with high-insulin output will encourage the natural response of the body, which can inhibit weight loss.
When the body is stressed due to things that may displease you, there is a terrific production of cortisol, which is also being secreted if there is a lot of insulin produced. Cortisol is also called the stress hormone. The body responds to the production high cortisol by lowering the levels of a certain hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, which is an extremely powerful hormone that significantly influences the enhancement of muscle. Having more muscle than fat is our ultimate goal. For fat loss
, more muscle mass is needed as it increases fat burning and reduces insulin.
Chronic stress stimulates the fat cells, causing the body to store fat. Fat cells that are found in the abdominal wall possess more cortisol receptors than the cell membranes, so stress will encourage the fat cells in your stomach to retain more fat. Each time we are stressed, the mechanism that produces cortisol turns on and our body will store more fat.
Another hormone that can adversely affect weight loss is leptin. Leptin is produced by the adipose tissue. It binds to the cells’ nuclei in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that controls your satiety. Because of the binding of leptin to the nucleus of the hypothalamus, the nucleus tells the brain that the body has had enough to eat, thus giving a feeling of satiety to the person. However, a small number of people have a homozygous mutation of the leptin gene that creates a constant demand for food. Because of this, they may have severe obesity.
Unfortunately, this type of condition often compounds itself. If the body produces a large amount of leptin to fulfill the requirements of the process, there can also be higher tolerances and reduced efficiency. Though no complete manipulation of this hormone has been discovered, there have been some short-term benefits you can experience through the administration of recombinant human leptin through injection.
There is also the hormone serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the brain that is made out of amino acids found in proteins. Like leptin, it also sends messages to the brain that the body is satisfied and has eaten sufficiently to meet our needs. If there is low serotonin in the body, it can cause depression, obesity, lethargy, and a desire to eat refined carbohydrates. This makes serotonin an extremely influential hormone for dieters. Low levels of serotonin may also lead to overeating since the brain believes the body is starving. Some people who experience an extremely low production of serotonin produce a large amount of cortisol. If you have a diet that restricts protein-rich calories, this may cause you to have a low serotonin level.
There is a glandular condition, known as hypothyroidism, that can also affect your struggle against weight. It can affect as much as 30 percent of the population. The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of the neck; its function is to control the energy flow of the body. Hypothyroidism is caused by a low thyroid that reduces the fat-burning rate, causes fatigue, and restricts energy levels.
If you have a shortage of thyroid hormones in your body, you will feel terribly sluggish. For example, slowed digestion causes constipation. A body that has a sluggish metabolism might experience excessive weight gain and a sudden rise in cholesterol levels. Not only that, the brain will also need the hormones produced by the thyroid to improve the production of highly powerful hormones like serotonin. To sum it up, hypothyroidism not only leads to lethargy and weight gain, it can also give you depression.
In discussions of weight loss and hormones, sometimes testosterone and estrogen be forgotten. These are typically the male and female hormones. As we age, the production of these hormones tends to just stop. Testosterone can stimulate males with high energy and can also produce fat-burning benefits. The female hormone estrogen, on the other hand, actually promotes the storage of fat in women. In this case, a decrease in estrogen levels in the body can, therefore, be beneficial in your weight-loss program. Unfortunately, there are a lot of conditions that call for the addition of estrogen to the body, and it is needed to ease women through menopause. Although it has beneficial effects for menopause, it can be a hindrance to your struggle to lose weight.
There are many hormones in the body which can be either useful or harmful to weight control efforts, but by "tweaking" the hormones that affect your weight loss, it might help your body to improve its performance by keeping you fit and giving you the body you dream of.