Hormones are the most powerful chemical messengers in the body, and when it comes to weight loss and feeling well, can make it or break it. In addition to blood sugar control and insulin balance, Our hormone control metabolism and therefore are intricately connected to the amount of fat you gain or lose. In other words, burning fat and achieving successful weight loss is in fact partly a hormonal event.
The hormones involved in fat burning & fat storage are as follows-
Human Growth Hormone is a very powerful hormone that changes the chemistry of the body so that it starts using fat for energy instead of just sugar. It reduces the age of your metabolism. It turns the age of your metabolism to that of a younger body.
Some of the things HGH Does For You:
- It Increases calcium retention, and strengthens and increases the mineralization of bone
- Increases muscle mass
- Promotes lipolysis (breaking down fat for fuel)
- Increases protein synthesis
- Stimulates the growth of all internal organs excluding the brain
- Promotes gluconeogenesis in the liver
- Stimulates the immune system
It doesn’t take much to see how this affects your weight loss and fat loss progress. All the above allows your muscles to recover faster, grow stronger and burn fat (lipolysis).
Makes Your Metabolism Younger :
Internally, Hormones make your metabolism younger. If you are someone who used to be low fat and very lean when you were younger, and now you are having a difficult time getting there when it was so easy before, there is a different internal environment in your body. In fact, human growth hormones have also been regarded as an anti-aging agent. One of the changes in the amount of HGH that is released and present in the blood. As a person grows older, the amount of HGH produced decreases.
What Promotes HGH?
- Deep Sleep. Most HGH is secreted during deep sleep. 2
- Intense exercise (in particular resistance training)3
- Low levels of blood sugar (hypoglycemia)4
- Dietary protein
What Stops HGH Secretion?
Cortisol (which is caused by stress)
High Blood Sugar
Lack of Sleep
Relation between HGH & Sleep?
Other than exercise (intense), the bulk of your HGH is produced and secreted in deep sleep, especially in the first two hours of sleep so, this is the reason why fat is burned when you sleep and not during the exercise. Professional weightlifters and bodybuilders all make sure recuperation is a part of their entire program. This includes making sure there is enough sleep.
How Is It Increased?
Reduce cortisol levels- But reducing stimulants, eating nutritious water-rich foods & eating small & frequent meals.
Reduce high levels of Insulin- High levels of insulin will suppress growth hormone. Hormones also mean one must reduce or eliminate sugar from the blood to help increase growth hormone or restore normal levels of growth hormone.
It specifically, builds lean muscle which in turn can assist with fat burning. Testosterone changes your body shape into the shape that you want it to look like. It is formed in the testes, adrenal glands, and ovaries. It’s a fat-burning hormone. It increases lean muscle development and strength, mental and physical energy, and maintenance of muscle nutrition.
Few things that increase and decrease Testosterone for Fat Loss:
- Sleep (REM dream) increases nocturnal testosterone levels.
- Resistance training increase testosterone levels, however, in older men, that increase can be avoided by protein ingestion.
- Zinc deficiency lowers testosterone levels but over supplementation has no effect on serum testosterone.
- What does our Hormones say about our Body type?
Similarities to growth hormones :
The above list looks very similar to what increases human growth hormones. That is because testosterone follows where human growth hormone (HGH) goes.
Facial features :
Some of the effects that testosterone has been a but unique to changing appearance. The person has a more chiseled look. Testosterone decreases subcutaneous fat in the face and other fat deposit areas that are associated with children. Jawline becomes more defined and the body frame also becomes more defined. The shoulders broaden appropriately and the waist narrows. This gives both men and women a better body shape. This is particularly true for testosterone. The great news is that you just need to do the same things needed to produce HGH to produce Testosterone.
Insulin – like growth factor
Insulin-like growth factors are fat-burning hormones. It is stimulated by HGH. Its primary purpose is to provide fuel to your body in between meals. The way it does this is by releasing stored fat as well as stored sugar to create energy. It works together with insulin. Insulin regulated blood sugar during a meal. Insulin is an important hormone that carries sugar into the cells. But after the meal and in between meals, insulin-like growth factor raises the blood sugar level in between meals when blood sugar gets low it does so by breaking fat down. It has the ability to break fat down to increase blood sugar and is mainly secreted by the liver as a result of stimulation by growth hormone (GH), so human growth hormone is a prerequisite.
Almost every cell in the human body is affected by IGF-1, especially cells in muscle, cartilage, bone, liver, kidney, nerves, skin, and lungs. In addition to the insulin-like effects, IGF-1 can also regulate cell growth and development, especially in nerve cells, as well as cellular DNA synthesis.
In terms of creating a weight loss plan, the way this hormone comes into play is depended on the health of the liver. If the liver is weak, one will need to decrease the number of times you eat to stimulate this hormone. It’s only activated on an empty stomach. Also with a weak liver one wants to reduce the amount of fat and protein. The liver processes fat and protein after it is broken down and excess protein and fat will stress it out. When the health of the liver gets better then the person will need to increase the number of times they eat and can incorporate protein again.
If or the hormones it produces are working well one should be able to lose weight relatively easily. If it is not working well or the hormones it produces are not working well or in too little quantity, then there will be a barrier to weight loss and unexplained weight gain.
This gland is located on your neck. It is located below the adams apple for men and in the same location for women. It has a butterfly shape when you look at the body from the front.
T4 & T3
It does this through the hormones it produces. The two main hormones are thyroxine and triiodothyronine (pronounced try-iyodo-thy-roneen). They are also called as T4 and T3, respectively.
Thyroxine (T4) is produced in large quantity to T3 but is the not main active hormone that is produced. It is converted to triiodothyronine (T3). T3 is the hormone that does most of the work associated with this gland. It, however, is dependent on T4 to be produced.
What they regulate
These two estrones regulate a number of physiologic processes such as growth, development, metabolism, and reproductive function. Iodine is an important component of producing auxin triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) and its also important for normal function. To meet the body’s demand for T4 and T3, the gland traps iodine from the blood and incorporates it into its auxins that is stored and released into the circulation when needed.
In target tissues, T4, the most abundant circulating hormone, can be converted to T3 by selenium-containing enzymes known as deiodinases. Deiodinase (dee-iyo-din-ayse) is an enzyme in your body that are unusual because they contain selenium. Selenium is needed for the production of the thyroid hormones.
The regulation of thyroid function is a complex process & it involves the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. In response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) secretion by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland secretes thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which stimulates iodine trapping, T3 and T4 synthesis, and release of T3 and T4 by the gland.
The presence of adequate circulating T4 decreases the sensitivity of the pituitary gland to TRH, limiting its secretion of TSH. When circulating T4 levels decrease the pituitary gland increases its secretion of TSH, resulting in increased iodine trapping as well as increased production and release of T3 and T4.
Deficiency of iodine results in inadequate production of T4. In response to decreased blood levels of T4, the pituitary gland increases its output of TSH. Elevated TSH levels may lead to hypertrophy (enlargement) of the this gland, also known as goiter.
It also regulates body temperature carbohydrate beak down, mental clarity, energy levels, general well-being, vitamin absorption (all of which help weight loss), sex drive, skin moisture and nail strength.
Glucagon regulates and creates more sugar in the blood. When insulin converts sugar to glycogen the glucagon converts glycogen to sugar. When the body goes for several hours without glucose, glucagon will go to work trying to generate glucose. It does this by getting glycogen stored in the liver and breaking it down by activating an enzyme called as phosphorylase. Due to the rise in blood sugar the insulin is increased again to shunt the sugar into the cells.
When liver glycogen depletes the metabolism switches to using fat to form blood sugar. Liver glycogen depletes in about 24 hours without food. Physical activity will shorten this period.
So you can conclude here, that the liver being depleted of glycogen stores will eliminate a source of blood sugar. Without this, there become only two sources: Dietary sources or body’s glycogen stores.
In terms of dietary carbohydrate and whether it gets stored in muscle or the liver, a difference exists. Sugar in cakes and cookies for example is actually part fructose and glucose. Fructose is primarily used to refill liver glycogen stores and glucose is primarily used to refill muscle glycogen stores. After both are refilled then both are stored as body fat.
What about Fructose ?
The next thing is that, is the sugar in fruit is fructose. Sugar in fruit when consumed in moderate quantity has very little sugar content as they are full of fiber. Fruits also have so much micro and trace nutrients. So fruits in little quantities will not have fat-storing effects.
Glucagon muscle – destroyer :
As fat-burning is a much more complicated, involved and slower process than sugar burning the nervous system will select sugar burning over fat burning for energy creation.
So it will be easier for the nervous system to create blood sugar from glycogen stores in the muscle preferential to using body fat. In the process of creating blood sugar from muscle glucose the muscle protein is degraded to amino acids to convert to glucose. This is the muscle destroyer aspect of glucagon.
Trigger to Glucagon :
Where carbohydrate is the trigger for insulin, protein is the trigger for glucagon. Protein does trigger insulin but at around 30% strength. Also glucagon is triggered by too little food.
Glucagon is another ” Fat burning hormone ” that is secreted after exercise (intense). The key here is that unlike other methods of creating sugar in the blood, glucagon does so by breaking down body fat to do so.
Leptin is produced by your fat cells. It is considered a “satiety hormone” that reduces appetite and makes you feel full.
As a signaling hormone, its role is to communicate with the hypothalamus, the portion of your brain that regulates appetite and food intake. It tells the brain that there’s enough fat in storage and no more is needed, which helps prevent overeating. People who are overweight or obese usually have very high levels of leptin in their blood. As per one study, leptin levels in obese people were 4 times higher than in people of normal weight. If leptin reduces appetite then obese people with high levels of leptin should start eating less and lose weight. Unfortunately in obesity the leptin system doesn’t work as it should. This is called as Leptin resistance.
When leptin signaling is impaired the message to stop eating does not get through to the brain so it does not realize that enough energy is stored. In essence, brain thinks it is starving, so one is driven to eat. Leptin levels are also dropped on losing weight, which is one of the main reasons it is so hard to maintain weight loss in the long-term. The brain thinks one is starving, and pushes to eat more. Two potential causes of leptin resistance are chronically elevated insulin levels and inflammation in the hypothalamus.
Few suggestions for improving leptin sensitivity:
- Avoid inflammatory foods: Limit foods that causes inflammation, especially sugary drinks and trans fats.
- Eat certain foods: Eat more anti-inflammatory foods, such as fatty fish.
- Exercise regularly: Moderate activity can improve leptin sensitivity.
- Get enough sleep: Studies have shown that insufficient sleep leads to a drop in leptin levels and increased appetite.
- Supplements: In one study, women on a weight-loss diet who took alpha-lipoic acid and fish oil lost more weight and had a smaller decrease in leptin than those in a control group.
Ghrelin is known as a “hunger hormone.”
When your stomach is empty, it releases ghrelin which sends a message to the hypothalamus telling to eat. Normally, ghrelin levels are highest before eating and lowest about an hour after meal. However in overweight and obese people fasting ghrelin levels are often lower than in people of normal weight. As per studies after obese people eat a meal, ghrelin only decreases slightly because of this the hypothalamus does not receive as strong of a signal to stop eating, which can lead to overeating.
Few tips to improve the function of ghrelin:
- Sugar: Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened drinks, which can impair ghrelin response after meals.
- Protein: Eating protein at every meal, specially breakfast can reduce ghrelin levels and promote satiety.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Its known as a “stress hormone” because it is released when your body senses stress. Like other hormones its important for survival. However chronically elevated levels of cortisol can lead to overeating and weight gain. Women who carry excess weight around the middle respond to stress with a greater increase in cortisol. However, a strict diet can also raise cortisol. As per one study women who consumed a low-calorie diet had higher cortisol levels and reported feeling more stressed than women who ate a normal diet.
These strategies can reduce cortisol levels:
- Balanced diet: Follow a balanced, real food-based diet. Don’t cut calories to extremely low levels.
- Meditate: Practicing meditation can significantly reduce cortisol production.
- Listen to music:. Researchers report that when soothing music is played during medical procedures, cortisol doesn’t rise as much.
- Sleep more: One study found that when pilots lost 15 hours of sleep over the course of a week, their cortisol levels increased by 50-80%.
This is a peculiar hormone because it can be used both ways and it is equally effective for losing weight and fat as well as gaining weight. The purpose of this hormone is to transport nutrients into muscle cells. Glucose is one of them. When glucose in the blood rises, insulin is secreted and the glucose is transported via this hormone into the cells together with other nutrients. If it was not secreted to shunt glucose away, blood sugar levels from starch consumption would rise too high and induce coma and death.
Insulin has major benefits such as enhancing muscle growth, recovery, and repair by delivering to the muscles the raw materials needed for protein synthesis. It also inhibits muscle breakdown.
Promoter of Death
However, high levels of it lead to death by way of diabetes and heart disease. This is done gradually and slowly and the road is riddled with poor enjoyment of life and addiction to food. At the same time it lowers the fat set-point of your body. It makes it very easy to build fat. In a study published in Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology in 1978, rats that were injected with insulin had an increase in fat, and rats injected with glucagon had a decrease in fat.
The difficulty with insulin is that its secretion from the pancreas is very extreme in both directions. It is not fine-tuned. Insulin is usually secreted in excess amounts and when the muscles have received enough glucose and nutrients, they stop receiving the inflow of insulin and insulin is shut off as suddenly as it was turned on. Insulin then takes the sugar supply away and brings the glucose level too low. This is the state of hypoglycemia.
This is the sugar low you experience after eating a very starchy and sugary meal. So the drop in insulin now takes all the benefit away and prevents the muscle cells from receiving nutrition. Over a prolonged basis, muscles will atrophy.
Counterpart to IGF
Insulin is the counterpart to Insulin like growth factor and a chemical that acts like a hormone that comes from the liver. While IGF tries to raise blood sugar through lipolysis, insulin works to lower blood sugar. It gets the cells to absorb sugar and the sugar it does not absorb is converted by insulin to fat and cholesterol. In the presence of insulin, you will not be able to burn fat.
It blocks the human growth hormone and ALL the other fat burning hormone. So after reading about all the estrone relating to fat, you will see that it is an either-or proposition. Either fat burning or fat storing hormone are going to be present or dominant.
Focus on controlling insulin
With the group of people who cannot lose weight, insulin is the prime target. Lack of knowledge can also cause you to be eating foods that spike insulin.
Another Insulin myth : Protein in low GI
One of the byproducts of the Atkins craze is the idea that protein does not cause insulin spikes. Its false. Eating a large amount of protein in one sitting will cause an insulin spike. A small amount like 3 to 4 oz of meat will not. Granted, it is a smaller spike in insulin (about 30% compared to a starch) but still a large enough spike to cause problems.
So the Atkins diet that says you can have ‘liberal’ amounts of meats and cheeses has not worked consistently. People whose pancreas is more sensitive will release a lot more insulin. Also if the level of insulin resistance is high, insulin is not used by the cells and it converts the protein you eat to body fat.
Estrogen and fat are related. It is the antithesis of Testosterone. While testosterone is created by men and have certain effects on fat, estrogen is created by women from their ovaries. Estrogen produces fat. Because of the difference between estrogen receptors in men and women, you will find a natural difference in the difference between fat levels in men and women.
It’s produces fat around the female body. Fat cells also produce estrogen. Estrogen regulates the sexual development in the female body. It can also inhibit thyroid and liver function.
The problem with estrogen and fat is not about being a man or a woman. What has become evident is that both men and women now are exhibiting estrogen characteristics at younger ages. Both young boys and young girls are also exhibiting mature estrogen characteristics earlier and earlier in life.
Young boys are developing extra breast tissue and fat deposits usually associated with females. Young girls are also developing breasts earlier, beginning menstruation earlier and earlier, and girls are developing larger breasts. As a whole these, changes are date-coincident with increases in obesity and obesity in younger and younger people in the US.
There is also evidence that immigrants and visitors coming to America will develop one or more of these characteristics, but almost always increases in fat. However, upon returning to their homeland, they lose all these symptoms.
Estrogen in the environment
The common denominators are two things: Hormones in the animals we eat and toxic chemicals in the environment that mimic estrogen.
In America animals grown for meat are grown in mass quantities. They are sold by weight. Not lean muscle mass. Doctors have known about the effects of hormones for five decades. Animals grown for meat production are fed extra hormones and specific diets to increase their weight. Increasing muscle is helpful but it is also expensive. Increasing fat is cheaper. It is cheaper because it is faster. Estrogen causes excess fat.
We eat these foods and ingest these estrogens. So do our children. So even an Atkins or South Beach Diet can cause a person to ingest foods that contain hormones that cause fat to be created.
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