You probably recognize testosterone, estrogen and HGH as hormones. Perhaps not as commonly recognized, is the vital role that hormones play in maintaining a healthy weight. If you are trying to lose weight this year, understanding how to harness the power of four key weight loss hormones is crucial for burning fat, controlling hunger, building muscle and much more.
Let’s look at the hormones responsible for helping regulate your weight:
GHRELIN: Ghrelin is your hunger gremlin. It is produced in your stomach and works with your brain to signal that you are hungry. Reducing calories, in an effort to lose weight causes an increase in ghrelin. Even after 12 months of reduced calories research shows that ghrelin levels remain elevated. In other words your body never adapts to eating less and continues to send hunger signals. This is why maintaining weight loss is often harder than losing the weight. It is also why in our office we do not focus on counting calories. Our focus is on changing the type of food you eat, not how much you eat.
LEPTIN: Leptin is a hormone released from your fat cells. Leptin interacts with your brain to get your body to eat less and burn more calories. The more body fat you have, the more leptin your fat cells will release. However, too much body fat leads to too much leptin being released – a condition called leptin resistance. When this occurs your brain becomes numb to the signals sent from the leptin. To maximize leptin sensitivity you should get adequate sleep and pack your diet full of anti-oxidant rich berries as well as green and red vegetables. Losing weight also enhances leptin sensitivity and provides momentum – the more weight you lose, the more effective leptin will become in your body.
INSULIN: Insulin aids in exercise recovery, muscle building and maintaining optimal blood sugar levels. However, insulin and carbohydrates are very tightly linked and when carbohydrate intakes are high and insulin is left to run wild in your body it can inhibit the breakdown and burning of stored fat. The more carbohydrates you eat the more insulin will be released and therefore the less stored fat you will burn. To optimize insulin for fat loss, get most of your carbohydrates from vegetables and some fruit. Limit grains and starches to smaller portions directly after exercise.
ADIPONECTIN: Adiponectin is another hormone released from your fat cells. But unlike leptin the leaner your body is the more adiponectin your fat cells will release. Adiponectin enhances your muscles’ ability to use carbohydrates for energy; boosts your metabolism, increases the rate in which your body breaks down fat and curbs your appetite. You can maximize your adiponectine levels by moving more during the day (getting leaner) and replacing carbohydrates in your diets with monounsaturated fats (olives, avocados, nuts, coconut, etc.).
What do all weight issues have in common? Inflammation! We can show you how much inflammatory damage is being done to your body with a simple non-invasive procedure that takes only a few minutes. Normally this test is valued at $125.00 but if you call for an appointment before March 1 you can have it at no charge.
Don’t wait to accomplish your weight loss goals – swimsuit season will be here before you realize it and more importantly your health is at stake NOW. Find out how much inflammation is in your body and how to harness the power of your hormones – call us today at (770) 993-4425.