Hormones affect weight loss and fat storage. But how?
Hormones are signaling molecules essential in fat breakdown and storage. They influence the energy expenditure in the body and avail other health benefits. Hormones take part in nearly every bodily process associated with obesity, metabolism, body fat distribution, appetite, and a significant role in body weight.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels
Fluctuating hormone levels result in weight loss or gain and accumulation of fats in specific areas in the body. People with obesity have hormones that encourage the accumulation of fats and abnormal metabolism in their bodies. Glands known as endocrine are essential in secreting hormones into the blood steam. It also works with the immune system and nervous system to help the body cope with various types of stresses and events. Deficit or excess hormones may lead to obesity and obesity can lead to hormonal changes. Here are common hormones affecting body weight, and fat distribution and how to have them at healthy levels.
The thyroid secretes hormones that are essential in metabolism regulation, the overactive thyroid gland releases too many thyroid hormones which keeps the body in a hypermetabolic state. In such a state, the body burns more calories. It is known as hyperthyroidism. Underactive thyroid is linked with low thyroid hormone levels which leads to less energy expenditure. This state is known as hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is associated with weight loss while hypothyroidism facilitates weight gain.
Insulin regulates blood sugar, absorption of glucose, and controls fat building process. It stimulates the conversion of fatty acids to fat molecules which are stored in the body as fat droplets. When you consume large amounts of carbohydrates or sugary substances, they trigger the production of insulin from the pancreas. Excess amount of glucose and calories are stored in the liver and when the storage is full, insulin converts them into fats and store them by creating fat cells, especially around the belly.
Insulin also facilitates your body to hold these fats thus discouraging fat burn. The benefit of Cutting down on sugary and refined curbs is weight loss. when you limit your consumption of sugar, your body will not convert extra glucose into fats and with a proper diet and exercise routine, you will be able to shed weight and achieve your goal weight quickly.
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Pexels
How to control insulin to lose weight
Limit the consumption of refined sugar and white flour
Consume a lot of fruits and vegetables rich in fiber: Intake of fiber makes you feel satisfied. This prevents the accumulation of unhealthy junk. Fiber slows digestion therefore blood sugar will not react quickly and insulin levels will stay more stable
Increase your protein consumption: Consuming lots of protein such as eggs, soya, and lean meat helps in fat burn and helps in firing up your metabolism which results in weight loss
Avoid a sedentary lifestyle: Engaging in physical activities may help boost your hormones and metabolism. Exercise also helps in regulating insulin levels
Avoid intake of processed food: intake of processed food with high preservatives and sugar causes a rise in insulin levels. Consider cutting out all forms of processed foods for body weight loss
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells in adipose tissue that helps in the regulation of body weight and energy storage. It signals the brain, particularly to an area called the hypothalamus. Leptin alters your food consumption and controls energy expenditure for some time. As body fat decreases, leptin levels reduce which signal the brain to think that you are starving. As you pack more fats in the body, leptin levels rise to dial down your appetite while boosting your metabolism which may help to put the brakes on weight gain.
How to improve your leptins
Maintain a healthy weight: leptin resistance is associated with obesity; therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. A decrease in body fat may help reduce the levels of leptin
Make sure you get enough sleep: people with the obesity need to Improve their sleep since leptin is related to sleep quality
Engage in a lot of exercises: consistent exercise is linked with a decrease in leptin levels
Estrogen is a sex hormone essential in regulating the reproductive, skeletal, immune, and vascular systems. High levels of estrogen which is popular in people with obesity may affect body fats and weight which results in risks of chronic ailments. Low levels of estrogen may lead to central obesity. This is the accumulation of weight on the trunk of your body and may lead to various health problems such as hypertension, high blood sugar, and heart diseases. Lack of estrogen causes blood sugar to be less effective and makes the body use starches which facilitates fat storage making it harder to lose weight. High levels of estrogen and low levels may affect body weight and ultimately lead to risks of various diseases.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels
How to maintain healthy estrogen levels
Follow a balanced diet: diet such as refined grains, red meat, processed foods, and sweets have shown increased levels of estrogen, which raises the risk of various chronic diseases. You should limit the consumption of these types of food for better estrogen levels
Exercise regularly: low levels of estrogen may make you feel less capable of doing exercise. Exercise is an important aspect that aid in weight management
Manage your healthy weight: bodyweight management reduces several risks associated with a low level of estrogen such as heart disease
Cortisol hormone is a glucocorticoid (steroid hormone) vital for body stress response. It stabilizes blood sugar level which affects appetite, reduces inflammation, and help burn fats into energy. A high level of cortisol in the bloodstream increases appetite causing insulin resistance and slowing the rate of metabolism. This leads the body to store calories and fats to cope with stress which in turn results in weight gain. When you reduce stress, your cortisol levels will reduce aiding balanced weight management.
Photo by Total Shape on Pexels
How to manage stress symptoms and maintain cortisol level
Reduce alcohol and coffee consumption
Engage in about 15 to 30 minutes of exercise daily
Ensure you have enough sleep
Enjoy nature and go outdoors to relax your mind
Reach out to your therapist, friends, family, and social support system
This hormone is produced by the nervous system and cells in the brain. It reduces energy expenditure. Considering NPY facilitates food intake, it is associated with weight gain and obesity. It is activated in fat tissues; therefore, it increases fat storage which leads to metabolic syndrome and abdominal obesity. Neuropeptide mechanisms that lead to obesity may be accompanied by inflammation response leading to worsening of health conditions.
How to maintain your NPY levels
Consume a nutritious diet: high sugar and fat foods increase NPY hormone levels which may lead to obesity and weight gain. Consider limiting the consumption of food high in fat and sugar
Exercise: regular exercise help in decreasing the levels of neuropeptide
Hormones are the main contributing factors to fullness, metabolism, fat distribution, and control of hunger, which influence bodyweight. Conditions such as body fat percentage, stress, inadequate sleep, and other medical issues can Impact your hormonal health. You can achieve hormonal balance and promote weight loss by:
Minimizing intake of insulin-stimulating foods
Ingesting essential fatty acids to support your hormonal health
Drinking a lot of water (stay hydrated)
Engaging in exercise as it is an effective way to lower cortisol response
Ensure you have adequate sleep
A balanced and nutritious diet, managing stress, diagnosing underlying health conditions, and participating in physical activities are scientifically supported ways to promote and maintain hormonal regulation and bodyweight.