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Balance These 7 Hormones to Lose Body Fat

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Kaitlyn has a background in psychology and writes articles that teach you how to lean on your body, mind, heart, and on those around you.

By Max Nikhil Thimmayya. CC0 Creative Commons

By Max Nikhil Thimmayya. CC0 Creative Commons

If you’ve ever been on hormonal contraception, suffer from thyroid problems, or have a chronic hormonal imbalance, you would know how big of a role hormones can play on your weight. Hormones are chemicals produced by your body that act as messengers that control all your bodily functions, from basics like sleep and hunger to the more intangible processes like mood and emotions.

Here are 7 essential hormones that work to control your weight, and how you can manage them to help you lose weight.

Poll: Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

By Lisa Fotios. CC0 Creative Commons

By Lisa Fotios. CC0 Creative Commons

1. Ghrelin: The Hunger Hormone

Ghrelin is produced in your stomach. This hormone is responsible for telling your brain that you’re hungry. Unfortunately, it is also the hormone that prevents you from adapting to a long-term low-calorie diet. When dieting, ghrelin production will increase, which is why you always feel hungry when on a reduced calorie diet. This is also why it’s so hard to maintain the weight you lost after coming off the low-calorie diet.

Manage this hormone: Intense exercise will reduce ghrelin levels, which is why exercise is so crucial in helping you reach your weight loss goals and maintaining long-term weight loss.

2. Leptin: The Metabolism Booster

Leptin is released exclusively by your fat cells and tells your body to burn more calories and to eat less. Because leptin is produced by your fat cells, the more fat you have, the more leptin you’ll produce. But hold on, before you reach for that tub of ice cream in the freezer, know that there is such a thing as too much leptin. If you have too much body fat and are releasing too much leptin, your brain will stop responding to the hormone; a phenomenon called leptin resistance.

Manage this hormone: To keep your leptin sensitivity at its maximum, make sure you get enough quality sleep and pack berries and fresh vegetables into your diet. When you lose weight, your leptin sensitivity will increase, supporting you on your weight loss goals.

3. Adiponectin: The Lean Hormone

Unlike leptin, more of this hormone is released as you lose more body fat. This hormone makes it easier for your muscles to use carbohydrates for energy. It increases your metabolism, reduces your appetite, and helps your body burn fat at a faster rate.

Manage this hormone: Work to lose body fat by moving more and cutting down on empty carbohydrate so your body will release more of this hormone.

4. Insulin: The Recovery Hormone

Insulin isn’t just for regulating your blood sugar levels. This hormone is also crucial for recovering from workouts and building lean muscle. When your diet is too heavy on the carbohydrates, your insulin levels will skyrocket and can prevent your body from breaking down and burning stored fat in your body.

Manage this hormone: Instead of getting your carbs from white bread, sugar, and other processed starchy grains, focus on vegetables, fruit, and other complex carbs.

5. Glucagon: The Fat Burning Hormone

Glucagon is a hormone that counteracts with insulin. Insulin helps your body store fat, glucagon helps to break down the stored fat and releasing the energy into your bloodstream so your body can use it as energy to fuel your body.

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Manage this hormone: Similar to how you manage insulin levels, back away from carbohydrates (particularly highly processed carbs) and focus on lean proteins like salmon, chicken breast, and legumes.

6. Cholecystokinin (CCK): The Satiety Hormone

CCK is released by your intestines when you eat fat or protein. This hormone tells your nervous system that you’re full and works with your digestive system to slow down the rate of digestion. The combined effect is that you’ll feel full for an extended period of time. This is why protein and fat keep you feeling full longer.

Manage this hormone: To make sure you’re making enough CCK, include enough protein and fat in every meal, so you don’t get any cravings an hour or two later.

7. Growth Hormone: The Muscle Builder and Fat Burner

The growth hormone isn’t just great for keeping you looking young. The growth hormone is also fantastic for losing fat because it tells fat cells to break down so your body can burn the stored fat and turn it into energy to fuel your daily activities.

Manage this hormone: Increase the growth hormone naturally in your body by regularly doing hard workouts like interval training and making sure that you sleep enough so your body can recover. Your body will release more growth hormone to repair your muscles after every workout, which will help you gain more lean muscle mass and to burn fat more effectively.

Joining a support group can help you stay motivated to reach your weight loss goals and to give and find advice on dealing with similar issues. Knowing you’re not alone will help you feel less alone and embarrassed about your shifting hormones.

By bruce mars. CC0 Creative Commons

By bruce mars. CC0 Creative Commons

How to Get Your Hormones Balanced

For maximum health, it’s better and more straightforward to work on balancing all your hormones at the same time instead of focusing on one particular hormone. Here are a few tips to set you on the right track.

1. Exercise More

This may be hard to do when your hormone imbalance is making you feel tired and unmotivated. But pushing yourself to go to the gym and getting more exercise will elevate your mood, regulate your hormones, and reduce the adverse effects of hormonal changes.

2. Eat Better

Add more fiber and protein into your diet to keep you full for longer and to regulate your blood sugar. When your blood sugar rollercoasters it can also throw your hormones and mood out of whack. As you improve your diet, you’re also encouraging your body to release more of the hormones mentioned above that will help you lose weight.

3. Connect With Others

Joining a support group can help you stay motivated to reach your weight loss goals and to give and find advice on dealing with similar issues. Knowing you’re not alone will help you feel less alone and embarrassed about your shifting hormones.

4. Have a Chat With Your Doctor

Sometimes medical intervention may be the best option. If your hormonal imbalance feels out of your control, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor may suggest some possibilities like hormonal replacement therapy to control your hormones. They may also be able to recommend more personalized strategies to deal with your symptoms so you can stay motivated to accomplish your weight loss goals.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2018 KV Lo

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