One of the things that we all need to be aware of is that weight loss and weight gain are activities highly regulated by hormones. According to research, hormones have major impact on appetite and the ability of the body to store fat.
Apart from exercise and diet, here are ways on how you can regulate your hormones in order to achieve healthy weight.
Insulin is produced by the beta cells found in the pancreas. The body produces small doses of insulin throughout the day, and in large disease after major meals of the day.
The main function of insulin is to absorb blood sugar to be used as energy or for storage purposes. The mechanism of action largely depends on what is needed at any one time. With this function, insulin is considered as the primary fat storage hormone in the body, It basically directs fat cells to store fat and prevents the breakdown of fat cells. A person who is insulin resistant suffers from increased blood sugar and insulin levels.
Those with chronically high insulin levels suffer from a myriad of health problems including obesity and metabolic syndrome just to name a few.
Here are tips on how you can maintain normal insulin levels:
- Make it a habit to avoid or minimize sugar intake
- Reduce carbohydrate intake
- Increase protein intake
- Eat Omega-3 fatty acids
- Magnesium supplementation
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells. It is also known as the satiety hormone as it gives you that full appetite. Its main function is to communicate with the brain region that regulates food intake. It essentially tells the brain that there’s enough fat in store and is no longer needed, thus it assists in preventing overeating.
People who are overweight or are obese have dangerously high amounts of leptin in their bloodstream. According to one study, leptin is found to be four times higher in people who are overweight or obese than people with normal weight.
Obese or overweight people are known to suffer from leptin resistance. In this case, the message to stop eating fails to send to the brain, thus people overeat. More energy is stored over time.
Two causes of leption resistance are:
- long-term elevated insulin levels
- inflammation in the hypothalamus
Here are things you can do to improve your leptin sensitivity:
- Regular exercise
- Sufficient hours of sleep
- Supplementation of fish oil or supplements that contain alpha-lipoic acid
- Anti-inflammatory food items such as fatty fish
- Avoid the intake of sugars, transfats, and inflammatory foods.
Ghrelin is most commonly referred to as the hunger hormone. An empty stomach signals the brain to eat. Ghrelin is at its peak levels before eating and at its lowest an hour after meals. People who are overweight or obese have low fasting ghrelin levels than those with normal weight. In addition, people who are overweight experience slight decline in ghrelin levels after meals, thus the brain still thinks that you need to eat more.
Here are tips to improve the function of ghrelin:
- Cut down your sugar intake
- Increased protein intake
Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenals. It is dubbed as the stress hormone, and is typically produced when the body suffers from stress. Cortisol is important for our survival. However this is true, high levels of cortisol may also result in bad effects such as overeating resulting in weight gain.
According to studies, women who carry extra weight around the midsection have higher levels of cortisol, but manage to respond to stress successfully.
Dietary restrictions may also lead to an increase in cortisol levels. Those who are under low-calorie diets have higher cortisol and are more stressed than those within normal weight.
Tips to regular cortisol levels:
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet
- Practice meditation
- Listen to soothing music
- Sleep more
Estrogen is considered as the most important female sex hormone. It is produced by the ovaries, and is primarily involved in the regulation of female reproductive processes. Abnormal levels of estrogen may also lead to weight gain. Some factors that may play crucial in a woman’s weight are age, action of hormones, and general state of health.
Estrogen plays a crucial role during a woman’s reproductive years. It starts by promoting fat storage during adolescent years. Women who are overweight are known to have higher levels of estrogen than women with normal weight. Environmental factors play a crucial role in the weight of women.
Here are some strategies that can help in regulating estrogen:
- Increased fiber intake
- Consumption of cruciferous vegetables
- Intake of flax seeds
- Regular physical exercise