Weight Loss Secrets: Battling Fat with Hormones
Hormones make you crave things you shouldn’t be eating. Your body’s fluctuations regulate almost all aspects of your weight, including where fat is stored, and when you get hungry. In fact, fat cells themselves stash numerous hormones.
You might not know this, but you can make hormones work to your advantage. Consider the following strategies to help you take control of these influential chemicals.
Leptin is one of many hormones fat cells produce and are the main component of appetite regulation. Studies show that excessive body fat can result in a condition called “leptin resistance”, which doesn’t affect your brain, despite your body containing significant levels of it. Though it isn’t known why this occurs, it is suspected that fat cells emit inflammatory chemicals that inhibit leptin production, which forces your body starts to believe it’s hungry. Even though that’s not the case, your body thinks it needs to compensate for what it thinks is a threat to its functionality, and as such, metabolism decelerates. As a result, your brain transmits hunger signals, making you eat more foods high in calories.
Keep it balanced: fortunately, resistance to leptin can be tackled with exercise and diet. Consider eating a cup of vegetables prior to 10am every day. Research has found that those who do so tend to undergo fewer cravings as the day progresses. In addition to containing fiber the body needs, vegetables are full of essential vitamins and antioxidants that can decrease inflammation that meddles with leptin, and in turn, aids in elevating the burning of fat and the reduction of cravings.
Hormones: Serotonin and Cortisol
Ever thought about why a busy day makes you want to stuff your face with food full of empty carbs? It’s because your adrenal glands emit cortisol, which is a stress hormone. That reaction is intended to provide you with a burst of energy for fleeing or fighting, which can sometimes stay at high levels as a result of constant stress. As such, you’re motivated to hunt for high-carb or sugary foods.
Studies show that cortisol makes you store fat around your stomach. Serotonin has the reverse effect: it mellows you out and is an organic appetite suppressant. Actually, Belviq, which is an FDA-approved weight loss drug, functions by elevating the activity of serotonin in the brain.
Keep it balanced: To achieve the same effect, drug-free or without sugary and high-carb foods, eat foods rich in folates, such as asparagus, lentils, and spinach. Your brain makes use of the B vitamins in such foods to produce serotonin. Also, ensure you get enough sleep each night – research has discovered that cortisol levels can double as long as you get a good night’s rest.
Each time you drink something full of sugar or eat an empty-carb meal, you elevate your blood sugar. In response, your body releases insulin, pulling supplemental sugar (glucose) from your bloodstream. If you eat excessive bread, pasta, bread, or candy, insulin may convert those extra calories into fat. In some situations, excess calories can result in a resistance to insulin, which makes cells less reactive to the hormone, leading to diabetes
Keep it balanced: You can regulate how much insulin your body generates, and how your cells react to it, by eating fewer foods that produce high blood sugar spikes. Based on a Circulation study, soft drinks make up for 1/3 of the extra sugar in our diets, so taking them off the board would be most beneficial. Replace refined and process carbs, such as white bread and pasta, with fiber-rich foods to decrease the bloodstream’s sugar absorption levels, in order to produce a more balanced response to insulin. As a plus, the fiber will aid in making you feel full using fewer calories. Space out your snacks and meals so that your portions are smaller when consumed. Eating at more regular breaks throughout the day is another approach to strategically controlling insulin and glucose levels.
In 2015, research from the Nature journal found a way to make white fat turn brown. In other words, turning the fat that gets stored into the kind that burns calories away. The secret lies in being exposed to a fairly new hormone called irisin, which is generated by muscle tissue and emitted while you exercise. Additionally, the hormone might aid in lowering resistance to insulin.
Keep it balanced: working out is the best way to increase your irisin levels and therefore generate more calorie-burning brown fat. According to Nature’s research, irisin levels doubled on a stationary bike training program consisting of 4-5 20 to 35-minute sessions each week for 10 straight weeks. An alternative approach to elevating irisin levels is to tweak your thermostat. Cooler temperatures could make the white fat you have stored behave like brown fat, modifying your metabolic rate substantially to induce weight loss. Another study discovered that a pair of people who spent a couple of hours in a 64Â°F room burned 15 times more calories than they did at room temperature upon dipping their feet into ice water. Doing so regularly could, in theory, burn as much as 9 lbs. annually!
Chemicals in Disguise
Hormones aren’t just produced by our bodies – they’re also found in the products we consume. Consider the following places where hormones that induce weight gain lurk:
- Scented products: most shampoos, cosmetics, shampoos, and household cleaners contain chemicals named phthalates, which help smells linger in the air. However, being exposed to high levels of phthalates has been associated with being overweight. Keep your eye out for phthalate-free labeled products instead.
- Canned food: several cans are coated with bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical similar to estrogen. Tomatoes and other foods high in acid can force BPA to attach itself to the contents of the can. Keep your eye out for alternative packing or BPA-free cans instead.
- Nonstick cookware: pregnant women with high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in their bodies are three times as likely to be overweight than women with the opposite levels. Non-stick cookware is coated with PFOA, so instead, use stainless steel or iron pots and pans.