Losing weight is one of the most difficult tasks you can set yourself. And sometimes all of your hard work, strict dieting, rigorous exercising, and even paying attention to your gut bacteria, doesn’t seem to do any good. Is there something you might have forgotten? Well, actually, yes. Your hormones. Hormones seem to be responsible for all your troubles. Mood swings, skin problems, constant fatigue, and even trouble sleeping – all of these can be attributed to your hormones acting up. But another thing that can be caused by those pesky hormones is gaining weight as they control your appetite, your hunger pangs, and the amount of fat your body stores. So, you need to get your hormones is check before you can start effectively losing weight. Here is a list, compiled by Stylecraze, of 9 hormones, what they do, and how to regulate their levels.
Insulin is produced in the pancreatic gland and its main purpose is to signal the skeletal muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb sugars from the blood and process them into energy. But insulin also stimulates lipogenesis, i.e. the converting of glucose from the blood into fats. It’s very important when you’re trying to lose weight to reduce your intake of sugar in order to maintain the optimal levels of insulin.
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells and its function is to regulate the energy balance by inhibiting hunger. The hormone controls your appetite by sending a signal to the hypothalamus of your brain. But sometimes you may become resistant to leptin, for example in case of an inflamed hypothalamus or an increased level of insulin. This resistance leads to an increased appetite and increased weight as well. To regulate your leptin-related issues, you need to lower your intake of food rich in fats and sugar, and exercise every day.
Ghrelin, or lenomorelin, is a hormone produced in the gastrointestinal tract which serves to regulate the appetite as well as the distribution and use of energy. This hormone acts on the hypothalamus increasing your appetite. When its levels are below normal, your body doesn’t know when you should eat and when you shouldn’t. Keep you ghrelin levels in check by limiting your intake of proteins.
Cortisol is also called the ‘stress hormone’ because it’s secreted by the adrenal glands in reaction to stress and low blood sugar. This hormone is the reason why whenever you’re stressed you feel the need for a lot of fatty food. When you’re trying to lose weight, you need to make sure your cortisol levels aren’t too high. Try to prevent unnecessary stress on your body by getting a good night’s rest as well as consuming the recommended daily dose of calories.
Gaining weight can be the result of both higher and lower levels of estrogen. This hormone is produced in your ovaries and it’s responsible for the regulation of the female reproductive system. To normalize your levels of estrogen, try consuming foodstuffs rich in fiber, as well as cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.
6. Neuropeptide Y
Neuropeptide Y, or NPY, produced by the brain, has many functions, including regulating your appetite, storing energy as fat, reducing pain perception, lowering the blood pressure, and others. When you fast or skip meals, the levels of this hormone rise. You can keep the NPY under control by consuming more protein and by eating at regular intervals.
7. Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1)
GLP-1 is secreted in the stomach and its main purpose is to regulate your blood sugar levels. This hormone is what tells you to stop eating because you’re full. If you have a GLP-1 deficiency, you will keep feeling hungry without knowing when is the time to stop eating. Keep your GLP-1 levels stable by consuming a lot of protein, especially whey protein, fish, and yogurt. Consuming these foodstuffs will also help in regulating your insulin.
8. Cholecystokinin (CCK)
This hormone is secreted in the gastrointestinal tract and it stimulates the digestion of fat and protein. It also acts as a hunger suppressant. The levels of this hormone in your body can be boosted by consuming meals rich in protein and healthy fats.
9. Peptide YY (PYY)
PYY is another hormone produced in the intestines that controls your hunger. Low levels of this hormone can have a very negative impact on your weight. To keep it in check, make sure you eat a lot of fiber and protein, while limiting your intake of carbohydrates.
* This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.