If you ask someone whether they know any hormones that aid weight loss, most of the people end up mentioning the thyroid hormone. It may surprise you but there are actually many hormones that have an impact on weight loss and fat burn. These hormones help us in getting lean and strong in different ways. They help in directly stimulating metabolism or breaking down of body-fat stores for energy. They also support the growth of metabolically active muscles and help in stimulating fat loss. Let us discuss some of the weight loss hormones and how they can aid in weight loss.
Optimize Hormones as Fat-Burning Weapons
- Insulin: Insulin is one of the most important hormones that aid in weight loss. Insulin plays a vital role in your body and is responsible for maintaining optimal blood sugar levels, muscle building, and recovery from exercise. There is a strong connection between insulin and carbohydrates. If your carbohydrates intakes are high, insulin can inhibit the breakdown and burning of the stored fat. Try choosing your carbohydrates from veggies and fresh fruits and avoid grains and starches.
- Thyroid Hormones (TSH, Free T3, and Free T4): One of the most important fat-burning hormones, these hormones drive almost every cell in your body. The hormone is secreted by the thyroid gland and is responsible for the metabolism process of your body. Thyroid hormones are quite sensitive to your lifestyle choices including your nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress etc. if you want to influence these hormones, you should not diet chronically.
- Ghrelin: Ghrelin is the hunger hormone and the levels of this hormone increases when you are physically hungry. Produced in the stomach, the hormone never adapts to eating less. Research shows that ghrelin levels stay high even after a year of a reduced-calorie diet. Intense workouts can help in decreasing the levels of ghrelin making it great for weight loss.
- Cortisol: Secreted from the adrenaline glands, cortisol is the stress hormone. Stress can cause a short-term increase of cortisol making the body either fight or flee from the stress. However, due to our hectic schedules and modern lifestyle, the levels of this hormone tend to be either very low or chronically elevated. In both of the situations, people tend to become fatty as well as fatigued. Exercising, meditating, and sleeping are necessary to maintain cortisol.
- Leptin: Secreted from the fat cells of your body, leptin signals your brain how much fat your body has to burn. Therefore, it is one of the most important fat-loss hormones in the body. It also helps in influencing the metabolic controller, thyroid hormone. When you overeat or under eat for a long time, it can cause leptin resistance. This means the more body fat the more leptin being released. This condition can cause your brain become blank to leptin’s signal. To make leptin function properly, you need to have a diet full of antioxidants, red and green vegetables and getting ample sleep.
- Glucagon: A hormone acting directly opposite to ghrelin, glucagon is responsible for the breakdown of stored fats and carbohydrates and release of the same so that your body can utilize them for energy. Try to eat a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.
- Adiponectin: Adiponectin is responsible for enhancing your muscle’s ability to use carbohydrates for energy, boosting your metabolism, increasing the rate of fat burning, and curbing your appetite. It also helps in increasing your insulin sensitivity, improving glucose tolerance, and inhibiting inflammation.
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH): HGH is a hormone that not only helps you in building muscle fat but also help in burning fat. For this reason, people often call it as an anti-aging hormone. A well-balanced diet rich in protein, enough sleep, and periodical exercising is important for this hormone to function properly.
- Adrenaline: Secreted by the adrenaline glands at the time of exercise, adrenaline hormone signals your body to get ready for burning fats. Adrenaline is responsible for influencing all the other hormones including HGH, testosterone, and cortisol. Short duration high-intensity workouts can lead this hormone to secrete quickly and send signals to other hormones for fat burning.
- Epinephrine: Epinephrine is flight hormone that can help in burning fat and suppress appetite. Exercising is the best way to crank up the epinephrine levels.
- Neuropeptide Y (NPY): Secreted and produced by the neurons in the sympathetic nervous system, Neuropeptide Y causes growth and amplification of fat tissue. Chronic high levels of cortisol hormone can elevate the NPY thereby increasing the food intake and storage of energy as fat.
All of the listed weight loss hormones have an impact on how efficient your body burns fat. It is always important to have a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle to positively influence these hormones.