By Kate Horney
Most of us have come to understand that fat loss and a change in body composition requires physical activity and a modification of our diets. “Move more, eat less” is a popular mantra among women trying to get in shape, but this approach is incomplete.
The missing piece of the puzzle is the hormonal changes required for sustained, healthy fat loss.
Ultimately, to burn fat you need BOTH a caloric deficit AND a proper balance of metabolic hormones. When your metabolic hormones are balanced, you will automatically eat less and will no longer have to rely on willpower alone. This is the key to lasting fat loss and sustainable body change.
The subject of metabolic hormones doesn’t have to be terribly complex.
Here are 6 hormones that are important to your fat loss:
1) Insulin – This anabolic storage hormone is produced by the pancreas and serves to regulate the carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. When insulin levels are high, extra calories are stored as fat. In addition, insulin inhibits the release of glucagon, thus stopping the use of fat as an energy source. Insulin sensitivity is a desirable state because it prevents your body from storing excess fat. (More info: read our Insulin Resistance series Are You Insulin Resistant? + IR Part 2 + IR Part 3 and more on insulin)
2) Cortisol – This steroid hormone is produced by the adrenal gland and is released primarily in response to stress. The main functions of cortisol are to increase blood sugar, suppress the immune system, and aid in protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. This hormone can be used to your benefit when released in the presence of HGH, as it enhances the fat-burning effect. You must be careful, though, because cortisol released with low levels of HGH and/or high levels of insulin has an opposite affect and causes muscle burning and fat storing. (More info: Cortisol & belly fat storage)
3) Ghrelin – This hunger hormone is produced by the stomach and pancreas, causes you to feel hunger hour-to-hour and can be dulled by the intake of protein and fiber. Ghrelin levels naturally increase before meals (sending hunger signals to the brain) and likewise decrease after meals (helping you feel full). (More info: Ghrelin and hunger)
4) Glucagon – This hormone, also secreted by the pancreas, can be thought of as the opposite of insulin. When your liver releases glucagon, it signals your body to convert stored glycogen into glucose. This raises your blood sugar. When you are in fat burning mode, your body will use glucagon as the first signal to burn stored energy.
5) Leptin – This hunger hormone, which is considered the counterpart to the hormone ghrelin, is produced by the adipose (fat) tissue. When you are craving food, it is an indication that you are not producing leptin. High calorie foods, stress, and sleep deprivation tend to produce leptin resistance, causing your body not to feel full. Exercise and proper fat loss nutrition have the opposite effect. This is why most people can’t simply “eat less” to loose weight. (More info: Leptin and cravings)
6) Human Growth Hormone – This fat burning hormone is produced in the pituitary gland, and as the name suggests, is a hormone that stimulates muscle tissue growth. This is important because there is no better fat burner than our muscles. HGH has the benefit of stimulating your body to burn fat rather than store it, so the effect on fat loss is doubled. HGH is stimulated when your body engages in intense, short term exercise like sprinting and lifting weights. (More info: HGH for fat burning)
Understanding these metabolic hormones is a key to creating lasting fat loss. When balanced, these hormones put you in a prime fat burning mode and allow for sustainable body change.
I can’t believe I’m sharing these “before” photos, but I want you to see what a DIFFERENCE this makes…
And you’ll see why YOU Need to Fix Your Fat Fighting Hormones, too! 🙂
Not sure where to start? Learn how to fix your fat fighting hormones with workouts & recipes that help you BURN FAT and GET YOUR BODY BACK! Want to take your fitness to the next level?