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Hormones and Weight Loss

October 6, 2016

Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy.

Almost half of Americans blame hormones for their weight problems, and they may be right. The constant rise and fall of these chemical messengers control your appetite, cravings and where your body stores fat. They are super important for playing a part in your weight loss success and failures. Once you understand hormones behaviors you can make them your friends and work with you to reach your goals.
Cortisol
Location: The adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys
Behavior: Goes nuts in the presence of stress and/or when you feel threatened providing a surge of energy so you can react. As soon as the threat has passed it spikes up your appetite so you can replenish the energy exerted, even if the energy spent was very small.
End Result: Weight Gain, especially mid section
Preventative: Cut off the caffeine, as it is the main source for increasing cortisol release. Then LAUGH!!! Laughing or even the thought of a giggle can reduce the cortisol secretion by up to 39%!

Testosterone
Location: The ovaries and adrenal glands
Behavior: Increase your energy, pump up your muscles and your sex drive!! When T levels are low, your muscles will atrophy (waste away) as will your libido, causing a sluggish metabolism.
End Result: Weight Gain
Preventative: Resistance Training, revs up your testosterone levels. Shoot for 3 - 30 minute sessions a week. Cutting back on sugar has also been shown to help.

Leptin
Location: Adipose Tissue (Fat Cells)
Behavior: Regulates appetite by signaling to the brain when you are full and should stop eating. But when you lose weight (aka fat cells go away) leptin disappears as well. When leptin levels are low you don't get the "full signal" and you continue to eat, making this one of the main contributors to yo-yo dieting. You can also develop leptin resistance by carrying a few extra pounds around too long.
End Result: Weight Gain
Preventative: NO MORE FAD DIETS!!! If it encourages a quick weight loss, you will have an inevitable regain which leads to leptin resistance. Use a steady approach to cutting calories and exercise, eat slowly (gives leptin chance to work properly) and load up on zinc rich foods like cashews, beans and beef.

Ghrelin:
Location: Your Gut
Behavior: Works with Leptin to control your appetite. When your stomach is almost empty, it sends a signal to the brain that it is time to eat. When you lose weight your body thinks "it's starving" and tries to reinstate your set point, so it ramps up the ghrelin, increasing your hunger and trying to get you to eat more.
End Result: Weight Gain
Preventative: Fill up on low calorie bulky foods like fresh produce, popcorn and broth soups. Try going to bed one hour earlier as studies have shown sleep deprivation can lead to increased ghrelin levels and body fat storage.

502 Fit Pass

502 Fit Pass