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Hormones and Weight Loss


How hormones affect weight loss

Researches have made the connection between the various hormones and how you lose weight and gain weight. Hormones control many of the functions in our bodies, including appetite, signaling when we’re hungry and when we’re full. For this reason, most diet experts will give advice to people on trying to loss weigh to eat slowly because it takes the body 20 minutes to catch up with the stomach. In other words, your stomach will actually be full way before you will feel full and it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to trigger the hormones to be released to tell your body and brain that you are full and should stop eating.

There are actually eight different hormonal chemical messengers produced by the body that affects our eating habits.

  1. Growth hormones. Stimulate protein synthesis responsible for muscle tone and development, and affects the strength of your bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
  2. Endorphins. Produced by the pituitary gland, the hormone blocks pain, decreases appetite, creates a feeling of euphoria, and reduces tension and anxiety.
  3. Testosterone. An important hormone presents in both men and women, but amount higher in men, that is responsible for maintaining muscle tone, mass, and strength; it also increases metabolism and thus lowing body fat. Testosterone also produces a feeling of confidence.
  4. Estrogen. Estrogen facilitates converting stored fat so that it can be used as energy and increase metabolism rate. The hormone level is much higher in women than in the men.
  5. Thyroxine (T4). A hormone produced by the thyroid gland which raises the metabolic rate, burning more fat and help in losing weight. Thyroxine also gives you a feeling of being more energetic by increasing metabolism rate.
  6. Epinephrine. A hormone produced by the adrenal medulla, which acts to increase the volume of blood the heart pumps and stimulates the breakdown of stored carbohydrates and fat to use as fuel.
  7. Insulin. An important hormone produced by the pancreas, which controls blood levels of glucose (blood sugar) and regulates the absorption of glucose by tissue cells. Glucose that your cells don’t use get stored as fat. The more you eat, the more insulin your body produces, and the more you are likely to gain weight.
  8. Glucagon. A hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels. When glucose level is low, the hormone is secreted, triggering the release of stored carbohydrate from the liver into the blood stream to restore the blood sugar to normal levels. Glucagon also causes the breakdown of fat so that it can be used as fuel. It also causes the breakdown of fat to be used as fuel by the body.

The struggle to maintain an appropriate body weight or to lose weight is not easy.

While hormones play a role in weight loss and weight gain, and hormonal imbalances affects some overweight people, the actually number of people with weight problems due to hormonal imbalances is quite small.

However, a recent discovery that still requires further study is the hormone Leptin, and its interaction and importance in weight loss. In 1994, scientists discovered that fat tissue in mice and rats produces the protein Leptin. New research indicates a possible link between Leptin levels and weight gain in humans.

Some researchers suggest that the level of Leptin in the bloodstream is in direct proportion to the amount of body fat we carry. Women, who have a higher percentage of body fat compared to men, have higher Leptin levels. Some research, with mice as subjects, found that Leptin suppress appetite and thus decreases food intake, and increase energy expenditure which results in weight loss.

While hormone interactions play an important role in how a person either gains weight or loses way it is also important to bear in mind that these hormones are often also affected by nutrition and diet. Maintaining a healthy diet full of raw fruits and vegetables as well is nuts and seeds, is a great way to improve your nutrition and help your body works the way it’s designed to work.