Your weight is largely controlled by hormones, which influence your appetite and how much fat you store. Here are 9 ways to “fix” the hormones that control your weight.
Insulin is produced by the beta cells of your pancreas and is secreted in small amounts throughout the day and in larger amounts after meals. Insulin help your cells to take in blood sugar for energy or storage, depending on what is needed at the time.
This is fat storage hormone that tells fat cells to store fat, and prevents stored fat from being broken down. When cells are insulin resistant, both blood sugar and insulin levels go up significantly.
In case of chronically elevated insulin levels it can lead to many health problems, including obesity and metabolic syndrome.
You should know that refined carbohydrates as well as fast food — drives insulin resistance and increases insulin levels.
Way to normalize insulin levels and improve insulin sensitivity:
Fill up on protein: This can raise insulin in the short-term and should lead to long-term reductions in insulin resistance by helping you lose belly fat
You should include plenty of healthy fats such as fatty fish omega-3 fats that can help lower fasting insulin levels
Exercise regularly: There are overweight women that walk briskly or jog and had an improvement in insulin sensitivity after 14 weeks in one study
Avoid or minimize sugar: If there is high amounts of fructose and sucrose promote insulin resistance and raise insulin levels
Reduce carbohydrates: When you have low-carb diet that can cause an immediate drop in insulin levels.
Get enough magnesium: Insulin resistant people are often low in magnesium, andmagnesium supplements can improve insulin sensitivity.
Drink green tea: It can lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
Leptin is produced by your fat cells and also is known as “satiety hormone” which reduces appetite and makes you feel full. Its rule is to communicate with the hypothalamus, the portion of your brain that regulates appetite and food intake.
This hormone tells the brain that there’s enough fat in storage and no more is needed, which helps prevent overeating.
Usually people that are obese have very high levels of leptin in their blood. Leptin levels in obese people were 4 times higher than in people of normal weight. Those people should start eating less and lose weight because leptin reduces appetite.
In obesity the leptin system doesn’t work as it should because of asleptin resistance.In case leptin signaling is impaired, the message to stop eating doesn’t get through to the brain, so it doesn’t realize you have enough energy stored
In those cases brain thinks it is starving, so you’re driven to eat. If you lose weight leptin levels are reduced, that is one of the main reasons it is so hard to maintain weight loss in the long-term. When the brain thinks you are starving, and pushes you to eat more in order to produce more leptin.
Chronically elevated insulin levels and inflammation in the hypothalamus are two causes of leptin resistance.
For improving leptin sensitivity these are a few suggestions:
Avoid inflammatory foods: Avoid eating foods that cause inflammation, especially sugary drinks and trans fats.
Eat certain foods: Stop eating anti-inflammatory foods, like fatty fish.
Exercise regularly: You should know that activity improve leptin sensitivity.
Get enough sleep: It was found that insufficient sleep leads to a drop in leptin levels and increased appetite.
Supplements: It was found that women on a weight-loss diet who took alpha-lipoic acid and fish oil lost more weight and had a smaller decrease in leptin than those in a control group.
This hormone is known as a “hunger hormone.” When your stomach is empty, it releases ghrelin, that sends a message to the hypothalamus telling you to eat. Before eating it levels are highest and lowest about an hour after you’ve had a meal.ln obese people fasting ghrelin levels , are often lower than in people of normal weight. It was found that after obese people eat a meal, ghrelin only decreases slightly. The hypothalamus can lead to overeating.
Ways to reduce ghrelin levels:
Protein: When you consume protein at every meal, it can reduce ghrelin levels and promote satiety.
Sugar: avoid consuming high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened drinks, which can impair ghrelin response after meals.
This hormone is produced by the adrenal glands and is known as a “stress hormone” because it’s released when your body senses stress.
It is vital to survival. In case of its chronically elevated levels it can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Women with weight around the middle respond to stress with a greater increase in cortisol.
Women who had a low-calorie diet had higher cortisol levels and reported feeling more stressed than women who ate a normal diet.
Ways to reduce cortisol levels:
Listen to music: When soothing music is played during medical procedures, cortisol doesn’t rise as much.
Sleep more: It was shown that pilots lost 15 hours of sleep over the course of a week, their cortisol levels increased by 50-80%.
Balanced diet: You should follow a balanced, real food-based diet.
Meditate: Practice meditation, it can significantly reduce cortisol production.
This is the most important female sex hormone. It is produced by ovaries and other cells throughout a woman’s life, and is responsible for breast growth and other changes at puberty.
In case there are high and low levels of estrogen it can lead to weight gain and all that depends on age, action of other hormones, and overall state of health.
During the reproductive years estrogen, allows women to store fat to ensure enough energy is available for pregnancy.
Fact is that obese women have higher estrogen levels than ones with normal weight, and it is believed that this is due to environmental influences.
In case estrogen levels drop because are less produced in the ovaries during menopause, the site for fat storage shifts from the hips and thighs to visceral fat in the abdomen.
Some strategies can help manage estrogen:
Flax seeds: These seeds have beneficial effects on estrogen in most women.
Exercise: When you are physically active it can help normalize estrogen levels in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Fiber: If you want to reduce estrogen levels consume plenty of fiber.
Cruciferous vegetables: When you eat cruciferous vegetables it may have beneficial effects on estrogen.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY)
This is is a hormone produced by cells in the brain and nervous system.
You should know that neuropeptide Y can stimulate appetite, particularly for carbohydrates, and is highest during periods of fasting or food deprivation.
Levels of neuropeptide Y are elevated during times of stress, which can lead to overeating and abdominal fat gain.
Don’t fast for too long: It was found that very long fasts, such as over 24 hours, can dramatically increase NPY levels.
Protein: A low-protein diet leads to increased food intake and weight gain.
Soluble fiber: Eating plenty of soluble prebiotic fiber to feed the friendly bacteria in the gut may reduce NPY levels.
Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1)
It is produced in your gut when nutrients enter the lower digestive tract.This hormone role in keeping blood sugar levels stable, and also makes you feel full. In case of increased production of GLP-1 , it decrease in appetite that occurs immediately after weight loss surgery.
It was found that men who were given a GLP-1 solution with breakfast reported feeling more satisfied and ended up eating 12% fewer calories at lunch.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods: You should know that chronic inflammation can reduce GLP-1 production.
Leafy greens: Women that eat leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale experienced higher GLP-1 levels and lost more weight than the control group.
Eat plenty of protein: Foods such as fish, whey protein and yogurt have been shown to increase GLP-1 levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Probiotics: Probiotic supplement increase GLP-1 levels, that led to a reduction in food intake.
This hormone is satiety produced by cells in your gut. Its higher amounts reduce food intake in both lean and obese people.
Healthy fat: Eating fat create release of CCK.
Protein: You should eat plenty of protein at every meal.
Fiber: In situations when men ate a meal containing beans, their CCK levels rose twice as much as when they consumed a low-fiber meal.
Peptide YY (PYY)
This is gut hormone that controls appetite. It is released by cells in the lowest portion of the gut. This hormone play a major role in reducing food intake and decreasing your risk of obesity.
Protein: You should eat plenty of protein from animal or plant sources.
Fiber: You should take plenty of fiber
Lower-carb diet: You should have lower-carb diet based on unprocessed foods in order to keep blood sugar levels stable. Also elevated blood sugar impair PYY’s effects.
Hormones work together to increase or decrease appetite and fat storage.
If the system doesn’t work properly you may struggle with weight issues on an ongoing basis.
Diet and lifestyle changes have powerful effects on these hormones.