Our weight is mostly controlled by hormones which affect how hungry we are or how much food we really need. Hormones such as insulin, ghrelin and leptin are in charge of our weight and our hunger, and any kind of imbalance between them and other hormones as well will affect your body’s ability to lose weight. If you’re unable to lose weight, it’s mostly due to hormonal imbalance which can be easily fixed. Here are 9 ways of fixing your hormones and losing weight:
Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas and has the role of neutralizing the excess glucose in our blood. It is produced during the day and in large amounts after each meal. Besides regulating the amount of blood sugar in our body, this hormone also assists with the storage of fat and prevents the stored fat from being broken down. In cases of insulin resistance, the insulin and glucose levels can both go up, which can lead to the development of diabetes. Chronically elevated insulin levels can cause obesity and metabolic syndrome as well, and will definitely prevent you from losing weight.
In order to regulate your insulin levels and boost the weight loss process, you need to add some protein and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. You should also stay away from sugar, get proper magnesium in your blood, reduce your carb consumption and exercise regularly as well. Green tea has also been known to help against high glucose and insulin levels.
Leptin is known as the “satiety hormone” and is produced by our fat cells. It helps the brain know when we’re full and communicates directly to the hypothalamus which regulates our appetite. Obese people almost always have high levels of this hormone. In this case, it doesn’t work as it should due to the insulin resistance of the body, which makes it hard to prevent overeating and lose weight. When the brain thinks you’re hungry, it makes you eat more in order to produce more leptin, which can lead to inflammation and serious health problems.
To regulate your leptin levels, you should stop eating pro-inflammatory foods and focus your diet on fish, fresh fruit and vegetables as well. You should also get proper sleep overnight as it can lower your leptin levels. Alpha-lipoic acid and fish oil supplements have also been known to help decrease leptin levels in obese women.
Ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, is released by the stomach when we’re hungry and tells the hypothalamus that it’s time to eat. Its levels are at their peak and their lowest level about an hour after a meal, while in obese people, the levels of ghrelin are low almost all the time. Ghrelin decreases slightly after a meal in obese people, which is why they can’t tell when they’re full.
To reduce the levels of this hormone and start losing weight, you should avoid consuming too much sugar and add some protein in all your meals, especially for breakfast and lunch.
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and is produced by the adrenal glands, small glands located on the top of the kidneys. This hormone helps us in stressful situations, but too much of it can cause weight gain and make you eat more than the usual.
To reduce the levels of cortisol and prevent a variety of health problems, you need to learn how to relax. It can be by listening to your favorite tunes or trying yoga or some breathing techniques. Make sure to sleep properly overnight as well, and eat a balanced and healthy diet.
Estrogen is the most important female sex hormone that is produced by the ovaries. It helps the breasts in women develop during puberty and is highly important for their reproductive health. However, too much or too little of estrogen in the female body can cause weight gain, which also depends on their overall health, age and other hormone levels. During the reproductive stages of life, estrogen allows women to store fat for energy during pregnancy, but various factors can make it go crazy and assist in the development of obesity. When the levels of this hormone drop too low during menopause, the fat cells start accumulating in the hips and thighs instead of the belly.
To regulate the levels of estrogen, you should exercise regularly and eat a fiber-rich diet. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of fiber, and can be easily added to your meals. Make sure to eat cruciferous vegetables more often as well, as they can also control the estrogen levels.
6. NPY (Neuropeptide Y)
This hormone is produced by our nervous system and brain and has the role of stimulating our carb appetite. It’s levels peak in cases of starvation and are also increased in cases of stress. In order to control the levels of NPY, make sure not to fast for too long, and add some soluble fiber and protein in your meals.
7. GLP-1 (Glucagon-Like Peptide-1)
The GLP-1 hormone is produced by the gut whenever nutrients enter the digestive tract. It keeps your glucose levels stable and helps you stay full, which is why it’s levels should always be kept in check.
To regulate the levels of GLP-1, you should consume probiotics more often, and eat anti-inflammatory foods as well. Make sure to add some protein and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet as well.
8. CCK (Cholecystokinin)
This hormone is produced by our gut cells and has the role of controlling satiety. Higher levels of the CCK hormone have been known to reduce hunger in obese and overweight people. To regulate the levels of this hormone, you should add healthy fats in your diet, as well as protein and fiber in every meal.
9. PYY (Peptide YY)
The PPY hormone controls our appetite and is produced by the cells in the lower area of the gut. Proper levels of it significantly reduce the risk of obesity. To control its production, you need to lower the amount of carbs in your diet and add some fiber and protein in your meals.
All these hormones work in synergy in order to control our appetite and prevent obesity. Make sure to follow the aforementioned tips in order to prevent further health problems.