For many of us, losing weight is a difficult task. Luckily scientists have discovered hormones that not only make it easier for you to lose fat but also make your body more effective at burning fat.
Leptin was one of the first of these types of hormones to be identified by scientists; leptin regulates body weight and hunger in both animals and humans. A deficiency in leptin will cause obesity, while an excess of leptin causes starvation.
Hormones that affect your weight
Hormonal imbalance can be the root cause of weight gain. Whether hormones send messages to your body telling it to store more fat, burn energy less efficiently, or crave certain foods, hormones certainly play a role in weight loss. Understanding hormones and how they affect your metabolic rate may help you lose weight faster than ever before.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels. It’s made by the stomach and small intestine after you eat.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 inhibits glucagon secretion, which will suppress your liver from releasing glucose into the bloodstream. Glucagon is a hormone, which works opposite to insulin. Glucagon will release glycogen (stored glucose) from the liver into the bloodstream. Glucagon-like peptide-1 helps control your appetite by stimulating several satiety hormones including cholecystokinin (CCK).
Leptin is a hormone that is produced by fat cells. It’s important to understand how leptin affects your body because it can help you lose weight. Leptin decreases your food intake and increases the number of calories you burn. If you have plenty of fat cells, leptin levels are high. But if you lose weight, leptin levels drop. Therefore by injecting leptin into your body, it simulates how your body would react to weight loss, encouraging your body to burn calories.
Weight gain, is a major health issue in the world today. Neuropeptide Y, a small protein that is produced from an amino acid sequence of Phe-Xaa-Trp-Yaa [PYY], has been discovered to be one hormone that can contribute to weight gain. Neuropeptide Y, also known as NPY, is known to be involved in the regulation of stress and anxiety. Neuropeptide Y is found throughout the brain while it has different functions in various parts of the body, such as modulating certain hormonal responses, controlling energy expenditure and food intake.
Peptide YY is a hormone that helps control feelings of hunger. The Peptide YY 3-36 receptor (PYY3-R) is present at high levels in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and certain areas of the brain. When it binds to PYY3-R, Peptide YY tells a person to stop eating. In particular, Peptide YY makes people feel full after meals and reduces the number of calories they eat at the next meal.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Cortisol’s normal function is to aid immediate use of energy stores and suppression of processes that are not immediately essential for life, such as digestion or growth.
Insulin is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose into cells where it can be used for energy or stored in the liver and muscles. Insulin resistance occurs when cells fail to respond to the hormone, resulting in high glucose levels in the blood. Insensitivity can result in type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Insulin is also involved in fat storage: When we eat more calories than we need, insulin helps our body store this energy for later use. The body can later tap into its fat stores when needed, but the process is slow. Insulin may also play a role in muscle mass: During weight-loss diets, muscle tissue can be broken down to provide glucose for the rest of the body.
Estrogen is probably one of the most important hormones in a woman’s body. Estrogen has many functions including maintaining pregnancy, stimulation of breast development during puberty, and regulation of several metabolic processes. Estrogen receptors are present in adipocytes (fat cells), which leads to speculation that estrogen may contribute directly or indirectly to weight gain through its effects on fat cells. Estrogen may also contribute to weight gain by increasing appetite. Estrogen receptor-alpha is present in both the hypothalamus and the hippocampus, which are parts of the brain responsible for controlling food intake.
Ghrelin is a hormone that affects your appetite and how hungry you feel. Ghrelin is known as the hunger hormone because it plays such an important role in regulating food intake, mainly by stimulating appetite. Ghrelin secretion increases before meals and decreases after eating. Ghrelin levels rise not only in response to fasting, but also to various Ghrelinogenic factors such as the sight and smell of food, eating, physical activity, and stress.
Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a hormone that slowed the emptying of the stomach and signals fullness to your brain. Cholecystokinin levels are high when you’ve just eaten because it’s made in your intestines after food passes by them. Its release into the bloodstream may suppress appetite, which could be why CCK was once proposed as an anti-obesity drug.
All of these elements, when considered together, have been found to have an impact on the number on the scale in either way, regardless of whether one is attempting to lose or gain weight. Because there are so many various kinds of hormones that play a part in controlling body mass and metabolism, it is almost impossible for individuals to identify a specific “cause” of their weight gain or reduction in any meaningful manner. In contrast, since these hormones are so intimately engaged in weight control, they may be utilized to help individuals lose or gain weight more successfully by regulating the levels of certain hormones via the use of different medications and injectable techniques.
Frequently asked questions
What are the 3 fat-burning hormones?
Hormone # 1: Insulin
When our cells become permeable to glucose from the bloodstream, insulin stimulates our cells to store it as glycogen in our liver and muscle tissue or as body fat for later use. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and is produced by the pancreas. The greater the amount of carbohydrate-containing meals we consume and the higher our blood sugar levels rise, the greater the amount of insulin we produce into our bodies. We will be unable to burn stored body fat as long as insulin is present in excessive concentrations. When carbohydrate intake is reduced by around 50% of the typical daily intake, the body produces glucagon, which works in opposition to insulin’s impact on the body. This allows for the use of stored fat as fuel instead of glucose.
One method of reducing the impact of insulin is to consume low-carbohydrate diets that do not significantly elevate blood sugar levels in the first place. Vegetables and fruits, which contain a lot of fiber, are excellent examples of this. The presence of fiber slows digestion and absorption of nutrients, resulting in a slower increase in blood sugar levels after consuming certain kinds of meals. Aside from that, dietary fats are very essential since they have little or no influence on insulin secretion or blood glucose levels. Extra virgin olive oil, avocados, almonds, and seeds are among the greatest sources of omega-3 fatty acids (unsalted).
When leptin levels are elevated beyond normal levels as a result of calorie restriction, there is less leptin in the circulation, and we try to compensate by overindulging in calories. This is due to the fact that leptin has an influence on appetite suppression as well as glucose metabolism. Increased consumption of carbs or fat triggers the release of leptin, which signals our brain to cease eating as much as we are presently ingesting.
Leptin levels fall too low (typically due to a lack of caloric intake), and the hormone ceases to warn the brain to avoid excessive food consumption, instead of turning itself off. This causes you to feel incredibly hungry even when you don’t want any more calories, and your body starts accumulating much more insulin than it should be at any one moment, which is a sure-fire formula for gaining weight!
Because of calorie restriction, leptin levels may fall below normal, but as long as enough quantities of dietary fats are consumed, leptin levels will stay normal and appetite suppression will not be compromised. In fact, it has been shown that leptin levels increase in response to a high-fat diet . This explains why persons following low-carbohydrate diets often report being able to maintain control over their appetites even while consuming larger levels of dietary fats.
Hormone # 2: Leptin:
Because high amounts of leptin signal our cells to become permeable and absorb glucose from the bloodstream, leptin is similar to insulin in that it operates similarly to insulin. More leptin results in more insulin, while less leptin results in less insulin. Additionally, when leptin levels get too high, leptin travels to the hypothalamus part of your brain and sends a signal (instructs you to stop eating) to the rest of your brain.
With a rise in leptin levels, leptin instructs the hypothalamus to transmit a leptin-induced signal to your brain, informing it that you need less food. If leptin levels fall, leptin no longer delivers the leptin-induced signal, and hunger rises as a result of the decreased signal.
We get satiated when our leptin levels reach a certain level, which is signaled by the release of an appetite inhibitor called neuropeptide Y from the brain. NPY binds itself to NPY receptors on cells in the digestive system, slowing stomach emptying time. This may explain why some individuals suffer bloating after consuming significant quantities of carbohydrate-rich foods at mealtime. It also has the additional effect of inhibiting leptin release from adipose tissue by inhibiting the action of another hormone known as agouti-related peptide (AgRP) on the melanocortin-4 receptor.
It is important to note that although leptin levels in the body grow in proportion to body fat reserves, leptin levels in the body drop when calorie restriction is implemented.
Hormone # 3: Ghrelin:
In the absence of recent caloric consumption, ghrelin is a hormone generated in the stomach that goes straight to the brain, signaling hunger. The hypothalamus is notified by a high level of ghrelin that you need to eat more since you are not receiving enough calories from the food you have eaten previously. If you fast or severely reduce your carbohydrate intake for whatever reason, you may find yourself feeling incredibly hungry (weight-loss diets, etc.). In contrast, leptin, via the neuropeptide Y, informs us that we do not need more meals. Ghrelin does not indicate the release of insulin, while leptin does.
When leptin binds itself to leptin receptors on fat cells, leptin is secreted by the fat cells. Leptin is released into the bloodstream, where it informs the nervous system that you have ample fat reserves and hence need less meals. It also sends a signal to the hypothalamus, informing it that you are no longer hungry and instructing it to quit prepping your digestive system in preparation for food consumption (slowing down stomach emptying time).
When leptin levels fall too low as a result of calorie restriction, apatite levels rise even if the body’s fat reserves are sufficient. Ghrelin levels decrease in tandem with leptin levels as a result of calorie restriction; however, unlike leptin, ghrelin does not totally disappear along with leptin levels as a result of dietary fat consumption. This helps to explain why leptin levels drop when you restrict your calorie intake or fast, but your appetite does not necessarily increase if you are still consuming dietary fats, as previously mentioned.
How can I stimulate my hormone to burn fat?
In order for a hormone to burn fat, it has to have an effect on the action of adipocytes [fat cells] in your body. In other words, there has to be some activity circling around the presence or absence of these cells and their reaction to certain stimuli. This reaction can be measured by the release of metabolites from the cells into plasma [blood].
What are the five fat loss hormones?
What hormone is responsible for fat storage?
Fat cells create the hormone leptin, which is then released into our circulation. Leptin suppresses a person’s appetite by working on certain brain areas to suppress the desire to eat. It also seems to have power on how the body regulates its fat stores.
Because leptin is created by fat, persons who are obese have greater leptin levels than those who are normal weight. Obese persons, on the other hand, are less susceptible to the effects of leptin and, as a consequence, don’t feel full during and after meals, despite having larger amounts of this appetite-suppressing hormone. Why do leptin signals fail to reach the brain in obese patients is the subject of ongoing study.
How do you activate fat-burning hormones?
- Insulin resistance is reduced by eating a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet.
- Exercising for 45 minutes four to five times a week helps to control weight gain and improve insulin sensitivity.
- Insulin resistance is reduced when sugar consumption is reduced.
- Trans-fat-rich foods must be avoided.
- “Limited use of green tea helps to reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance. Flax seeds and high-fiber diets may also assist. “Probiotics have been shown to boost GLP-1 levels,” Dr. Bhasker advised.
- Your diet must be well-balanced and include enough amounts of all nutrients. Crash diets should be avoided since they might induce hormonal imbalance.
- Stress reduction is critical. Meditation and other relaxation practices reduce the production of stress hormones, which are commonly linked to weight gain.
- It’s also crucial to maintain excellent sleeping habits. Sleeping on schedule and for 7 to 8 hours each night will help you stay stress-free and lose weight.
Nutritionist, weight loss specialist