Which hormones interfere with weight loss?

When we think about losing weight, diet and physical activity are the two things that come to mind. But the weight loss process depends on many factors, including the proper functioning of our metabolism, which is regulated by hormones.

Yes, the substances produced by our body are essential for the body to work well and the pounds on the scale to decrease. Below, we show how some of them interfere with weight loss and what to do to keep them naturally balanced. But be careful if you suspect a hormonal problem, see a doctor. And, under no circumstances, take the dietary supplement for weight loss on your own.

  1. Cortisol

What is produced by the adrenal (or adrenal) glands, has the function of helping the body to control stress – physical, emotional or environmental -, stimulate the heartbeat and keep the blood sugar level constant. Basically, it is released whenever the brain identifies a dangerous situation.

How it affects weight loss 

The high level of cortisol can increase your desire for sweets or refined carbohydrates, as your body understands that it needs fast energy to face the dangerous situation it is facing (but often it is not). It also stimulates the liver to produce glucose (sugar) to increase the level of this substance in the blood, which because it is not used later is accumulated as fat – especially in the belly.

How to naturally control 

To decrease the level of stress hormone, the main recommendation is to relax. It can be achieve with a hobby, moments of leisure in the routine and physical activity. However, the training should be up to an hour long, as long exercises generate great stress in the body and stimulate the production of cortisol. Take care of sleep and food are also the important factors.

  1. GH

What is Growth hormone, produced by the pituitary gland, a gland located in the lower part of the brain, which peaks at night? It promotes both longitudinal and linear (height) and cell growth – including muscle growth. It also stimulates the transformation of fat into energy.

How it affects weight loss

It is important for increasing muscle tissue. And the more muscles you have, the greater your caloric expenditure at rest.

 How to control naturally 

It is necessary to exercise, giving preference to fast and intense workouts, and to sleep well, since GH is secreted at dawn, around 2 am.

  1. Ghrelin

What is appetite hormone, released just before meals, to let the brain know it’s time to eat? Also, it plays a role in energy control.

How it affects weight loss

In normal operation, ghrelin starts to rise when the stomach is empty and stabilizes about an hour after the person has eaten. When it is unregulated, your appetite increases and you tend to eat more than you need.

How to control naturally

It is not possible to act directly on this hormone, but what always helps is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full; taking care of sleep; practice physical activity and have a balanced diet, avoiding restrictive regimes.

  1. Insulin

What is a  hormone manufactured by the pancreas, whose main functions are to control glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream and transport it into the cells, so that it can be used as fuel or, when there is surplus, stored as fat.

How it affects weight loss 

There are several reasons for the increase in insulin in the body, the main ones being stress and poor diet (excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates). Its “malfunction” can stimulate the fat stock, especially in the belly, and cause weight gain.

How to control naturally

Practice physical activity frequently, consume complex carbohydrates (whole grains, sweet potatoes) and avoid sweets, breads and refined carbohydrates. It is also recommended at every meal to have a source of protein (meat, egg, milk) and good fats (olive oil, nuts).

  1. Leptin

What is satiety hormone, secreted by white adipose tissue (fat cells). It is the main indicator of the body fat stock. It alerts the brain’s satiety center, the hypothalamus, when enough fat is stored, thus preventing you from eating too much. Leptin also helps to boost glucose and fat metabolism.

How it affects weight loss

Leptin levels are lower in thin people and higher in obese people. People who are overweight have a mechanism of resistance to the appetite suppressing effect of this hormone. What also disrupts their production is too fast for long periods and eat less than necessary.

How to control naturally 

As with ghrelin, there is no way to directly act on this hormone. However, maintaining healthy habits – which means practicing regular physical activity and having a balanced diet, avoiding restrictive diets – is beneficial to maintain the adequate level of this substance.

  1. Melatonin

What is known as the sleep hormone, has the function of regulating the time of sleep and participating in the repair of cells. Melatonin is released at night – it is related to the absence of light – and very important for the proper functioning of the metabolism.

How it affects weight loss

Not sleeping well interferes with several body functions, including the production of hormones important for weight loss such as GH, testosterone and ghrelin. The lack of adequate hours of rest also increases stress in the body, which stimulates the production of cortisol – which you have seen that hinders weight loss.

 How to naturally control 

Always sleeping at the same time and keeping the room quiet and totally dark are ways to stimulate the production of melatonin. Try to turn off your electronic devices about one to two hours before going to bed.

  1. T3 & T4

T3 & T4 are a type of fuel for the body and are responsible for regulating the entire organism, from heartbeat and body temperature to reasoning and fertility.

How they affect weight loss

When they are low, metabolism slows down, which reduces caloric expenditure at rest and can lead to weight gain. The lack of control of T3 and T4 is caused by genetic predisposition and diseases (Hashimoto and Graves).

How to control naturally

With the consumption of nutrients that favor its production, such as magnesium (wheat cereals), amino acids (present in meat, milk and eggs) and selenium (oilseeds, salmon and oysters). Other than that, it is important not to smoke and avoid ingestion without guidance of weight loss drugs that have compounds with action on the thyroid.

  1. Testosterone

What are the hormones produced in the testicles and in the adrenal glands. It acts in the formation of muscle mass and in the burning of fat, offers energy, improves memory and is responsible for promoting the physical characteristics of men.

How it affects weight loss

It is essential for building and maintaining muscles, which increase your caloric expenditure at rest. In addition, testosterone helps to keep you up for training.

How to control naturally

Shorter and more intense workouts, especially those that lift weight, and exercises that recruit a large volume of muscle mass (squats, deadlifts, bench press) stimulate testosterone synthesis. Also, a diet which is rich in lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat is important. Stress impairs testosterone production, so try to control tension.

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