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How To Rebalance Your Hormones For Faster Fat Loss

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Being overweight is not just about diet and exercise.

For tens of millions of us, the problem is instead hormones that are out-of-balance.

A growing body of research shows that hormones influence your appetite and tell your body whether or not to burn fat. [1] [2]

If your hormones are misfiring you can sweat it out on the treadmill till you’re blue in the face… but you’ll be fighting a losing battle against weight gain.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do about this.

Keep reading to discover your body’s 5 most important weight gain hormones and how you can rebalance them for faster, long-lasting fat loss.

How To Fix Your Weight Gain Hormones

1. Insulin — Your Fat Storage Hormone

Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas.

When you eat, your pancreas secretes a burst of insulin to help metabolize your food — especially carbohydrates and fats.

fat_srorage

Think of insulin like a gatekeeper:

It ushers blood sugar into your cells to be burned as energy now or stored as fat for later use.

When you have too much insulin circulating in your body you enter a state of insulin resistance.

The insulin in your body tells your fat cells to store fat and makes fat loss almost impossible.

Insulin resistance is incredibly common in America. Some estimates suggest that as many as 1 in 3 Americans may be insulin resistant. [3]

Eating a diet that consists largely of carbohydrates and fats (especially from highly-processed, sugary foods) contributes to insulin resistance and can send insulin levels soaring.

Bringing your insulin levels back into a healthy balance is a great way to accelerate fat-loss.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Reduce your sugar intake: Fructose and sucrose can trigger insulin resistance and cause your body to store fat — especially around your midsection. [4]
  • Cut back on carbs: Since insulin metabolizes carbohydrates, a low-carb diet can quickly and dramatically drop your insulin levels. [5] [6]
  • Exercise daily: Just 30 minutes of daily walking or jogging can reduce insulin levels, body weight and belly fat. [7]
  • Supplement with magnesium: Magnesium supplementation can improve insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic people who are insulin resistant. [8]
  • Eat more protein: Quality dietary protein (lean meat, wild caught fish, eggs, beans, nuts) can help you lose belly fat which will help to reduce insulin resistance. [9]

2. Ghrelin — Your Hunger Hormone

leptin_ghrelin

Ghrelin is a peptide hormone produced by cells in your GI tract. It regulates appetite.

When your stomach is empty, ghrelin hits your bloodstream and tells your brain: “Hey, let’s eat!” [10]

Because of its influence in regulating appetite, ghrelin is often called the “hunger hormone”.

Normally, ghrelin levels are at their highest just before you eat and lowest an hour or two after you’ve finished eating.

But studies have shown that ghrelin behaves differently in overweight and obese people.

In overweight and obese people, ghrelin levels don’t decrease much after eating a meal. Because of this, the brain constantly receives the “Hey, let’s eat!” message, which can lead to overeating. [11]

Here are two ways to help normalize ghrelin levels:

  • Skip the soda: High fructose corn syrup and sugar added drinks like soda can derail your ghrelin response after meals and leave you feeling hungry. [12] [13]
  • Power up with protein: Eating quality protein at every meal helps you feel full and reduces ghrelin levels. [14] [15]

3. Estrogen — Your Fat Loss Hormone

loseweight

Estrogen is the sex hormone that makes women uniquely women.

At normal levels, estrogen helps you stay lean by managing your insulin levels.

But when estrogen levels are out-of-balance (either too high or too low) your body can transform into a weight-gaining machine.

When your estrogen levels soar (as a result of age, other hormones, and overall health), you’re at an increased risk for insulin resistance. Ditto when your estrogen levels drop. [16]

Because estrogen is most prevalent in women, and due to the powerful influence of this hormone on weight gain, women have a higher prevalence of obesity than men in most developed countries. [17]

These are a few ways to support healthy estrogen levels:

  • Get active: Studies show that regular exercise helps to balance estrogen levels in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. [18]
  • Eat your veggies: Ongoing research suggests that a specific nutrient called indole-3-carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.) can have positive effects on estrogen. [19]
  • Fiber: Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet has been shown to promote healthy estrogen levels. [20]

4. Cortisol — Your Stress Hormone

stress

You’re probably familiar with cortisol as the “stress hormone”.

When your body senses stress, your adrenal glands secrete cortisol which helps to prepare you to fight or flee from a potentially dangerous situation.

Great news if you’re being chased by a sabertooth tiger.

Problem is, even though most of us don’t regularly deal with life-and-death situations, we are constantly subjected to low level stressors like rush hour traffic, work deadlines, screaming kids and, yes, even dieting.

In fact, a 2010 study found that women who are on a strict low-calorie diet had increased levels of cortisol and experienced more stress than women on a normal diet. [21]

Bad news.

Because in addition to making you feel frazzled and frayed, chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to overeating and weight gain. [22]

Here are some ways to reduce cortisol levels:

  • Avoid low-calorie diets: Not only are strict, low-calorie diets about as much fun as juggling live porcupines, they’re also a bad idea for long-term weight loss.
  • Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation is a widespread problem in America. A lack of sleep increases cortisol production and may increase your risk for obesity. [23]
  • Relax: Enjoy a walk, a favorite book, or time with friends. It will improve your quality of life and can support your weight loss goals!

5. Leptin — Your Fullness Hormone

Hunger

If ghrelin is the “hunger hormone”, then leptin is the “satiety hormone” because of the role it plays in regulating fullness.

Leptin is produced by your fat cells.

Under normal circumstances, leptin travels through your bloodstream to your brain, where it basically says: “Put down the fork. You’re full!”

People who are overweight or obese may have as much as four times the amount of leptin in their blood versus their normal weight peers. [24]

You might be wondering:

Leptin is responsible for reducing appetite. Overweight and obese people tend to have far higher levels of leptin in their blood.

Doesn’t that mean it should be easier for them to avoid overeating?

Not exactly.

Anytime you have too much of a hormone circulating in your system, your brain tends to tune it out.

So even though obese people have a relatively high amount of leptin in their bloodstream, their brain doesn’t recognize it. This is known as leptin resistance.

When your brain doesn’t receive a signal from leptin, it immediately thinks you’re starving. [25]

And as a result your brain quite literally COMMANDS you to eat… and eat and eat and eat. [26]

Leptin resistance (which is an increasingly common condition) helps to explain why it can be so difficult to lose weight.

It’s NOT because you don’t have the willpower to control your eating habits.

It’s NOT because you don’t exercise.

It’s NOT because you have “bad” genes.

If you struggle to lose weight it’s very likely because leptin resistance has caused your brain to believe you’re starving to death.

And no amount of willpower will be able to curb those out-of-control cravings.

Here’s how to restore your leptin to healthy levels:

  • Exercise: Studies have shown that moderate aerobic is an effective way to normalize leptin levels. [27][28]
  • Sleep: Research suggests that not getting enough sleep can disrupt leptin levels and increase appetite. [29]

As you can see, leptin plays a major role in regulating appetite and your body’s ability to lose weight.

If you struggle to lose weight…

If you crave carbs and sugary snacks (especially at night)…

If you’ve tried diets in the past but they just didn’t work for you…

Then I invite you to watch this free presentation that reveals how to get your body to work with you instead of against you in your mission to lose weight.

Weight loss DOES NOT have to be a struggle. Discover how rebalancing your leptin levels can lead to effortless, long-lasting weight loss! View the exciting presentation here.

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Now It’s Your Turn

Chances are, you or someone you know is trying to lose weight.

According to Gallup, 51 percent of Americans — about 160 million people — want to shed at least a few pounds.

Millions of these men and women huff and puff their way through exhausting exercise routines, starve themselves on low-calorie diets and endure all kinds of sacrifices in their desperate attempt to slim…

… Only to lose a few measly pounds. (If they lose any weight at all.)

When you’re suffering from hormonal imbalance, weight loss becomes an impossibly difficult uphill battle.

As you’ve seen in this article, it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are steps we can take today to help bring our hormones back into healthy balance and make weight loss much easier.

If you found this information helpful, would you consider sharing this article by clicking one of the social icons (Facebook, Google+, etc.) below?

Let’s tell others that their weight issues are not their fault AND there’s something they can do to finally shed pounds!

Your turn: Have you struggled to lose weight in the past? Which of the suggestions from this article are you planning to try?

3 Comments

  • I believe everything youre saying is true about hormones especially slleeping I have just started night flying internationally and my weight gain is very noticeable I have never dieted. I work out on a regular basis I used to teach fitness classes so I know about exercise and its benefits. I eat healthy although not strictly and I went through menopause when I started flying internationally I am a flight attendant at age 55. I have a great deal of inflammation in my body but I still work out consistently and I take vitamins Everything you mentioned above I can relate to

  • MARTHA SAULNY says:

    you are right about poop trap inside of you–I ry to cleanse myself once a week but i still cannot get rid of the belly fat–my problems is i cannot do floor execeruse do to my knee joints–i get so stress out where i give up an return to my habit of sweets like ice cream—i have a lot of inflammation in my kness and thigh when keep mr down and from work–i have a bike which help some and after i ice my knee to for cool down my biggest problem is my belly
    help me please Martha Saulny

    • Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. says:

      Hi Martha, I would start with decreasing inflammatory foods such as wheat, white flour, pasta, any type of dairy. You can replace it with Rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa and oats. For dairy, switch to unsweetened almond and cashew milk or coconut milk.

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