Health

The Hormonal Relationship Between Weight Loss And Metabolism

There are a few key hormones that impact metabolism and weight loss. They really all have one thing in common, blood sugar.

If our blood sugar levels become too high, this sends messages to all sorts of areas in the body which try to counteract it by sending out other hormones to deal with it, ultimately resulting in the excess blood sugar being stored as fat.

Hormones, weight loss and metabolism

5 hormones that affect blood sugar levels, hormones and weight loss

1. Leptin

Leptin is one of these hormones. Its job is to let us know we are full. Excess sugar in the blood gets turned into fat by the liver, and this increases leptin. Sounds like a good thing, but too much leptin telling the body we are full, and the body begins to ignore the message, leading to leptin resistance, and ultimately overeating, as the body can no longer recognise when it is full.

2. Ghrelin

The hormone that is supposed to work in harmony with leptin is ghrelin. This hormone is released when you are hungry. In obese people ghrelin’s message is much more sensitive, and the result is an increase in blood glucose concentrations and more hyperglycameia. We know what excess blood glucose ends in: the sugar is stored as fat.

Sleep deprivation can increase ghrelin levels, explaining why you feel hungrier after a bad night’s sleep.

3. Oestrogen

Oestrogen is a hormone that comes into play as well. Excess oestrogens in the body can be a result of eating hormone-laden meats, excess plant oestrogens like soy, and exposure to xeno-oestrogens in our environment. The xeno-oestrogen’s are pretenders and trick the body into thinking they have more oestrogen than they do.

These are present in soooo many things in our world – plastics, perfumes, pesticides, birth control pills, nail polish. The list goes on! What you need to know is what happens when the body goes into “oestrogen dominance”. It tips the balance of your sex hormones and results in conditions like insulin resistance and PCOS. Insulin resistance raises blood sugar levels, and again, the sugar is stored as fat.

4. Cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone that we release when stressed. It is one of our fight or flight hormones. A little bit is good for the body, it wakes us up in the morning and gets us on with the day. An excessive amount of cortisol is telling the body there is a catastrophic event to prepare for, and it does this by converting blood sugar to fat stores. The number one thing we do to stimulate excess cortisol is drink caffeine! Stress management is super important for this hormone, as emotional, physical and imagined stress all stimulate cortisol production.

Hormones, weight loss and metabolism

5. Thyroid

Lastly, our thyroid hormones play a part. Hypothyroidism or low thyroid hormones slow down metabolism, resulting in weight gain or the inability to lose weight, as all of the functions of the body are slowed. Stress can cause this, as well as autoimmune disorders, and nutritional deficiencies..

So, the answer: Balance out your blood sugars, get a good night’s sleep, make sure you are getting all your nutrients by eating a well-balanced diet, avoid toxins by choosing organic, and learn to manage stress!!

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cheree-sheldon
written by:

Cheree Sheldon

Cheree is an experienced naturopath who specialises in nutritional medicine; focusing on pregnancy support, babies and children. She is a published recipe developer whose background as a chef allows her to develop healthy, nutritionally balanced meals. Being a mum herself, she loves recipes that are easy to make and appeal to the whole family. Cheree has worked for the Healthy Mummy since early 2015 developing Healthy Mummy specific recipes and preparing the challenge meals for our monthly 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges. She calculates all the nutritional information for the recipes and provides our team with expert advice and information on current nutritional issues.Cheree loves working for the The Healthy Mummy because "I have the chance to share my love of delicious, nutritious food with other mums”.