Hey guys, So as many of you know I am studying for my Precision Nutrition Certification. Let me tell you this is hands-down the hardest course I have taken thus far! I have truly come to understand hormones on a whole new level. Damn hormones! They are responsible for so many of our weight issues. I want to go through the four main ones and how we can fix them in regards to weight loss. I’m really simplifying the descriptions and the solutions but I think this is the easiest way to understand it?
LeptinLeptin is without a doubt the most important hormone in the body in charge of burning fat and it’s an essential hormone which controls practically all other fat loss hormones in the body not to mention your ability to burn fat overall. YIKES ??? Here is a crazy study that I read in my textbook – Leptin levels in overweight people are about four times higher in comparison to people who have a normal BMI .. four times higher that’s insane! Leptin is responsible for signaling to the brain that we have enough energy in our storage system… So basically.. obese people are not getting this signal! Simply put, the brain thinks you’re starving when you’re actually not? On the flip side to this if you have lost a lot of weight or been on a diet for a really long time ….leptin suppression can lead to excessive eating. You might wonder why that is? When you restrict your caloric intake the body considers the fat deposits it has as vital survival tools and the more fat you lose the greater threat the body sees…. which makes it extremely hard to lose any extra pounds 🙁 this is the reason why you see how hard it is for people at the end of the weight-loss journey to lose those last 10 pounds! Damn!!! So what’s a girl to do?
- Your diet should be made up of foods that don’t cause inflammation
- Regular exercise is crucial
- Eliminate trans fats and beverages containing sugar
- Sleep for at least 6 to 8 hours
CortisolCortisol is the most popular One we hear about ….it’s also known as the stress hormone. That’s because it is released when the body is under stress. If you’re running to catch the bus and you’re late stress… If your son is failing out of school stress and even when you’re exercising stress. As you can see there are many levels and different kinds of stress but they all affect cortisol levels having high levels of cortisol may lead to eating too much. So how can we maintain our cortisol levels?
- Avoid high carb foods.. like cake cookies bagels cereal’s breads etc.
- Sleep more
- Strive to have a diet with balanced macronutrient ratios
InsulinEvery time you eat, the body releases insulin to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. Insulin takes away any EXTRA glucose your body creates out of your bloodstream and takes it to the liver… the muscles ….or deposits it in the form of fat tissue. Here’s one thing I didn’t realize about insulin it’s kind of like a double edge sword in that it not only takes the sugar out of your bloodstream but it also has the potential to increase your fat deposits? Think of it this way you eat some cereal in the morning if you already have enough glucose in the blood stream it’s going to take the extra blood glucose you don’t need and put it into your cells for storage or save it as fatty tissue… if you eat more than you burn you are going to continually store more fat.. ugh! So what’s a girl to do?
- Keep your calories from carbs in check I personally like to go with 40% carbs 30% fat 30% protein …that is what works best for me… But again I’m not trying to lose weight and I’m very active so really honing in on your carb intake is huge.
- Also my carbohydrate intake comes from Whole Foods apples… Broccoli… Cauliflower… Beans etc it does not come from 100 cal pack of muffins… Granola bars… Or sugary cereals. The key to finding your correct macronutrient ratios is playing around with different ratios
- This is why fitness pal is such an amazing tool it gives you a graph at the end of the day once you inputted your calories and tells you your percentages Boom!!!!
GhrelinThis is the hunger hormone…. call me crazy I remember this one by ….ready for it ….growling ….my stomach is growling ….it’s releasing Grehlin grrr?? get it ? Me so funny ???? This hormone signals to the brain that you’re ready to eat. That was our highest right before you’re about to eat and lowest an hour after you have eaten Here’s a crazy factoid research has shown that obese people experience only a minimal reduction in Grehlin levels.. so basically if your brain is not getting the signal that your full… It’s going to tend to over eat So how do we control these levels?
- Eliminate high fructose corn syrup and beverages filled with sugar like energy drinks which have the potential to disrupt Grehlin response after eating
- More protein in the morn
- Add drink more water