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Wellness Journey 8: Understanding Hormones

Updated: Jun 7, 2020



Hormones play THE MOST important role in our weight and fat loss journey. This is probably the most critical post, and as I am sharing some of the vital hormones that you should about.


Before understanding hormones, one quick thing about how they function.


Hormones Receptors are responsible for the functioning of hormones. If the hormones are abnormally high in quantity, they weaken the receptors. This causes "hormone" resistance.


Ex: Leptin is a hormone that instructs the brain to stop eating. However, Leptin is produced by fat cells. Does this mean

More Fat == More Leptin == Less Eating ? NO


Fat produces Leptin but at a very high-fat percentage body develops leptin resistance and the body always sees low leptin and hence the desire to eat more.

 

Leptin


This hormone instructs the brain to stop eating. It's released by fat cells. People with high fat get leptin resistance and hence always feel hungry.


For weight loss, we should try to increase this in the body. When you lose your first kg, it is released along with Dopamine in our body which makes you happy.

 

Ghrelin


This hormone is secreted by the stomach. Also known as the hunger hormone. It stimulates appetite and increases fat deposition. Note that a strict diet or fasting can increase this up. For good weight loss, we need to lower this hormone in the body. This can be done by


  1. Workout

  2. Water Consumption

  3. Eating food rich in protein

  4. Avoiding fasting

  5. No Guilt Eating

 

Thyroid



A normal range of TSH levels is important for healthy weight loss. It is responsible for regulating metabolism and also helps to increase the BMR.


The thyroid affects nearly every cell of the body and it's required for Protein Synthesis. It also regulates Fat, Protein, Carb.






For effective weight loss, it's required that we test our T3, T4, TSH and ensure normal levels in the body and seek professional help if we are out of range.


 

Cortisol


It is secreted by the adrenal gland and it goes up with stress, anxiety, anger.


It decreases stress by increasing the blood sugar level. Increases visceral fat


To maintain this hormone

  1. Have good sleep

  2. Reduce Stress

 

And the mother of all hormones - Insulin


Insulin is produced by the pancreas.

  1. Insulin lowers sugar (main function)

  2. Stores fat (remember - the presence of insulin means an instruction to the body to store extra sugar and turn into fat or get consumes by muscles)

  3. Insulin BLOCKS any chance of burning fat.

  4. It affects fat and protein metabolism.

  5. It converts sugar into cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fat)

  6. It increases blood pressure.

  7. High insulin leads to Insulin resistance

That's why it's very important to measure your Blood Glucose level before starting the weight/fat loss journey.


Few important points to note:

  1. Insulin gets triggered by high carb food.

  2. A very high amount of insulin can also destroy the protein.

It’s very important to understand that different food causes a different insulin spike. There are foods that are NOT high in sugar but cause high insulin spikes. That’s why sometimes even if you take low sugar, the insulin is still high in the body. Here are the food that causes high insulin spikes

  1. Butter - 2%

  2. Olive Oil -3%

  3. Egg yolk - 15%

  4. Egg white - 55%

  5. Low-fat yogurt - 75%

  6. Potato - 100%

This is the reason why intermittent fasting helps in weight/far loss. It’s not to control the fat but to avoid insulin spikes.


What lowers insulin

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar.

  2. Fermented food.

  3. High potassium food.

  4. Fiber.

  5. Green vegetables

 

Glucagon


It's the opposite of Insulin. Released by the pancreas.


The presence of insulin instructs fat & muscles to consume sugar from the bloodstream. It gets released when blood sugar is low.


The presence of Glucagon instructs the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose and release it into the bloodstream.


These are few important hormones that play a significant role in overall fat/weight loss.


- Saurabh

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