Happy Hormones- How to Lose Weight

Many people need to have a basic undestanding of how their hormones work to  help them lose weight

Now  the entire Hormone function on the body is FAR too complex and detailed to put into a blog but I wanted to give you an idea as to the 'main players' that we can address and give you fast acting results on how you feel and help your weight loss efforts

 

Ghrelin

This is known as your hunger hormone. Ghrelin plays a crucial role in making sure you eat enough to survive

 

What you can do to help you lose weight

  1. Eat at regularly scheduled times- Ghrelin is most affected by your heaviest meal of the day. If you eat at more controlled times it helps you control your hunger throughout your day
  2. Eat more Fibre- this helps to suppress Ghrelin levels. Achieve this by eating more vegetables
  3. Reduce your conditioned response to stress. For most people stress = snacking (especially for sweet foods).  Try and forge new, healthier habits

 

Leptin

This is generally known as the body's background appetite suppressant, working around 20 mins after eating to restrict further eating*. It essentially says 'I'm full' when you eat.

*(hence the ancient Chinese proverb 'eat until your 80% full'- like many things they knew this 1000's years ago despite not knowing the exact science!)

If you develop Leptin resistance from eating too much (or eating a bad diet that doesn't give your body the nutrients it needs), you'll never feel full. This is because your brain can't 'hear' the messages saying you're full and should stop eating. 

Your brain doesn't know what you look like.  When your Leptin system isn't working properly all it sees is a body that's starving.

It will keeping telling you to eat more and it will slow down your metabolism (your main weapon when trying to lose weight). This is the WORST thing when trying to lose weight!

What's more it will decrease your Growth Hormone which means less lean muscle (a less toned body burning less fat), and you won't recover as easily after training.

 

What you can do to help you lose weight

  1. Eliminate known allergic foods like: Wheat, Dairy, Gluten, Soy and processed Sugars
  2. Eat more foods that YOU metabolise well, this means trial and error certain foods and use common sense.  Eat foods as close to nature as possible and avoid processed foods. Eat plenty of green leafy veg to reduce your body's acidity.
  3. Improve your gut health. by eating basic, good foods. Reduce any unnecessary medication such as common painkillers if not really needed. If you're not absorbing foods properly your body makes you want to eat more because you're not absorbing the NUTRIENTS the body needs. 
  4. Chew your food thoroughly to help your body absorb the NUTRIENTS you consume. Your stomach doesn't have teeth; help it out.
  5. Try and eat when you are as relaxed as possible, especially your main meal for the day.

 

Insulin

This is released every time you eat, especially after eating things high in sugar.  It is released to reduce the sugar in your blood and store it in your liver.

If you eat all the time and therefore are releasing Insulin all the time you can become resistant to it. Especially if you eat sugary things all the time. This can lead to 'Impaired Glucose Intolerance' (diabetes' predessor) or Diabetes.

When Insulin is released, levels of its opposite hormone Glucagon go down. Glucagon is responsible for releasing sugar into your bloodstream when you need it, ready for physical exercise.

So - if Insulin increases, Glucagon goes down, and the chances of burning body fat go down, because Glucagon also uses energy from body fat via something called Lipolysis (fat break down for energy).

So snacking all the time stops you from burning fat...

 

What can you do to help you lose weight

  1. Not snack all through the day
  2. Have low GI & GL fruit  and veg as snacks and your Insulin levels will be great :)

 

Growth Hormone

This is crucial for muscle growth, healthy joints and good sleep

 

What you can do to help you lose weight

  1. Try and eat enough protein (at least 1g of protein per kg of body weight)
  2. Have Branched chain Amino Acids or BCAA's (some of the more important building blocks of protein) maybe via supplementation
  3. Try and have 2 other amino acids L Tyrosine and Glutamine maybe via supplementation
  4. Take Magnesium before bed or a ZMA supplement to help you sleep.
  5. Train in the right way- the hard stuff including intense cardio, high intensity training (HIIT), Tabata sprints

 

Melatonin

This is the sleep hormone.  It also increases Growth Hormone that is crucial for weight loss

Evidence suggests that those who sleep less are more likely to be obese let alone overweight.

Reduced sleep can impact your appetite regulation by INCREASING hunger via your increasing Ghrelin 

Just 1 night of poor sleep can mean more hunger hormone (Ghrelin) and less satiety hormone (Leptin)

 

What to do to help you lose weight

  1. Many people don't get near 8 hours sleep a night. Try to and you will have more energy to be active, have better eating habits and simply enjoy life more
  2. Have enough Magnesium as this helps good sleep and increases Melatonin. ZMA supplement should help
  3. Avoid watching screens 15 mins before bed as this tricks the brain into thinking its still light outside and this means decreasing sleep quality
  4. Try and keep stress in check as this limits Melatonin

 

 

Your hormones are very powerful allies so try and keep your hormones on your side when trying to lose weight.

There you have it  - a few tips to help you with youe weight loss efforts, I hope you enjoyed reading this and wish you the best of luck!