Your weight problem is probably not a matter of will or discipline, but a hormonal imbalance. While many still think that losing weight is simply about willpower, eating less, and exercising more, the latest research on obesity indicates that the problem is much more complex, involving many factors. Boost fat - burning hormones, it may be one of the solutions.
Let's first recognize something that we all know to be true: burning fat and losing weight is often a (very) difficult endeavor.
Numerous reasons exist to tell us this is the case: genetics, food addiction, processed foods, sugar-laden foods, beverages, etc. Recently, scientists have discovered that hormonal factors play a greater role in storing fat, burning, and maintaining a healthy weight than previously thought.
It is this last factor that we are going to discuss in this article. More specifically, we will talk about how you can "turn on" hormonal mechanisms that will speed up the process of burning fat.
4 ways to give your fat burning hormones a boost
Most people have demanding jobs, family obligations, and other responsibilities that limit their free time. When we are in a constant state of rush, our brain will begin to be in a "fight or flight" mode, producing feelings of anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and irritability.
What is all this stress doing? It releases the nasty "stress hormone" cortisol.
Among other things, cortisol drives our appetite, especially foods that are sweet and saturated with "bad carbohydrates." When we force these impulses, our insulin levels briefly rise - and then plummet. The cycle repeats until the body and mind are in a relaxed state.
"Fat from stress" is a term commonly used in the medical community. This fat also tends to settle in our belly.
You know your limits - and it would be wise to be aware of them. You also know the things that bring you joy, and you should surround yourself with them in any way possible. Others have turned to meditation with great success. Others love to get a deep massage. Do what makes you feel good, as often as possible.
2. Get into a sleep routine
Apart from changing to the moody version of ourselves, inadequate sleep or a lack of a sleep routine (both are often present), it can negatively alter the balance of hormones responsible for metabolism and eating habits.
In a study from the University of Chicago School of Medicine, the study's lead author, Dr. Matthew Brady, stated that "fat cells need sleep to function properly." Brady and his team came to this conclusion by monitoring the hormone levels of 11 participants, who were first allowed 8.5 hours of sleep over several nights, followed by 4.5 hours of sleep over the same period.
The participants, after a short period of sleep, had a decrease in the total insulin response in the body by an average of 16 percent. The insulin sensitivity of fat cells decreased by 30 percent.
Insulin, more than any other hormonal or physiological factor, affects the body's ability to absorb or convert fat. When this hormone does not work properly, we are more likely to store fat than to convert it. A correct balance in these hormones contributes to the natural fat burning function of our body.
3. Change eating habits
Not surprisingly, diet can influence hormones. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy (or no dairy at all), and whole grains can help.
Cortisol and blood sugar are the main reasons here. A high fiber diet can stabilize blood sugar - peas, beans, lentils, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are excellent sources of fiber. Stay away from complex carbohydrates like white bread and pasta.
When our blood sugar level is stable, the brain can function properly. This helps mitigate the side effects that often result from low blood sugar, such as dizziness, headache, brain fog, anxiety, and nervousness. Therefore, the important hormone cortisol does not invade our bodies.
4. Get moving
Again, nothing really groundbreaking here. Exercise is seemingly always an anecdote for almost all physical and mental ailments, and optimizing your fat-burning hormones is no exception.
Your muscles are loaded with insulin receptors. The more muscle mass you have and the more heat generated from your muscles on a regular basis, the more efficiently you will use insulin and burn carbohydrates and body fat.
Again, contrary to popular belief - and growing scientific evidence - you don't need to train like a triathlete. 45 minutes of light to moderate exercise, 3 days a week (minimum), is enough activity to stimulate and maintain insulin balances.
One of testosterone’s main functions is to build muscle. For men facing low levels of the hormone, increasing strength can be a challenge. In fact, low testosterone has the exact opposite effect as it easily turns muscle to fat. In the absence of the “male hormone”, estrogen increases and puts fat where no one wants it: the chest, midsection and thighs. As we know, the build up of body fat lowers testosterone even further, creating a merciless cycle that is hard to escape.