Hormones and Weight Loss
Every day, we are bombarded with stories, ads, and advice about how to lose weight, and for good reason. The list of negative health ramifications from carrying excess weight seems to grow longer every day, and yet most American adults are still deemed “overweight” or “obese”.
Even when you do everything “right,” sometimes weight loss is sluggish or nonexistent. You eat right, exercise more, and maybe even try the latest “scientifically proven” weight-loss supplement, but the needle on the scale still won’t budge.
On top of that, as we age, it seems to get even more difficult, for both men and women.
Why is that?
Everyone is different, but hormones and weight-loss often have a huge impact on your progress.
Fat Creating and Fat Burning Hormones
Your body creates more than 50 hormones, or specialized chemical messengers, that circulate throughout your body and instruct different cells to perform a variety of actions. Most hormones are released from endocrine glands, and the entire hormonal communication system is called the endocrine system.
Hormones interact with specific cells and relay instructions on what to do (or not do). They can work to bolster your immune system, moderate your emotions, influence growth, affect muscle contractions, and regulate your metabolism. When hormone levels fall below optimal levels or become imbalanced, your body can display dozens of different symptoms – many of which decrease your quality of life.
There are several hormones that affect weight-loss. If you aren’t seeing results no matter how hard you try, it’s a good idea to let a medical professional evaluate your levels.
9 Important Hormones that Can Impact Weight Loss
You’ve probably heard about insulin, but do you know how it works?
When you eat, your food gets broken down into basic nutrients (e.g., amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose), and those nutrients enter your bloodstream to circulate and reach all your cells.
When blood-glucose levels rise, your pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin then circulates through your bloodstream and attaches to your cells’ receptors to “open the gate”. Once the gate is open, glucose can enter the cell, where it can be utilized as an energy source.
Sometimes, however, the cells’ receptors either don’t respond to the insulin, or the body quits making enough insulin. As a result, the insulin doesn’t usher the glucose into the cell, so it stays in the bloodstream instead of getting used up as an energy source inside the cell.
When you have excess glucose, your hormones aren’t balanced and weight loss becomes more difficult as your body tries to store that excess glucose as fat.
Estrogen is found in both men and women, although women have higher levels, and this hormone can affect weight loss in several ways.
Estrogen acts on the hypothalamus in your brain to help regulate food intake, energy expenditure, and to determine how fat tissue gets distributed, ultimately acting as a fat burning hormone at the right level in the body. It also acts on your pancreas’ insulin-producing cells to help regulate insulin secretion.
It’s important to assess your estrogen levels to discover whether you have too little or too much. It’s also crucial to investigate the balance of estrogen with other hormones, like progesterone. A trained medical professional can explain in detail the many different roles estrogen and other hormones play in weight loss.
Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone” because the adrenal glands produce it in response to emotional or physical stress. It is also released when your blood glucose levels fall too low.
Excess cortisol contributes to the accumulation of fat deposits in your internal organs. While it acts as a fat burning hormone to break down fat and release fatty acids for energy, it does so slowly. It takes several hours for cortisol to make this happen. In contrast, when you eat, your body secretes insulin very quickly.
If you consume more nutritional energy than you burn, though, and you take in macronutrients more quickly than they can be used up, cortisol helps your body store excess fat in specific areas, like your chest and head regions.
Also, when fatty acids are released from your fat cells, your body uses those for energy and conserves glucose, so again, excess glucose can be converted to fat for storage.
Both men and women produce and utilize testosterone, although women produce less than men.
Testosterone helps your muscles grow and stay strong, and it keeps your bones strong, as well. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, adding muscle increases your basal metabolic rate. This means you burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest.
With low levels of this fat burning hormone, you may gain fat quicker and more easily. In fact, there are theories that testosterone may even suppress your body’s ability to store fat.
As you age, testosterone levels naturally decrease. There are several other factors that can decrease testosterone production, too, such as obesity, certain medications, or your genetic blueprint.
5. Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced in the pituitary gland in your brain, and it helps your body grow and develop, especially in childhood. It also enables you to grow muscle fibers, repair tissues, and boost your metabolism.
If your HGH levels are too low, supplemental HGH therapy may help your body decrease body fat while increasing muscle mass, making it an effective fat burning hormone for both men and women. It can rev up your metabolism and improve cartilage and bone growth. Studies have demonstrated that supplementation can assist people who are deficient in HGH boost muscle mass and decrease fat.
It’s crucial to get assessed by a competent medical professional, like the staff at Apollo Medical Group. Finding the right balance between Human Growth Hormones and weight loss requires medical supervision to avoid unwarranted side effects.
Your adrenal glands produce DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, and your body converts some of it into estrogen and testosterone.
DHEA is another hormone that naturally decreases with age. Since it increases estrogen and testosterone levels, both of which can act as fat burning hormones in the right dosage, t’s important to only take the amount recommended by a certified health professional.
7. Thyroid Hormones
Your thyroid hormones have a big impact on your body’s regulatory systems, including your metabolism.
Thyroid hormones and weight loss are directly related as these fat burning hormones increase your metabolic rate, so a deficiency can wreak havoc on your weight-loss efforts. Specifically, they activate your fat cells to break down fat and release it as fatty acids.
Thyroid hormones play a big role in metabolizing glucose, as well. They stimulate your cells to react to insulin and take in glucose from the bloodstream. They also encourage cells to utilize that glucose for energy.
Leptin gets released by your fat cells, and its job is to tell your body when you’re full. It’s responsible for telling your brain, “Enough food! Stop eating!”.
Leptin also changes your fat cells’ sensitivity to insulin. In essence, it helps your cells to limit new fat storage. Rather than acting as a fat burning hormone, these hormones act as weight loss monitors.
Ghrelin is called the “hunger hormone” because it stimulates the feeling of hunger. When your stomach empties, it secretes ghrelin, which then travels to your brain to signal, “I need food!” However, when your stomach gets full again, ghrelin isn’t secreted anymore.
A lot of factors work together to determine how well you succeed when you try to lose weight, and every person is different. Hormones and weight loss are directly related, so getting your hormone levels checked by a medical professional is an important piece of the puzzle when determining the best weight-loss strategy for you.
The medical professionals at Apollo Medical Associates have years of extensive training and experience helping people just like you. We can help you determine what your hormone levels are, how balanced they are, and help you decide whether hormone replacement therapy can improve your quality of life and boost your weight-loss efforts.
Specifically, Apollo Medical Associates can analyze and provide Bioidentical Hormone Replacement to balance and maintain optimal levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These hormones may enhance your weight-loss efforts by building and maintaining muscle, inhibiting fat storage, and boosting your metabolism.
Our specialists may also recommend DHEA, HGH, or other hormones, depending on your current profile. Our personalized treatment plan ensures your body has the optimal amounts of fat burning hormones it needs, so you can effectively shed excess fat and build strong bones and muscles. Our Medical Weight Loss Plans can jump-start your efforts and help you succeed in creating a healthier and lighter you.
Many women are amazed at how much easier it is to lose weight after harnessing the power of bioidentical hormones with our Advanced Hormone Replacement for Women. Likewise, men report an increase in their quality of life after utilizing the Advanced Hormone Replacement for Men.
Schedule an appointment today to see if medical weight loss is the right option for you.