Wonder why some people find it so easy to lose oodles of weight. It could be due to your hormones that affect weight loss.
While some struggle so hard to even shed a single pound? Why for some people an hour of brisk walking does the trick. While for other hours of cardio also doesn’t bear fruit. Why some people can eat all the food in the world and still not gain a pound. But a single slice of pizza is enough to get you bloated for weeks?
Sounds like your story? Then read on.
The answer to this considerable difference in spectrum for weight loss lies a little deeper, at the molecular level. If you can understand this, you’ll see that weight loss is very rarely a direct consequence of eating or exercising.
Yes, healthy eating and exercise to have a strong influence on weight loss but they are not the deciding factor.
Eventually, losing or gaining weight depends on the right functioning and secretion of several particular hormones in the body. These include:
1. Leptin: The Satiety Hormone
Leptin is the hormone that is responsible to let your brain know that you’re full and need to stop eating. The hormone is released from fat cells and taken to the brain through the bloodstream.
In normal conditions, the level of leptin is controlled and the brain pays strong attention to the message of the hormones. However, if the level of leptin increases beyond a certain threshold, leptin resistance occurs. The brain stops paying attention to its calls. Result, you end up overeating.
This excess production of leptin usually occurs due to excess consumption of fructose, found richly in fruits and processed foods. The liver finds it difficult to process excess fructose and starts converting it into fats. This flows into the bloodstream and settle in the liver and other parts of the body, while increasing the levels of leptin.
2. Cortisol: The Stress Hormone
This is the unfortunate case of a survival mechanism go wrong. In the days when people expected to go for long times without food, especially during famines. They would load up on fruits and other foods to raise blood sugar levels so that it could be stored as fat for future use as energy.
Cortisol’s work is to encourage the conversion of sugar into fat whenever the body triggers stress.
The problem is that in the modern context, we are mostly not faced with situations of famine or impact on survival. However, at the same time, the instances of stress have significantly increased.
So, the body is unnecessarily storing excess calories as fat and putting on weight.
3. Insulin: The Sugar Regulator
When we eat food, our blood sugar rises. The hormone that is responsible to manage blood sugar is insulin, which immediately responds to the higher blood sugar and escorts all excess glucose to different parts in the body. This is consumed by the cells and the blood sugar level returns to normal.
Typically, insulin sends most of the excess glucose to muscles for energy and small amounts to liver or for storage as fat. A healthy pancreas maintains the optimal level of insulin and allows the body to regulate blood sugar levels.
However, if blood sugar in the body increases beyond a certain limit, the body develops a resistance to the excess amount of insulin produced. So, the blood sugar levels remain high or the glucose gets stored as fat leading to obesity. Obesity is a leading factor in increasing the risk of deadly diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and stroke.
4. Estrogen: The Female Hormone
Estrogen, the female sex hormone, doesn’t directly impact weight gain but it has a strong impact on insulin production.
When estrogen levels climb, insulin production is strained and the body becomes insulin resistant. That’s the point when insulin stops transporting as much glucose to the liver and muscles and instead stores more of it as fat.
Although there is no direct way to control the production of these hormones, as in there’s no direct way to control production, an improvement in overall health will maintain healthy production of all hormones.