When you are dieting and exercising to lose weight, you should be aware of how a balance hormone system can help with weight loss. Hormone is the chemical messenger that affects almost all aspects of our body functions. Here are some of the hormones that have impact on weight loss.

1) Insulin

Insulin is produced in the pancreas and work to regulate blood sugar level. A diet of sugar and refined carbohydrates maintains a high level of insulin in the blood. This causes the body to store fat and reduce the chance for the body to burn fat

2) Cortisol

This is a stress hormone, which prevents fat loss by stimulating insulin release to maintain blood sugar level. Cortisol triggers the body into fat storage mode, and cause fat deposit in the abdomen area. The fat stored around the abdomen area is called “toxic fat” because it increases the risk of heart diseases and stroke.

3) Ghrelin and Leptin

These 2 hormones are related your sleep and they act in opposite to each other. Not having enough sleep stimulates the production of ghrelin and reduces the production of leptin. Ghrelin increases the appetite for food. Leptin, on the other hand, is an appetite suppressant.

4) Growth hormone

This stimulates protein synthesis for muscle development and affects the strength of bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. During exercise, growth hormone stimulates the use of fat for energy rather than glucose, hence, causing fat loss.

5) Epinephrine

Epinephrine is produced when we exercise. It increases the amount blood the heart pumps and direct it to where it is needed. It also stimulates the breakdown of glycogen and fat stored in the muscle. This is how fat is burned when we exercise.

6) Estrogen

Estrogen level decreases during menopause. As the body produces less estrogen, it looks for it from the other places. Fat cells have the ability to produce estrogen and they work harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen level.  So, menopausal women tend to deposit fat around the waist and abdomen.

What can we do to balance hormonal level for weight loss?

1) Diet

Eat a healthy diet according to MyPlate; plenty of fruits and vegetable, lean protein and whole grains.  Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, which are the main cause for insulin imbalance. Be aware of how much calories each food you are eating so that you can pro-actively limit your daily calories intake to 1800 calories.

2) Space your meals

Eat properly spaced meals each day. Follow the formula 4-4-12. Have 4 hours between breakfast and lunch, 4 hours between lunch and dinner and 12 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day. This allows digestion to complete, blood sugar and lipids level to return to normal. In this way, the body can go into fat burning zone instead of fat storing mode.

3) Get enough sleep

Get about 6-8 hours of sleep. Don’t go to bed excessively late at night. Also irregular sleep pattern such as sleeping very little one day and make up excessively the next day.

4) Limit toxins

Limit intake of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as they put pressure on the liver to detox, which reduces the liver ability to breakdown fat. They also increase water retention. Reduce or eliminate processed food and trans fat in your diet as they contain additives, which are not beneficial to the body.

5) Exercise

Exercise increase metabolism, burns fat and tones the muscle. Do weight-bearing exercises such as walking, cycling and weight training. Exercise regularly relieves stress, gives you a sense of well-being and puts you in a good mood.

You cannot control how much hormone is release in your body. If you follow the recommendation listed, you are well on your way to achieve hormonal balance for weight loss.

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