Top 10 Weight Loss Hormones: What Should You Target?

by May 12, 2022Weight Loss0 comments

The top weight loss hormones do more than make you feel full or hungry. Even if you don’t know, they can shift your weight directly. That’s the difference between regular cravings and hormonal changes.

But, what are these crucial hormones for weight loss? In this article, I’ll take you through the most important. We’ll go through regular media articles and scientific research.

With that out of the way, let’s begin.

How do weight loss and hormones relate?

Hormones are a primary influence on our weight. They typically act automatically, controlling our weight gain. So, they’re a worthy consideration if you start gaining pounds.

Moreover, some hormones control how much we want to eat. That can make weight gain appear natural. In reality, hormones could play a larger role than you think.

Hormonal fluctuations and weight swings

Hormonal changes don’t tend to affect our weight directly. Menopause is a great example. You might gain a couple of extra pounds with it. But, that doesn’t mean you have to fix it.

In most cases, hormones make it easier or harder to change weight. As mentioned, you might have more or fewer cravings. That said, some conditions—like hypothyroidism—can be examples.

Top weight loss hormones’ impact on appetite

Leptin and ghrelin are the main appetite hormones. Respectively, they prevent and motivate cravings.

On one hand, leptin helps you feel satiated. Its levels increase as you gain weight. The result is needing less food to feel full. Leptin resistance is a controversial concept as well. It suggests that the hormone doesn’t work as well in some people.

On the other, we have ghrelin. Its function is the exact opposite of leptin. It stimulates our appetite. Moreover, it promotes fat storage. Like leptin, losing weight tends to increase ghrelin levels.

Hormones and blood sugar

Blood sugar also tends to play a primary role in weight. As such, 6 hormones are vital in this regard:

  1. Insulin is the main glucose-related hormone. It helps transform glucose into fuel and store it as fat.
  2. Cortisol makes energy production easier. If prolonged, its release can cause inflammation and weight gain.
  3. Testosterone and estrogen are vital sex hormones. And, their links to body weight are complicated. Proper levels typically lead to a healthy weight.
  4. Specifically, estrogen has a stronger influence on body weight. Likewise, it can affect insulin sensitivity.
  5. Testosterone mainly relates to energy and motivation. Thus, it can impact our ability to work out.
  6. Finally, thyroid hormones have direct links to metabolism. In other words, it can dictate the calorie-burning speed.

How can you treat top weight loss hormones’ imbalance?

Luckily, you’re not entirely out of luck when it comes to hormones. You can actually do a lot to fix these issues. Naturally, most of them involve professional help. But, there’s also a lot you can do by yourself.

For instance, there are natural measures. You can avoid heavy dieting to keep your hormones in check. You can also avoid refined sugar and processed foods. Protein and fiber are also great allies.

Likewise, exercise is a must for anyone. Cardio training is a great way to improve your metabolism. For older adults, resistance training is better to offset the hormonal weight gain.

As for medication, hormone supplements are a solid answer. But, you should avoid them if not really necessary. Weight loss isn’t a legitimate reason.

GLP-1 is a hormone we’ll review in a bit. This hormonal supplement is a promising treatment for weight loss. I’ll talk more about it when we get to it.

Top weight loss hormone #1: Insulin

Firstly, we have an obvious one. Insulin is vital for processing glucose and generating energy from carbs. It’s also the main agent behind diabetes and its weight gain implications. Moreover, insulin resistance can also lead to unintentional weight gain and loss.

Why is it important?

Type 2 diabetes is insulin’s greatest implication. Most patients are overweight. And, most treatments also promote weight gain. Insulin treatment is vital, but many avoid it. So, the relationship can be very problematic.

What can you do about it?

There’s a lot you can do about insulin sensitivity. You can start exercising at higher intensities, for instance. Improving your sleep and diet are also fantastic strategies. Focus on getting more omega-3 and fewer glycemic carbs.

Top weight loss hormone #2: Leptin

As mentioned, leptin controls our appetite. More specifically, it limits how much and often we want to eat. As such, proper levels can be crucial to keeping a healthy weight. It’s more of a behavior-related weight loss hormone.

Why is it important?

Leptin directly affects how much we eat. As such, low levels usually lead to overeating. Again, it’s not like it’ll make you gain weight passively. But, it can change your behavior towards controlling your appetite less.

What can you do about it?

Curiously, keeping a healthy weight is a primary way to keep healthy leptin levels. But, that can be a challenge by itself. Another strategy is to improve sleep schedules and quality. As usual, regular exercise is a must for anyone.

Top weight loss hormone #3: Ghrelin

Ghrelin is essentially the opposite of Leptin. In short, it makes you want to eat more. Again, it relates more to your behavior. Curiously,  it’s also a possible link between depression and weight gain. Thus, it’s a top weight loss hormone.

Why is it important?

The reason is both similar and opposite to leptin. Yes, it’ll make you eat more if its levels are off. Yet, high levels are the red flag in this scenario. In this case, losing weight tends to increase ghrelin levels. So, you need to keep a balance.

What can you do about it?

As you’d expect, it’s—again—similar to leptin. Your first goal is to keep a healthy weight. That’ll keep ghrelin levels under control. Sleep is also a critical consideration. And, make sure you’re not skipping foods. Eating lowers ghrelin levels.

Top weight loss hormone #4: Cortisol

Cortisol is our stress hormone. And, stress could have close ties with weight. Right now, it’s kind of uncertain whether it’s gain or loss. But, cortisol does change how our body metabolizes energy. So, we can’t ignore it.

Why is it important?

When we’re stressed, cortisol boosts our energy levels and heart rate. That’s because our body needs to produce more energy in danger. Prolonged high levels can cause weight gain. After all, we’d need to refuel constantly.

What can you do about it?

Of course, relaxation techniques are a must when fighting cortisol. Mindfulness and meditation are great examples. Exercise can also shed stress. It also keeps a healthy body weight, which could help. Proper sleep and nutrition are also vital advantages.

Top weight loss hormone #5: Estrogen

Most people know estrogen as the main “female” hormone. It’s responsible for female reproductive regulation. The same holds for immunity and cardiovascular systems. This hormone tends to shift heavily and correlates with weight gain.

Why is it important?

Estrogen is the main reason why menopause disrupts weight. High levels are common in obese people. But, low levels might also alter our body weight. Central obesity is more likely in low estrogen cases.

What can you do about it?

Again, weight management is crucial to help us manage estrogen levels. Likewise, it offsets many of its consequences. Hormone treatment might also be a consideration. And, a balanced diet with regular exercise is also effective.

Top weight loss hormone #6: Neuropeptide Y

Neuropeptide Y comes from our brain and nervous system cells. It’s similar to ghrelin: it stimulates appetite. Likewise, it decreases our energy expenditure in periods of stress. Naturally, it’s related to weight gain and obesity.

Why is it important?

NPY has a vasoconstrictive effect on our blood vessels. Thus, it has a strong link with blood pressure regulation. Likewise, it’s essential for eating behavior regulation. Its stimulation comes from exercise and fasting. Overall, energy loss can trigger its release.

What can you do about it?

To keep low levels, the first step is to exercise. Regular physical activity can decrease its levels. But, you must be careful. It could also trigger it. The most important tactic is to eat properly. Keeping a healthy diet prevents its release.

Top weight loss hormone #7: Thyroid hormones

Hypothyroidism also has close links with weight loss and gain. That’s why it’s also a top weight loss hormone. Our thyroid hormone controls our metabolic rate. Thyroid deficiency can result in a slower basal metabolic rate. As such, we burn calories slower.

Why is it important?

Our BMR is our resting metabolic rate. It’s how we process nutrients without additional work. Thus, a high BMR can be a critical ally for weight loss. Unfortunately, a low metabolic rate can lead to weight gain. But, it’s not as radical as many expect.

What can you do about it?

With hypothyroidism, treatment is usually a priority. Hormonal treatment can help you balance thyroid hormone levels. Of course, nutrition and exercise are also crucial. Both let you offset its weight implications.

Top weight loss hormone #8: Glucagon-like peptide-1

GLP-1 comes from your gut as soon as nutrients enter the intestines. Its implications also go beyond mere weight management. It’s a primary hormone for keeping stable blood sugar levels. Of course, it’s also responsible for satiation.

Why is it important?

This hormone has received attention because of its effectiveness against type 2 diabetes. But, the study also points out that it could help treat obesity. That’s because it seems to handle within-meal reflexes.

What can you do about it?

Interestingly, GLP-1 is slightly different from other top weight loss hormones. Exercise and sleep aren’t really important. Instead, you should focus on eating more protein. Additionally, probiotics can be a worthy addition to your diet.

Top weight loss hormone #9: Cholecystokinin

CCK is quite similar to GLP-1. It stimulates fullness and comes from your gut after you eat. In this case, it handles energy production, digestion, and protein synthesis. Curiously, it releases leptin, another fullness hormone.

Why is it important?

Among its many functions, we have energy intake suppression. In other words, it makes us want to gain less energy. Usually, that translates into eating less: a lower appetite. Dietary manipulation can be a crucial advantage when manipulating CCK action.

What can you do about it?

As such, eating habits are the first stop. In this regard, eating plenty of protein can increase CCK levels. Thus, you’ll feel full for longer. Moreover, exercising is a vital addition to increasing its levels. So, it cements working out as a vital strategy overall.

Top weight loss hormone #10: Peptide YY

Finally, PYY is another hormone from the gut that regulates our appetite. In this case, the top weight loss hormone is lower in obese patients. Thus, they feel hungrier more often. It leads to overeating and general weight gain.

Why is it important?

This hormone relates closely to NPY. And, it’s co-secreted with GLP-1. So, it’s part of a trifecta of top weight loss hormones. Of course, regulating appetite is crucial for keeping a healthy weight.

What can you do about it?

The tips are what you’re already used to: diet and exercise. Eating plenty of protein can keep healthy levels of PYY. The paleo diet is a great example of a PYY-healthy diet. Likewise, exercise can also improve PYY levels.

The holistic takeaway

weight loss hormones woman doing exercise

The top weight loss hormones are crucial if you want to manage your weight. Keeping an eye on them can be a huge edge. But, that doesn’t mean it’s straightforward.

It’s far from it.

You can’t simply control your hormones. At most, you can adopt a diet and supplements that aid with them. Other than that, make sure you’re working out. The same holds for sleeping properly.

Speaking of supplements, there’s a great help. HB5 is a weight loss supplement focused mainly on hormones. It tackles 5 out of these 10 weight loss hormones. So, it’s a fantastic addition to your diet.

If you want to learn more, check out my review!

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