With the new year upon us, many Americans are committing to getting fit and losing weight.
While weight loss is never easy, it can be especially challenging when your hormones are working against you. However, by understanding the hormones that are at play and how to manage them, you can improve your body’s metabolism and reduce hunger pangs.
Here is a primer on five major hormones involved in regulating appetite and fat burning to help you get fit and lose fat in 2013!
Mitzi’s Top 7 Tips to Lose Weight in 2013
1. Stop eating when you’re satisfied … not stuffed!
2. The only place you can eat in your house is at your table.
3. Eat a source of protein
4. Never skip meals.
5. Don’t eat after dinner.
6. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of ice cold water each day.
7. Incorporate high-intensity interval training into your exercise regimen.
This hormone is released by fat cells and helps to increase the body’s metabolism, increase the rate of fat burning and reduce appetite. You can increase your levels of adiponectin by getting leaner through exercise. Replacing carbohydrates with more monounsaturated fats in diet may boost levels as well.
2. Cholecystokinin or CCK
CCK is released from intestinal cells in response to the digestion of proteins and fat. CCK slows digestion and communicates satiety to the brain. Both mechanisms keep you feeling full longer, which reduces food intake. You can boost CCK levels by making sure to include some lean protein and healthy fat with every meal or snack.
You know the rumbling in your tummy that occurs when your stomach empties and it’s time to eat? Well, you can thank ghrelin for that unpleasant sensation of hunger. Instead of giving in and returning to old eating habits, make sure to work out on a regular basis. Exercise appears to be the most effective way to decrease ghrelin levels.
You have probably heard of this hormone before in relation to diabetes. That’s due to insulin’s role in managing blood glucose. The pancreas releases insulin when our blood sugar levels rise after eating. Insulin then travels throughout the body, signaling cells to take up blood glucose to use for energy or to store as fat. When insulin levels remain high, our body does not want to burn fat; therefore, lowering insulin is important for weight loss. Reducing starches in the diet and replacing them with carbohydrates from vegetables and some fruit can help to reduce insulin levels.
Like adiponectin, leptin is released from fat cells throughout the body. This hormone is one that we want to take advantage of since it signals the brain to stop eating and the body to burn calories. To maximize your sensitivity to leptin, make sure to get plenty of sleep at night and to include lots of antioxidant-rich fruits, such as berries, and vegetables in your diet.