3 Hormones That Prevent Weight Loss
Thanks to the modern sedentary lifestyle, obesity is one of the most common public health issues these days. A common complaint from people these days is unstoppable weight gain. Almost 42.4 percent of adults in America are overweight.
From the obese population of the U.S., half of them are at a high risk of developing chronic conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Along with this, the modern lifestyle has also normalized stress, increased fatigue, and brain fog—conditions people try to live with; till they can’t take it anymore.
If you are someone with weight loss issues, facing fatigue and memory loss, wondering why you aren’t losing weight, this blog is for you. You will learn about specific hormones that you should get checked first thing while facing weight loss issues, understand their function and dysfunction, and how to resolve it.
In this blog, we’ll be delving into three hormones that might be contributing to your weight gain:
Grab a pen and notebook, and let’s get started!
Please note that the following hormonal imbalances are not limited to morbidly obese individuals—they can be observed in skinny-fat individuals with a normal BMI too.
Hormone #1: Leptin
The first hormone is produced by the fat cells called leptin. The function of this hormone is to signal the brain to regulate appetite.
Back-story: The food you eat provides glucose to the cells of your body to produce energy. This glucose in your blood is transported to the cells via a mediator called insulin.
Now, in the modern life of abundance, people tend to eat more than what their cells need, so there's always some extra glucose left in the blood. Insulin stores this extra glucose in the liver and muscles. Even after that, if there's still some excess glucose, new storage called adipocytes (fat cells) is created. These adipocytes also have endocrine functions: the production of the leptin hormone.
What is the function of the leptin hormone?
The leptin hormone signal the brain to stop sending the hunger signal to the body when there is excess energy in the cells.
Nevertheless, having a lot of leptin is not actually a good thing. Your levels of leptin go up indicating that your fat cells are increasing. When your fat cells increase, they take up most of the glucose from the blood; glucose that the body cells need to produce energy. As the body cells are deprived of glucose, the brain gets the signal to increase the hunger cue; resulting in incessant hunger and overeating.
This turns into a condition called leptin resistance. The most common abnormality with people who gain weight but have normal blood glucose is leptin resistance.
The high levels of leptin not only affect the brain but also the beta cells in the pancreas—increasing fat storage, insulin levels, and insulin resistance.
All of this drives up inflammation.
How do you know if you have leptin resistance?
You probably have leptin resistance if you:
Wake up with no hunger and go hours without the first pang of hunger hitting you in the middle of the day
You feel hungry till bedtime, even after eating.
You face a lot of difficulties losing weight.
Ways to resolve Leptin Resistance:
Intentional Fasting: This fasting cycle intends to shift your metabolism—shifting the use of energy from glucose or carbohydrates to the utilization of fat through a process called ketosis. As this shift happens, your leptin resistance starts to go down. Leptin resistance can be handled by postponing your first meal and preponing your last meal. To practice Intentional Fasting:
Stop eating after dinner.
Avoid bedtime snacks.
Have dinner three hours before bedtime.
If you feel the hunger before bed for the first few weeks, drink a little water.
After waking up, break the fast around midday, but check the ketose level before doing that.
Caloric Deficit: Lept