9 proven ways to fix the hormones that control your weight

Mar 7, 2016 | | Say something

Frustrated Brunette Holding a Scale Your weight is largely controlled by hormones.


Research shows that hormones influence appetite and the amount of fat stored ( 1 2 3 ).

Here are 9 ways to “fix” the hormones that control your weight.

1. Insulin

Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas.

is secreted in small amounts throughout the day and in greater quantities after meals.

Insulin enables cells to take their blood sugar for energy or storage, depending on what is needed at the time.

Insulin is the main hormone of fat storage in the body. It indicates to fat cells to store fat and prevents fat stored decomposition.

When cells are insulin resistant (very common), both sugar and insulin levels in the blood increase significantly.

chronically elevated insulin levels (called hyperinsulinemia ) can lead to many health problems, including obesity and metabolic syndrome ( 4 5 6 ).

Overeating – especially sugar, refined carbohydrates and fast food – Units insulin resistance and increases insulin levels ( 7 8 9 )

Here are some tips to normalize insulin levels and improve insulin sensitivity

  • Avoid or minimize sugar: high amounts of fructose and sucrose promote insulin resistance and raise insulin levels ( 10 11 12 13 14 15 ).
  • Reduce carbohydrates: A low carbohydrate diet may cause an immediate drop in insulin levels ( 16 , [ 17 18 19 )
  • fill protein: protein actually raises insulin in the short term. However, should lead to long-term reductions in insulin resistance, helping lose belly fat ( 20 21 ).
  • include plenty of healthy fats :. omega-3 found in fatty fish may help lower levels of fasting insulin ( 22 )
  • Exercise regularly: overweight women who walked briskly or jogged had improved insulin sensitivity after 14 weeks on a study ( 23 24 25 ).
  • Getting enough magnesium: people resistant to insulin are often low in magnesium, and magnesium supplements may improve insulin sensitivity ( 26 , 27 , 28 ).
  • drinking green tea :. Green Tea may reduce blood sugar and insulin levels ( 29 30 )

Conclusion: insulin is the main hormone of fat storage in the body. Reduce sugar intake, eliminate carbohydrates and exercise are the best ways to reduce insulin levels.

2. Leptin

Leptin is produced by fat cells.

is considered a “satiety hormone” that reduces appetite and makes you feel full.

As a hormone signaling, their role is to communicate with hypothalamus , the part of the brain that regulates appetite and food intake.

Leptin tells the brain that there is enough fat and no more storage is needed, helping to prevent overeating.

People who are overweight or obese tend to have very high levels of leptin in the blood. In fact, a study found that leptin levels in obese people were 4 times higher than in people of normal weight ( 31 ).

Fat and Slim Bellies

If leptin reduces appetite, then obese people with high levels of leptin should start eating less and losing weight.

Unfortunately, obesity in the leptin system does not work as it should. This is known as leptin resistance .

When leptin signaling is altered, the message to stop eating does not reach the brain, so it does not realize it has stored enough energy ( 32 33 ).

Essentially, your brain thinks it’s starving, so it is driven to eat.

Leptin levels are also reduced when weight, which is one of the main reasons why it is so difficult to maintain weight loss long term is lost. The brain thinks it’s starving, and pushes to eat more ( 34 35 36 ).

Two potential causes leptin resistance are chronically elevated insulin levels and inflammation in the hypothalamus ( 5 , 37 , 38 39 , 40 , 41 ).

Here are some suggestions to improve sensitivity to leptin

  • Avoid inflammatory foods :. Limit foods that cause inflammation , especially sugary drinks and trans fats
  • eating certain foods :. Eat anti-inflammatory foods , such as fatty fish ( 42 )
  • Exercise regularly :. Moderate activity may improve leptin sensitivity ( 43 44 45 )
  • Sleep well: . Studies have shown that lack of sleep leads to a drop in leptin levels and increased appetite ( 46 47 )
  • Supplements: in one study, women who follow a diet weight loss that took acid and fish oil alpha-lipoic lost more weight and had a smaller decrease in leptin than those of a control group ( 48 ).

Conclusion: People with obesity tend to be resistant to the effects of leptin. Consuming anti-inflammatories, exercise and sleep enough food can improve leptin sensitivity.

3. The ghrelin

Starving Girl Looking at Toast

Ghrelin is known as a “hunger hormone.”

When the stomach is empty, releases ghrelin, which sends a message to the hypothalamus saying commas ( 49 ).

Normally, ghrelin levels are higher and lower before eating about an hour after having a meal.

However, in people with overweight and obesity, fasting ghrelin levels they are often lower than in people of normal weight ( 50 51 ).

Studies have also shown that obese people after eating a meal, ghrelin decreases only slightly. Because of this, the hypothalamus does not get as strong a signal to stop eating, which can lead to overeating ( 52 ).

Here are some tips to improve the function of ghrelin

  • Sugar Avoid corn syrup, high fructose and sugar-sweetened beverages, which which can affect the ghrelin response after meals ( 53 54 )
  • protein: Eating protein at every meal, especially breakfast , can reduce ghrelin levels and promoting satiety ( 55 , 56 , 57 , 58 ) .

Conclusion :. Eating lots of protein and avoid foods and drinks high in sugar can help optimize ghrelin levels

4. The cortisol

Weight Scale

cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.

This is known as “stress hormone” because it is released when the body senses stress.

Like other hormones, which is vital for survival. However, chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to overeating and weight gain ( 59 ).

seems that women who carry excess weight around the middle respond to stress with a greater increase in cortisol ( 60 61 ).

However, a strict diet can also increase cortisol. In one study, women who ate a low-calorie diet had higher cortisol levels and reported feeling more stressed than women who ate a normal diet ( 62 ).

These strategies can reduce levels of cortisol

  • Balanced Diet: Eat a balanced diet, based on real food. Do not cut calories to extremely low levels.
  • Medite :. The practice of meditation can significantly reduce the production of cortisol ( 63 )
  • Listen to music: . The researchers report that when relaxing music is played during medical procedures, cortisol does not rise so much ( 64 65 ).
  • sleep more :. One study found that when drivers lost 15 hours of sleep during the course of a week, their cortisol levels increased by 50-80% ( 66 )

Conclusion: high levels of cortisol can increase food intake and promote weight gain. Eating a balanced diet, managing stress and more sleep can help normalize cortisol production.

5. Estrogen

Woman Standing on The Scale, Frustrated

Estrogen is the most important female sex hormone.

is produced mainly by the ovaries, and is involved in regulating the female reproductive system.

Both very high and low levels of estrogen can lead to weight gain. This depends on the age, the action of other hormones, and overall health.

To maintain fertility during the reproductive years, estrogen begins promote fat storage at puberty ( 67 ).

Furthermore, it can stimulate increased fat in the first half pregnancy ( 67 ).

Obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogen than women of normal weight, and some researchers believe that this is due to environmental influences ( 68 ).

During menopause, when estrogen levels drop, since less is produced in the ovaries, the site for fat storage shifts the hips and thighs to visceral fat in the abdomen. This promotes insulin resistance and increases the risk of disease ( 69 70 ).

These strategies nutrition and lifestyle can help control estrogen

  • Fiber: Eating lots of fiber, if you want to reduce estrogen levels ( 71 72 73 )
  • cruciferous vegetables :. Consumption of cruciferous vegetables may have beneficial effects on estrogen ( 74 75 )
  • Linseed: Despite that the phytoestrogens in them are controversial, linseed appear to have beneficial effects on estrogen in most women ( 76 , 77 ).
  • Exercise :. Physical activity can help normalize estrogen levels in premenopausal and postmenopausal women ( 78 79 )


When estrogen levels are too high or low, can cause weight gain. This depends on the age and other hormonal factors.

6. Neuropeptide Y (NPY)

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a hormone produced by cells in the brain and nervous system.

appetite is stimulated, especially carbohydrates , and is higher during periods of fasting or food deprivation ( 80 81 82 ).

Woman Making a Choice Between Fruit and Junk Food

The levels of neuropeptide Y are elevated in times of stress, which can lead to overeating and accumulation of abdominal fat ( 82 83 84 ).

Recommendations for reducing NPY

  • Eat enough protein :. Eating too little protein has been shown to increase the release of NPY, leading to hunger, increased food intake and weight gain ( 85 )
  • not fast for too long: animal studies have shown that very long fasts , such as more than 24 hours, can dramatically increase levels of NPY ( 86 87 88 ).
  • Soluble fiber :. Eat plenty of soluble prebiotic fiber to feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut can reduce levels of NPY ( 89 )

Conclusion: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) stimulates hunger, especially during fasting and times of stress. Protein and soluble fiber can help lower NPY.

7. glucagon-1 (GLP-1)

Obese Man on a Scale, Smaller

glucagon-1 peptide peptide ( GLP-1) it is a hormone produced in the intestine when nutrients enter the intestines.

GLP-1 plays an important role in keeping blood sugar levels stable blood, and also makes you feel full.

The researchers believe that the decrease in appetite that occurs immediately after surgery weight loss is partly due to increased production of GLP-1 ( 90 ).

In one study, men who received a solution of GLP-1 with breakfast reported feeling more satisfied and ended up eating 12% fewer calories at lunch ( 91 ).

Suggestions for increasing GLP-1

  • Eating lots of protein: The protein-rich foods as fish , whey protein and yoghurt have been shown to increase the levels of GLP-1 and enhance insulin sensitivity ( 92 , 93 94 ).
  • Eat anti-inflammatory :. Chronic inflammation is linked to a reduced production of GLP-1 ( 95 )
  • Leafy greens: In one study, women who consumed green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale experienced increased GLP-1 levels and lost more weight than the control group ( 96 ).
  • Probiotic: In a study in animals, a probiotic supplement increase in GLP-1 levels, leading to a reduction in food intake ( 97 ) [

Conclusion: GLP-1 can reduce appetite and increase weight loss. Consuming a diet high in protein and greens can help increase your levels.

8. The cholecystokinin (CCK)

Doctor Listening to Belly With Stethoscope

Like GLP-1, cholecystokinin (CCK) is another satiety hormone produced by cells in the intestine ( 98 ).

Greater amounts of CCK have been shown to reduce food intake in both lean and obese people ( 99 , 100 , 101 ) .

Strategies to increase CCK:

  • Protein :. eat a lot of protein at every meal ( 102 )
  • healthy fat: Consumption of fat causes the release of CCK ( 103 )
  • fiber:. in one study, when men ate a meal containing beans, their CCK levels rose twice as much as when they ate a low-fiber meal ( 104 ) [

Conclusion :. CCK is a hormone that reduces appetite and occurs when the consumption of protein, fat and fiber

9. The peptide YY (PYY)

Apple And Calculator

the peptide YY (PYY) is another gut hormone that controls appetite.

is released by cells in the intestines and colon.

The peptide YY is believed to play an important role in reducing food intake and reduce the risk of obesity ( 105 , 106 ).

Strategies to increase PYY

  • low carb diet: You should eat a low carbohydrate diet based on unprocessed foods in order to maintain levels of blood sugar stable. high blood sugar may endanger effects of PYY ( 58 107 108 ).
  • Protein :. eat a lot of protein either vegetable or animal origin ( 58 109 )
  • Fiber :. Eating lots of fiber ( 89 110 111 )

Conclusion :. In order to increase PPY levels and reduce appetite, try to avoid processed carbohydrates and eating plenty of protein and fiber

10. Anything else?

hormones work together to increase or decrease appetite and fat storage.

If the system is not working properly, you may find yourself struggling with weight issues on an ongoing basis.

Fortunately, diet and lifestyle can have powerful effects on these hormones.

This article was originally published on authoritynutrition.com


Posted in: Weight loss

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