Project Body Smart | 8 weight loss hormones you might like to know about.


8 weight loss hormones you might like to know about.





Ghrelin is your hunger messenger. It is produced in your stomach and, like other fat-loss hormones, works with your brain to signal that you are hungry.  A calorie reduction diet in an effort to lose weight causes an increase in ghrelin.  Research shows that ghrelin levels stay elevated even after twelve months of a reduced-calorie diet. So your body never really adapts to eating less and constantly sends the “I’m hungry” signal, which is why maintaining weight loss is often harder than losing it in the first place.

There is good news however.  Intense exercise has been shown to decreases ghrelin levels, which makes it a key component to fat loss and weight maintenance.



Leptin is released exclusively from fat cells. It is a type of hormone called an adipokine.  Leptin signals your brain to get your body to eat less and burn more calories. The more body fat, the more leptin your fat cells will release. However if you have too much body fat it leads to too much leptin being released. This is a condition referred to as leptin resistance. When this occurs, your brain no longer responds to leptin’s signal.

You want to maximize leptin sensitivity by getting adequate sleep and pack your diet full of antioxidant-rich foods like berries and green and red vegetables. Losing weight can o enhances leptin sensitivity as well and gives you some momentum. The more weight you lose, the more effective leptin will become in your body.



Adiponectin is also an adipokine, unlike leptin however, the leaner your body is the more adiponectin your fat cells will release. Adiponectin enhances your muscle’s ability to use carbohydrates for energy, boosts your metabolism, increase the rate in which your body down fat, and curbs your appetite.

You can increase your adiponectin levels by sitting less, moving more during the day and replacing carbohydrates in your diet with monounsaturated fats from olives, avocados etc.



Insulin is a very important hormone in your body. It is part of the process of recovering from exercise, muscle building, and maintaining optimal blood sugar levels. However, when simple carbohydrate foods are consumed without immediate exercise and insulin is left to run wild in the body, it can inhibit the breakdown and burning of stored fat. Insulin and carbohydrates are very tightly linked. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more insulin will be released. Insulin is a storage hormone and will store excess sugar (digested carbohydrates) in fat cells.

To optimize insulin sensitivity and fat loss, try to get most of your complex carbohydrates from vegetables and some fruit. Limit grains and starches to smaller portions during recovery periods directly after exercise.



Actin opposite to Insulin is the hormone Glucagon. While insulin stores carbohydrates and builds fat, glucagon breaks down stored carbohydrates so your body can use them for energy. Eating a protein-rich, low or complex-carbohydrate meal is the best way to maximize glucagon release.



CCK or Cholecystokinin is the hormone released from the cells in your intestines into the gut whenever you eat protein or fat. But CCK also communicates with your nervous system to flip the satiety switch while simultaneously working with your stomach to slow the rate of digestion. This results in feeling fuller longer. You want to take full advantage of CCK by having healthy proteins and fats at every meal.



More commonly known as the fight or flight hormone, epinephrine drives the burning of fat and its release for energy in the body. Epinephrine can also aide in supressing appetite. The best way to turn on the release of epinephrine in your body is exercise, more precisely, interval training in particular cranks up epinephrine and burns up the fat release for energy.



This hormone is considered to be the fountain of youth by many.  It also helps with fat loss. Growth hormone interacts with fat cells and encourages the break down and burning of stored fat for energy. Growth hormone can be increased through intense exercise like intervals or circuit training and sleep. To maximize the fat-burning effect of growth hormone, train hard (Resistance Training) and sleep well.


Source document by Dr. Mike Roussell



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