Everyone has heard the term "hormone." But do you know what hormones actually are? According to the Hormone Health Network, hormones are chemical messengers that control just about every single bodily function. Although you most likely are familiar with estrogen and testosterone, the main sex hormones in females and males, respectfully, there are more than a dozen hormones that control everything from body temperature to stress.
Understanding how hormones work and how you can promote hormone function can make a difference in your overall health. For example, there are a number of hormones that play a key role in controlling hunger and weight loss. Some of these are insulin, cortisol, and leptin.
Did you know, developing certain habits can boost the hormones used in controlling hunger and losing weight?
Most people are familiar with "insulin" in relation to diabetes. This is because insulin determines whether blood sugar is used for immediate energy or stored as fat, explains Women to Women. What you eat and how you eat has a direct influence on your insulin levels. When you eat too many carbohydrates, so much insulin is produced that the cells cannot absorb it and the liver converts it all to fat. To control insulin levels, eat small meals of vegetables, lean meats, and high-fiber grains every 2–3 hours. Dr. Anna Garrett says it is also important to avoid white bread, white sugar, and white pasta, as well as highly processed foods.
Cortisol is a "stress hormone," which affects blood sugar, regulates metabolism, and controls salt and water balance. When you are stressed, cortisol encourages the body to store fat around the vital organs, explains Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., author of The Cortisol Connection, in an article for Prevention. This process releases dangerous fatty acids into the blood, which then raise cholesterol and insulin levels. To control cortisol levels, take a walk during your lunch break, eat slowly, cut down on caffeine, and sleep a minimum of 7 hours.
Leptin is the "hunger hormone" directly related to body fat and obesity. This hormone is released from fat cells and is so powerful, it can actually have a long-term effect on how much food your body requires to feel satiated. Breaking Muscle explains the best ways to keep leptin levels under control are to avoid sugary and processed foods, get a full nights rest, and perform high-intensity interval training.
By slowly eating small meals every 2–3 hours mainly consisting of vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, sleeping a full 7–9 hours per night, and avoiding sugary and processed foods, you can control your weight gain and hunger hormones. This is a secret to weight loss that actually works! So what are you waiting for? Start losing weight today!
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