Your Hormones and Storing Fat
Hormones are responsible for a lot of body functions, including the burning and storage of fat. In order to lose fat, you must first have a well-functioning body and that means restoring the hormones that are in charge of fat-burning and fat-storing. Hormone imbalances of any kind will undermine all your efforts of trying to lose fat. Some health problems that are in regards to hormones are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition when there is too much thyroid hormone which can cause chronic anxiety, give you heart palpitations, and even cause disrupted sleep. Hypothyroidism is having low levels of thyroid hormone which will cause weight gain, hair loss, and feeling cold even on a sunny day. As of recently, fat has been discovered as a hormone-producing organ just like the thyroid, adrenals, and pancreas. So then what happens to our fat stores when we are dieting?
To begin, let’s first become familiarized with hormones secreted by fat. Leptin is the hormone secreted by the white fat tissue, or otherwise known as the unhealthy fat. It is also in direct communication with the hypothalamus gland. During homeostasis, the hypothalamus maintains your metabolism and appetite. Let’s say for instance though that your storage of fat begins to run low, your metabolism will not necessarily want to be functioning at its full potential therefore the hypothalamus tells the thyroid gland to turn off. Secondly, the hypothalamus increases function, thus increasing our appetites. This is one of the reasons why 95% of dieters regain all of their lost weight because the body is engineered to slow down metabolism and increase appetite when there are insufficient fat stores. Overweight and obese people obviously carry a lot more fat on their body which means they are producing a lot more leptin. Over secretion of leptin however, has caused the hypothalamus to become leptin resistant. Being leptin resistant essentially means that the brain thinks fat stores are low in the body which in turn slows down metabolism and increases appetite. When someone is leptin resistant, they may find themselves overeating, have frequent blood sugar spikes, high fat storage, excessive fructose consumption, and even chronic stress. In the previous posts, we learned that having high levels of the stress hormone cortisol leads to health problems like extra fat storage. Leptin resistance and having low levels of it also causes cortisol to increase dramatically. As far as dieting goes, the bottom line is that dramatically cutting out fats will more likely lead to weight gain than weight loss due to the hormonal imbalances that occur.
Despite being told that fat is not good for you, our bodies need the healthy kinds of fat for energy and body functions. Healthy fats are the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s. Some healthy options to try are olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and salmon. The unhealthy fats are trans fats and saturated fats which are found in foods like cheese, butter, chicken with the skin, and chips. So instead of completely cutting out fats, incorporate healthy fats to replace bad fats in order to control your weight and meet a healthier well-being.