Delicious Foods May Boost Your Fat Loss Hormones
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We can regulate our size and lose fat by understanding our hormones. Our fat gains and losses are controlled by some of the many hormones our glands secrete to control our bodily functions.
Hormones such as insulin, thyroid, serotonin, leptin and cortisol enable our bodies to use and store fat. Understanding how these hormones work can lead to fat loss and permanent weight control.
Packing around too much extra fat will cause many other physical problems: Diabetes (Type II), cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoarthritis, gastric reflux, sleep apnea and a host of others.
Most of us want to lose weight because of our vanity, but we should be even more concerned about our health.
Here is a summary of hormones that effect fat loss:
Insulin - The blood sugar regulator. High levels of insulin, often resulting from high carbohydrate, low protein diets (low-fat diets) lead to excessive weight gain.
As we become fatter, our cells become even more resistant to insulin, so our body produces more and we get fatter.
Cortisol - The stress hormone. High insulin levels increase the secretion of cortisol, which in turn cause a drop in the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA, which is responsible for increasing muscle mass.
Muscle mass contributes to fat loss as it increases fat burning and reduces insulin.
Leptin - This hormone is produced by our body fat and signals the body when to eat and when we are full. Some people do not receive the messages from leptin, thus causing more production of this hormone and ultimately leptin resistance. The result is increased food cravings.
Serotonin - Another hormone that signals our body when satiated. Low levels result in lethargy, depression, obesity and a craving for refined carbohydrates (sweets).
A diet low in proteins will cause a serotonin decrease, leading to problems.
Thyroid - Low thyroid production reduces our fat burning rate and inhibits energy levels.
Food is Medicine
A specific diet with correct nutrition, coupled with strength training and lots of rest is the prescription for bringing our hormones back into balance. The foods to include in your diet can be prepared in delicious meals.
High protein, fats and complex carbohydrates should be included. Refined sugars and prepared foods are on the no-no list.
Protein has twice the thermic effect (fat-burning) as either fats or carbohydrates and your body must work much harder to process protein.
Copious amounts of water will help. Protein is more filling than the other two macronutrients and the feeling lasts much longer.
Metabolism boosting proteins include:
Good fats have an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ration of 2 or 3 to 1. 1:1 is ideal, but may be hard to attain. Good fats are in the foods listed above.
The average North American consumes 500 grams of carbohydrates per day. By reducing this to about fifty grams, your insulin, glucose, blood pressure and inflammatory markers will all improve.
You will lose body fat, particularly from around your middle.
You need unprocessed carbs for energy and those that are high in fiber will help regulate your metabolism. All carbs are converted to sugar for processing, but complex carbohydrates contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.
How's this for delicious: A grilled filet of beef tenderloin or a salmon filet, steamed broccoli and carrots and a hearty green salad. A small glass of dry red wine wouldn't hurt either.