Following on from my last blog, I thought I would delve into more detail about the relationship between hormones and fat loss.
I always inform my clients that you have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy. And getting healthy includes balancing the body’s systems including achieving optimal levels of hormones.
But how do hormones affect you ability to store, lose or maintain body fat?
Well, let’s look at a few hormones:
Leptin plays a key role in regulating energy intake and expenditure, including appetite and hunger, metabolism, and behaviour.
It is made by fat tissue (predominantly white adipose tissue) and acts on the hypothalamus to regulate food intake and body weight. Leptin acts on receptors in the hypothalamus of the brain, where it inhibits appetite.
The amount of circulating leptin is directly proportional to the amount of fat in the body. Leptin is also made by brown adipose tissue, the placenta, ovaries, skeletal muscle, stomach , mammaries, epithelial cells, bone marrow, the pituitary gland and the liver.
The absence of leptin leads to uncontrolled food intake and resulting obesity. Several studies have shown fasting or following a very-low-calorie diet lowers leptin levels. Leptin levels change more when food intake decreases compared to when it increases.
It is also believed that in obese individuals, they may have leptin resistance just like diabetics have insulin resistance. This means they are unable to use the leptin to stop the feelings of hunger. Studies on rats have shown a link between high levels of fructose and leptin resistance. Some suggest that this might also be true with the over-consumption of all sugars.
Stay tuned for my next blog post, when I’ll be discussing insulin and fat loss…
Until next time…