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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Evil Hormones That Hamper Your Fat Loss Progress

Your body has hormones that do all sorts of things both good and bad. Usually the bad things occur when the hormone levels are out of balance. Your lifestyle, exercise and nutrition plan, water intake, stress levels and amount of sleep all play huge roles in balancing your hormone levels and in turn your progress towards the sexy ninja body that you desire.
You can go on forever about hormones, what they do and so on. This is just to give you an overview and an idea of the complexity of the fat loss battle. Let’s go over some of the heavy hitting hormones and what they do.

Insulin: is a storage hormone released in response to eating with carbohydrates having the largest impact on insulin secretion, protein having the second greatest and fat having little to no impact on insulin secretion. Insulin sensitivity refers to how well or poorly the body responds to the hormone insulin. Individuals who are insulin resistant tend to have higher baseline insulin levels because the body is releasing more in response to try and overcome the resistance. Insulin lowers sugar levels to a normal state – when everything works right. If there is resistance then more insulin is released and the more insulin in your system leads to more fat storage.
Ghrelin: Your stomach makes ghrelin when it’s empty. Just like leptin, ghrelin goes into the blood, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and ends up at your hypothalamus, where it tells you you’re hungry. Ghrelin is high before you eat and low after you eat.

Adiponectin: is a hormone exclusively secreted by body fat. It curbs appetite and sparks the burning of fat, as does leptin. But unlike leptin, chronically overweight people don’t suffer from resistance to the hormone. They have an outright deficiency. Adiponectin helps muscle cells burn fuel for energy more effectively. It acts as a kind of super-charger for maintaining strong and active muscles when stored energy reserves are low. When fat stores drop, adiponectin rises, helping muscle cells take up more sugar from the blood and also enabling them to burn fat more thoroughly as fuel. As fat stores increase, adiponectin levels drop and the burning of fat as fuel actually becomes less complete. Increasing your levels of adiponectin may suppress type 2 diabetes. It tells your body to burn calories instead of saving them as fat and also has a powerful insulin lowering response.

Leptin: is made by adipose tissue (fat) and is secreted into the circulatory system, where it travels to the hypothalamus. Leptin tells the hypothalamus that we have enough fat, so we can eat less or stop eating. Levels decrease with body fat loss.
Cortisol: is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands. It falls into a category of hormones known as “glucocorticoids”, referring to their ability to increase blood glucose levels. Cortisol is the primary glucocorticoid. Your body produces cortisol in response to stress, physical, mental or emotional. This can include extremely low calorie diets, intense training, high volume training, lack of quality sleep as well as common daily stresses such as job pressures, fights with your spouse or being caught in a traffic jam. Trauma, injury and surgery are also major stressors to the body. Faced with a “life or death” situation, cortisol increases the flow of glucose (as well as protein and fat) out of your tissues and into the bloodstream in order to increase energy and physical readiness to handle the stressful situation or threat. Cortisol is catabolic and elevated cortisol levels can cause the loss of muscle tissue by facilitating the process of converting lean tissue into glucose. An excess of cortisol can also lead to a decrease in insulin sensitivity, increased insulin resistance, reduced kidney function, hypertension, suppressed immune function, reduced growth hormone levels, and reduced connective tissue strength. By itself, cortisol doesn’t make you fat but it’s a contributing factor.

 There are many hormones in our bodies, which in the proper amounts, maintain good health, but in excess or in deficiency, contribute to health problems. So the bottom line is that your lifestyle, fitness and nutrition plan directly impact your hormone levels. If you workout and eat right while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, your hormone levels will be good and everything should function properly. Once you throw a wrench into that concept, there are a thousand variable changes that can occur, most of which aren’t good and lead to obesity and disease. Workout hard, eat your food, burn fat and build muscle – and you will be a sexy ninja with stable hormone levels.

Dempsey’s Resolution Fitness
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