If You Want to Control Your Weight, Get Your Hormones Working FOR You!
Your weight is largely controlled by hormones. Here are some of the more important hormones that control weight, as well as some things you can do to get them working for you. This is a quick read to help you stop the “blood sugar overload” and start to lose weight!
Insulin/Glucagon Cycle – The Blood Sugar Balancers
Insulin and glucagon are two hormones produced in the pancreas that work together to balance blood sugar.
Insulin allows your cells to utilize blood sugar (glucose) to fuel your body. When the amount of sugar in your blood is more than your body needs, the excess is stored in the liver and muscle in the form of glycogen and in fat cells in the form of triglycerides.
When your blood sugar is low (due to fasting or simply eating fewer carbs), glucagon causes the liver and muscle to convert the stored glycogen into glucose. Glucagon also acts on fat tissue to stimulate the breakdown of fat stores.
Insulin and glucagon are critical for maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. Think of them almost as a see-saw – one rises and the other falls in order to balance your blood sugar.
Here’s how the see-saw can become unbalanced. Some individuals who have a condition called Metabolic Syndrome over time develop a resistance to insulin’s effects. With Metabolic Syndrome, insulin becomes less effective at doing its job. This leads to the blood sugar rising higher and higher. Over time, Metabolic Syndrome worsens, and the blood sugar becomes chronically high. This leads to the serious long-term health problem of Type II Diabetes. What is even worse is that the increased blood sugar “overflow” leads to excess sugar being stored as fat – so the cycle of worsening blood sugar and weight gain becomes very difficult to stop once it starts.
The good news is that changing a few eating habits can have a big effect. Avoiding sugar, refined carbohydrates and fast food helps reduce the blood sugar “overflow” and reduces insulin levels as well. When insulin is low, fat storage declines. And remember the see-saw of insulin and glucagon? Low insulin and low blood sugar are then associated with a rise in glucagon, causing your body to start mobilizing sugar from stored glycogen and fat – leading to weight loss!
This is the basis for our recommendation to reduce your overall consumption of carbohydrates to approximately 100 grams per day….and try to eat mostly healthy carbs, avoiding the unhealthy ones. Doing this gets the see-saw tilting in your favor in your efforts to lose weight.
GLP-1 and PYY – The “Stay-Full-Longer” Hormones
Anti-hunger hormones GLP-1 and PYY are produced by L-cells that line your intestines. Eating food naturally stimulates the release of these two important hormones. GLP-1 and PYY delay gastric emptying (the time it takes for food to leave your stomach, keeping you full longer) leading to a decreased desire to eat.
GLP-1 and PYY have other anti-hunger effects, too. GLP-1 helps reduce blood sugar, decreasing the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. PYY activates areas of the brain that lessen hunger and increase feelings of fullness.
LOVIDIA’s unique blend of ingredients is designed to increase the body’s natural production of these hormones. The time-release formula delivers a proprietary blend of ingredients directly to the lower intestine where L-cells are most dense.
Ghrelin – The “I’m Hungry” Hormone
Ghrelin is another important “hunger hormone.” When your stomach is empty, it releases ghrelin, which sends a message to your brain telling you to eat. When the stomach is stretched full, ghrelin levels will drop, which signals us to stop eating. However, studies have shown that when people suffering from obesity eat, ghrelin doesn’t drop as much as it does in people of normal weight. When ghrelin levels remain high, the brain doesn’t receive a strong enough signal to stop eating, which is why weight gain and obesity can get much worse over time.
How can you reduce your ghrelin? Studies have shown that protein is probably the most effective nutrient at reducing ghrelin levels. Therefore, ensuring adequate protein with all meals and snacks can be highly effective.
Cortisol – The “Emotional-Eating” Hormone
Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands to help your body deal with stressful situations. Your brain triggers cortisol release in response to many kinds of stress and our levels naturally rise and fall. But when we are under high levels of stress on a constant basis, then cortisol hurts more than it helps. Over time, high cortisol levels raise blood pressure and blood sugar levels. High cortisol can also disrupt sleep, negatively impact mood, reduce your energy level, and increase appetite and fat storage – all negative effects when you’re trying to control your weight.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce your cortisol levels. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Get the right amount of sleep
- Learn relaxation techniques (e.g., deep breathing, yoga, meditation)
- Avoid stressful situations
- Reduce sugar consumption
Cholecystokinin (CCK) – The Other “Stay-Full-Longer” Hormone
CCK is a hormone produced by I-cells in the upper small intestine. CCK reduces gastric acid secretion, increases bile acid production in the liver, delays gastric emptying and stimulates digestive enzyme production in the pancreas. When CCK is high, we slow down our eating – so high CCK levels may be a good thing from a weight-loss perspective. Eating fat has the most powerful effect on CCK, followed by protein and fiber.
As you have now learned, the proper functioning of hormones is critical to control your weight and avoid serious lifestyle diseases. Fortunately, you don’t have to become a hormone ‘expert’ to get them working for you. The LOVIDIA Way’s unique emphasis on helping your hormones work FOR you can help you lose weight, lower blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure and even avoid lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.