Hormones are not just a system that goes wild when you are pregnant or getting your period. Hormones are more than just sex! This vital and super complex system, which has to be in balance is a basis for good health and weight loss. Read more about the main metabolic hormones, how they function and which aspect of your health they affect:
Cortisol – The main stress hormone, member of the glucocorticoid family. Governs blood sugar, blood pressure, and immune function. Cortisol is produced in your adrenal glands under most conditions, stressful or otherwise. Under situations of chronic stress — whether the stress is physical, emotional, mental or environmental, real or imagined — our bodies release high amounts of the hormone cortisol. If you have a mood disorder like anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder or exhaustion, or if you have a digestive issue such as irritable bowel syndrome, you can bet your body is cranking up your cortisol. Through a complicated network of hormonal interactions, prolonged stress results in a raging appetite, metabolic decline, belly fat and a loss of hard-won, metabolically active muscle tissue.
Estrogen – A group of hormones produced primarily in the ovaries to promote female characteristics such as menstruation, breast growth, and hip growth. Other sources of estrogen include adrenal glands and fat cells. Estrogen grows your hips and breasts; regulates menstruation; builds uterine lining to prepare for pregnancy; and keeps women lubricated, from joints to vagina.
Insulin – Drives glucose into cells as fuel and deposits fat. Chronically high insulin increases estrogen (specifically estrone) and increases cells’ resistance to insulin. There are several reasons for excess insulin, but the main culprits are: stress, consuming too many nutrient-poor carbohydrates (processed foods, sodas, packaged low-fat foods and artificial sweeteners), insufficient protein intake, inadequate fat intake and deficient fibre consumption.
Growth Hormone – Helps burn fat and gain lean muscle. Determines how much fat is deposited on your belly.
Testosterone – One of the sex hormones belonging to the androgen family. Although it is often thought of as the male hormone, women need to have some testosterone in their bodies as well. The difference between men and women lies in the quantity of testosterone (men produce much higher quantities). Hormone of vitality and self-confidence. Producing too much is the main reason for female infertility in this country. Also involved in sex drive; producing too little is linked to low libido in women and men. When testosterone is low, an increase of body fat and loss of muscle may still happen — even with dieting and exercise.
Thyroid – Essential to the smooth operation of hormone pathways. Adequate thyroid hormone is necessary to make pregnenolone from cholesterol, and then to further refine it into progesterone. Affects metabolism and energy, weight, mood. Without enough thyroid hormone, every system in the body slows down. Those who suffer from hypothyroidism feel tired, tend to sleep a lot, experience constipation and weight gain typically occurs.
Melatonin – Regulates our sleep/wake cycle. Helps control the timing and release of female reproductive hormones.
Adiponectin – Secreted by fat cells and adjusts how you burn fat.
Leptin – Regulates appetite, satiety, and adiponectin, which adjusts how you burn fat