Thyroid Hormone – The
The thyroid hormone, secreted from the
thyroid gland, helps to manage the body’s metabolic processes including your
fat burning potential. This hormone is
keenly sensitive to your daily lifestyle activity such as
- Sleep (How long and how deep)
- Nutrition (types and amount of
- Stress (acute or chronic)
- Exercise (Longer moderate /
Short high intensity)
Your thyroid influences every system in
your body by sensing both internal and external environment. When people go on a diet where they eat less
and exercise more, your thyroid will cause your body to slow down its
metabolism. To positively influence this
hormone to help burn fat we must not follow this approach of eat less train
Cortisol – The Stress
Cortisol, secreted from the adrenal glands,
has a split personality in the body. In
other words it’s not all bad and it’s not all good. Acute stress tends to cause a short term
increase of this hormone. It gets the
body in the fight or flee from stress mode.
To positively influence this hormone an individual should exercise in 2
different forms, long duration + low intensity or short duration / high
intensity. There are 2 different forms
- Acute Stress – Short term (Few
- Chronic Stress – Long Term
Cortisol that is released with HGH and
testosterone becomes a fat burning influence.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) –
The anabolic restorer
HGH helps you to build muscle and burn fat
at the same time. This is why it has the
reputation of being an anti-aging hormone.
It works closely with cortisol and adrenaline in order to keep you lean,
strong, and youthful. Lack of sleep and
being non active makes this hormone almost non existent.
To help maintain this hormone you should
aim to get plenty of sleep and exercise in short bursts of 30-40 mintues at a
time. Maintaining a protein adequate
Insulin is found in the pancreas and is
responsible for the sugar levels in our blood.
As soon as your body recognises an increase in blood sugar levels,
insulin will be released by the pancreas and will take glucose to be stored.
You can either be insulin resistant or
Resistant – This is when insulin can’t do its job
properly, we don’t want to be insulin resistant. This could lead to
difficulties burning fat.
Sensitive – You want your body to be insulin
sensitive so insulin can do its job properly.
The best way to control your insulin levels
is to watch out for the amount of carbohydrates you consume
Glucagon almost works as a reverse to
insulin. Glucagon takes glycogen back
out of the muscles and liver and puts it back into the bloodstream when sugar
levels are low in the blood. This would
give us instant energy. It works with
insulin to help keep the blood sugar and energy needs in balance. To cause an
increase in glucagon you should not over eat but at the same time minimize your
Ghrelin – The hunger Hormone
This is the hormone which increases in your
body when your hungry. If you can keep
this hormone at a level that does not ring alarm bells for eating food then you
are probably burning fat. There are two
different factors which can affect this hormone……
Hunger – Physical hunger occurs below the
neck. For example you would feel
physically hungry through the feeling in your belly. Physical hunger builds up gradually and usually
occurs about 3 hours after a meal. You
can temporally offset physical hunger by drinking water. When your physically hungry your body will
feel satisfied after a meal.
Hunger – Emotional hunger occurs above the neck ie
taste for a certain food. Emotional
hunger can occur at random times rather than a steady build up. Emotional hunger will still persist even
after drinking some water and will also still persist even after a good meal
has been consumed
Leptin – The fuel Gauge
Leptin is actually secreted from your fat
cells and tells the brain how much fat you have on your body to burn. Leptin
also influences the thyroid hormone.
Regularly under/over eating can cause this message to the brain to be
scrambled or ignored (Leptin resistance).
In other words this could make the brain think that a body which a high
percentage of fat on, is actually very skinny.
This could cause us to get fatter or if the other way round then
To positively influence this hormone one
should not over consume food while at the same time not under consume food.
Adrenalin – The Gas Pedal
Adrenalin gets secreted by the adrenal
glands quickly when you exercise and tells the body to get ready to start
burning fat. This hormone influences all
other hormones especially HGH, cortisol, and testosterone, to go into fat
burning mode. It has a close working
relationship with cortisol. Its effects
can be blunted if cortisol levels are not optimal.
Exercise is its number 1 influencer. Short duration high intensity exercise causes
this hormone to be secreted quickly and strongly prompts the other hormones to
send their fat burning messages.
Testosterone – The Sculptor
This hormone gives men their ‘V’
shape. With women it’s a little more
complicated. It’s really the right
mixture of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that help give women her
hour glass shape. There are testosterone
receptors all over the male and female body, and as such it influences your
state of well-being, sex drive, lean mass, bone strength, and energy
levels. Although testosterone has a
stronger influence on the male body than the female body, women with levels
either too high or too low can also feel and see its negative effects.
Appropriate levels of exercise and sleep,
can help to keep this hormone at the right levels for both men and women.
Estrogen – The Feminizer
This hormone tends to have a stronger
influence on the female body than the male body. However men also require appropriate amounts
of estrogen to maintain a healthy body but at much lower levels than
women. Younger women tend not to
struggle with an increase in body fat compared to post menopausal women due to
higher levels of this hormone.
Estrogen is the main hormone which gives a
female her hour glass look. This hormone
is considered both a fat burning and fat storing hormone. Research has shown
this hormone allows women to handle stress better than men.
Good sleep, and eating a well rounded diet
would help to maintain good levels of this hormone for both women and men.
Progesterone – The Partner
Again both the female and male bodies are
influenced by this, although very little is known how it influences men
especially where fat burning is concerned.
In women this hormone works with Estrogen to help give women that hour
glass shape. It also helps to blunt any
negative effects of cortisol, thus helping with fat burning.
Good sleep along with any stress reducing
activities like meditation or long slow walks will help.
Thanks for reading
Team ‘On The Go Nutrition’