March 31, 2022 – 10:43 am The clock
by Nora Rieder
It’s not just what we eat or how much we exercise that affects our weight. Hormones also play a key role in weight regulation. It is both an opportunity and a challenge.
Weight isn’t just about diet and exercise
Basically, if you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. It works, for example, by moving more or saving calories through a change in diet. A combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet with plenty of unprocessed foods promises the greatest success. However, this combination does not always lead to the desired success. Hormones could be to blame.
Our hormones have a significant influence on the size of our appetite and how and if fat burning works. They can also trigger ravenous hunger pangs that quickly destroy or even prevent weight loss success. With a few simple tips, you can positively influence your hormonal balance.
Reading advice: Lose weight easier: Stop cravings immediately with the 2-minute trick
This is how you control hunger and satiety hormones
There are five hormones that have a significant impact on weight and can make it difficult to lose weight.
Due to its appetite stimulating effect, ghrelin is also known as the hunger hormone. The hormone is mainly formed in the cells of the gastric mucosa and pancreas and controls the feeling of hunger and satiety.
If we haven’t eaten for a long time, the concentration of ghrelin in the blood increases and signals to the body: I need something to eat. The less we eat, the more our body produces ghrelin. Ghrelin has been scientifically proven to increase appetite, which in turn affects weight. The more ghrelin is released, the greater our hunger.
To control ghrelin levels, make sure your stomach is full at all times. You don’t have to eat all the time to do this. Good stomach filling can also be achieved by drinking regularly. Drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water and other calorie-free beverages such as herbal teas or fruit teas throughout the day.
But foods high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories also keep you full for a long time. Therefore, bet on clear soups such as vegetable broth and raw or steamed vegetables. Studies have also shown that protein lowers ghrelin levels the most after eating. In addition to lean meat and fish, legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, as well as mushrooms, are high in protein.
Also, make sure you get enough sleep. A lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to skyrocket.
Reading advice: With smoothies, activated charcoal and more as an energy booster: how to clean from the inside
Prevent stress and lack of sleep
Leptin is the antagonist of ghrelin and is also known as the satiety hormone. In interaction, leptin and ghrelin control eating behavior. Leptin is produced in the fat cells of the body. When the stomach is full, leptin is released, signaling to the brain that we are full and can stop eating. This hunger-gratification cycle usually works well. Diets, however, can mess it up.
Because when we lose weight, fat deposits melt away. What sounds good at first glance, however, has the consequence that leptin levels in the blood also drop. As a result, we are hungrier, which often leads to the famous yo-yo effect. The body wants to prevent future emergencies and stores whatever it can get. Therefore, the following applies: Avoid radical diets, but instead focus on long-term diet change. Replace convenience foods, white flour products and fast food as often as possible with fresh, unprocessed foods, whole grain products and cook yourself.
But it’s not just diets that have a negative effect on leptin levels. Chronic stress and lack of sleep also promote leptin deficiency and thus boycott weight loss success. So make sure you get enough sleep and avoid stress by incorporating relaxation breaks into your daily life.
Also, make sure you get enough zinc, as the trace element is essential for the formation of leptin. Therefore, regularly opt for pumpkin and sunflower seeds, peanuts or sesame.
Reading tip: The more you eat, the faster the pounds drop! These vegetables act as fat killers
Estrogen has a significant impact on weight
The female sex hormone is primarily responsible for egg maturation. However, US researchers have found that the female sex hormone also influences regions of the brain that determine energy expenditure and appetite – and therefore body weight.
Women know the phenomenon: if the level of estrogen is in the basement shortly before the period, it often manifests itself in food cravings. Shortly before ovulation, however, when estrogen levels peak, this manifests itself in many women as a loss of appetite. This balance is thrown off balance with menopause: when sex hormone levels drop, many women gain weight, in part because the body retains more water.
This is especially the case at the onset of menopause, when the level of the hormone progesterone drops. This initially creates excess estrogen before the body then reduces estrogen production later in menopause. Estrogen, in turn, promotes water retention in the body. This explains why many women find it difficult to gain weight due to fluid retention at the onset of menopause.
But you can prevent water retention with the right diet: rely on a low-salt diet and dehydrate fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, melons, pineapples, strawberries and asparagus. Dietary fiber also has a positive effect and prevents extra pounds. Therefore, eat fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes as often as possible to control estrogen levels. Focus on broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and kale.
Reading advice: With these 5 tips, you can boost your metabolism – and also lose weight!
Laughter makes you lose weight
Many develop a craving for sweet or savory snacks when they are stressed. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is responsible for this. It forms in the adrenal glands and activates the fight or flight reflex in stressful situations. It also increases blood sugar levels to provide the body with more energy in the form of glucose. Once the situation that our body perceives as dangerous has passed, cortisol continues to circulate in the body and often triggers cravings.
In order to prevent food cravings even in stressful situations, you need to make sure you eat regularly. Eat mindfully and not sideways. In this way, you better perceive the feeling of satiety and automatically eat less.
And if you have cravings, you should ideally turn to nuts like walnuts, Brazil nuts or even almonds. A handful is enough to fill you up and also increases concentration thanks to the B vitamins it contains.
But it is also very important to reduce stress hormones again. The best way to do this is through exercise or sports. But the relaxation units are also great – and fun. Scientists at Loma Linda University in California have found that laughter lowers blood cortisol levels by nearly 40%.
Reading advice: These foods shake our brains!
How to Positively Influence Insulin Levels
Insulin is probably the best known hormone that influences our weight. It is produced in the pancreas. The more simple carbohydrates we eat such as light rolls, pasta, cakes or cookies, the higher the blood sugar level. Our body then releases insulin, which helps transport the sugar into the cells. The faster the blood sugar level rises, the faster it drops. Result: we are hungry again.
At the same time, insulin blocks the breakdown of fats and thus promotes the development of obesity. You must therefore ensure that your blood sugar level is as constant as possible. Avoid sweets, products made from white flour, etc. as often as possible. Instead, favor complex carbohydrates from whole grain products, vegetables and fiber-rich foods. Endurance sports also help keep insulin levels low.
Hormones can make it difficult to lose weight. But if you heed the tips, there’s a good chance you’ll still shed the extra pounds.
Reading advice: Simple daily tips: how to start with a healthier diet