HORMONES & SUSTAINABLE WEIGHT LOSS


*this information is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

 
 

You know what’s actually kinda trippy, that horology is the study and measuring of date and time. And hormones revolve around dates and times. Its like our hormonal clock is in sync with the earth’s horology. Which is super cool.


So in this blog we'll explore in my own limited understanding of the badass hormones that rule our metabolism. We’ll explore their function, what happens when we’re out of sync, what to do if we are, and how to support our endocrine (hormone) systems for optimal g times and sustained weight loss.

 

We have, in alphabetical order;  

CORTISOL

who gets a bad rap. Like fetty wap (worst rapper soz not soz). But cortisol is awesome, it, like all the hormones, becomes “bad” when they’re disregulated. He’s known as our stress hormone. But he also gets us up in the morning, with cortisol peaking at 5-6am, and dropping at night, enabling us to get to sleep. Cortisol exists so we can,

Almost every cell in our body has a receptor for cortisol, and so it has differing functions depending on who it binds too. A few fun ones, we know cortisol is actually anti-inflammatory, regulates our bodies blood sugar levels (which influences metabolism), aids in memory formation, blood pressure regulation and helps babies to develop when they’re chilling in the womb.

So already you can start to connect what happens when cortisol is disregulated. And how does this happen? When we’re constantly in a chronic stress state. Cortisol’s receptor doors get closed. No one wants him to come over. So he’s unable to come inside and work his anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulating, memory forming magic. And thus, we experience the typical symptoms of stress.

So cortisol negatively impacts our ability to lose weight, as if we’re in a constant state of perceived stress, inflammation becomes present, stored glycogen becomes liberated, we become insulin resistant, we produce less testosterone, and it tends to store our fat around our tummys and midsection, labelled “stress fat”.

Stress is all around us haha, from air pollutants, to heavy metal water, SO how do we re-regulate cortisol to be allowed inside? Pop in daily practices to help you manage stress – breathing, meditating, exercise is great, or reducing the amount of stress you’re susceptible to (you know what you gotta do).


Next up is GHRELIN.

Who is more simply known as our hunger hormone. But this bad boy is much more than just that. Ghrelin regulates glucose metabolism and uptake and insulin signalling – improving our sensitivity to insulin (which we want). Ghrelin prevents muscle wasteage, is linked to growth hormone, and its also involved in nutrient sensing (SO FUCKING COOL) andddd meal initation aka hunger.

So even just stating ghrelins actions makes it obvious how it influence weight gain/weight loss. Ghrelin becomes desensitized when we just either constantly eat, or don’t listen to our internal ques.

How to re-regulate ghrelin? Why fasting my friends, and having space between meals, cycling feast and famine. And enabling ghrelin to truly shine back through and grumble and make you realise that damn, you is hungry (coz he’s released in the stomach, travels via the blood system to your hypothalamus and goes BING LETS EATS).


GLUCAGON

stimulates the conversion of stored glucose (glycogen) to be utilised and broken down to glucose, to be used for energy. We switch on glucagon during fasting states. The opposite of Glucagon is INSULIN – which we’ve all heard about because it’s so heavily connected to diabetes. Insulin enables glucose to be let into the cells, and used as energy or stored as glycogen. Insulin is released when we eat. Glucagon is release when we don’t eat. They’re a seesaw.

Visiting glucagon more often than insulin will see more stored glycogen and then fat stores liberated for energy. So when glucagon is high, insulin is low. We’re liberating stored sugar (and fats, IF we’re in a carbohydrate depleted state aka following more of the keto/paleo/low carb principles). 

And also, our bodies are damn efficient, and we can turn amino acids from protein, and triglycerides from fat into glucose to be used for energy, so that’s how we can gain muscle functioning on a low carb type approach. SO insulin and gains can still be made when we’re eating lower carbohydrates, and also not be spiking our blood glucose so often and seeing us having sugar cravings and crashes and wanting that sweet goodness to get us through work.


GROWTH HORMONE 

peaks at 11pm actually. And goes till about 2am. Growth hormone is awesome, and helps us to reproduce new cells – skin, muscle, bone, all da tings!

Growth hormone works in the weight loss loving hormones, because the more lean muscle we have, the higher our metabolic rate is, and thus the more we use and require energy just to be alive. And when we talk abut the majestic infamous metabolic rate, it really just means – how effectively your body can utilise glucose and convert amino acids, and fats, into glucose, to create energy.

This is the job of the mitochondria, and the more we exercise the more mitochondria we make, and we have mitochondria in one types of our fats – brown fat, and exercise can make white fat (storage sink) more metabolic – giving us more mitochondria in this fat, making it “brite”, and not only utilising our fat storage into energy making fat, but gives us more energy. So that’s also cool.


LEPTIN

I feel so many of the hormones just sound like gremlin names haha.

Leptin is released predominantly inside our fat cells, along with muscles, heart and stomach. He slows down our appetite and ramps up our metabolism. Because the more fat you have, the more leptin is released being like “yo we good” , but being leptin resistence” like with insulin resistence, is a real thing. Particulary there is a dysregulation in the communication from the fat cells to your hypothalamus (control centre of the brain).

So similar to insulin and the running theme, having more periods of fasting, longer spaces between meals, avoiding processed carbs and “foods”, because not only when we shift away from these non-hormonal signalling foods, who just cause us to crave sugar, fat and salt, but when we’re eating wholefoods, our nutrient sensors are triggered. They’re naturally higher in fibre, so we’re feeling fuller as leptin is released. We’re not eating empty calories or over feeding, which is what happens when we eat these processed foods. With some toxins also. Just pilling up, and sending crazy signals to your cells, creating inflammation, and then that disregulates all your bodily signals and that’s how you become out of homeostasis and experience disease state symptoms.


Okay and lastly, probs one of my fave biddies of all time

MELATONIN

our get good sleep hormone. So SLEEP IS CRUCIAL FOR WEIGHT LOSS AS WELL AS BEING A THRIVING MILLENNIAL. We always think “more is more” and we hustle, and push and push. But if we’re not sleeping effectively, then not only are we not going to be able to thrive at our highest potential, but that fat ain’t going no where. And I say effective sleep because it’s not so much about how many hours, but more about the quality of our sleep. Quality over quantity. Millennial tings. It’s more about cycles of sleep, rather than hours (according to legendary sleep coach Nick Littlehales), because sometimes we sleep, but don’t actually sleep. We’re in a light sleep, or a non-REM stage, we’re buzzing with ideas or pondering the universe haha. So Nick recommends aiming for 5 x 90minute sleep cycles a night is optimum (7.5hrs), or 35 cycles a week – which can be chunked up into naps also (either 90min or 22min), depending on what best suits your life, as getting 7.5hrs a night isn’t realistic or possible for everyone.

HOW do we make more melatonin? When exposed to sunlight, especially AM morning sunlight, we not only produce melatonin earlier, but we also regulate our circadian rhythm (our wake/sleep patterns), which is shown to improve mood, help with insomnia and decrease inflammation. And also, melatonin’s pre-cursor is Serotonin – our happy hormone. Which converts to melatonin only at night. So creating more serotonin in our bods through eating tryptophan rich foods, doing stuff we love and getting some sunshine makes us feel bomb all round, and aids in weight loss, as serotonin regulates insulin.


So, I’ve bombarded you with these 7 hormones and what they do. And the key takeaways that they all funnel into?

-       eat real whole foods

-       reduce processed foods that disrupt hormone signalling

-       try intermittent fasting / time-restricted eating (12+ hours without food, just push breakfast out to later OR skip dinner)

-       don’t think you have to eat 6 small meals a day, it’s okay to only have 2/3 and have that space between eating

-       aim to get 7.5 hours (5 x 90minute sleep cycles a night) OR 35x 90min cycle a week & (read our sleep blog for tips and tricks) and have a regular sleep/rise time.

 

PS i had Missy bumping the entire time, like how could i not.