It is no surprise that obesity is an epidemic in some countries, especially America. As Americans struggle to keep the pounds off, new research is revealing that lasting weight loss is more complex than trying the latest fad diet. For example, did you know that unbalanced hormone levels can, in some cases, encourage weight gain? And that a certain type of body fat can actually make it much harder to lose weight? Continue reading to learn more about the latest on weight loss.
Hormones and Body Weight
Your body is an arrangement several complex systems which must work together. Hormones are the regulators of these bodily systems. Hormones play an important role in how energy is used at the cellular level; otherwise known as your metabolism. 1 2 3 Now you can see how the proper balance of hormones is related to your weight loss efforts. Let’s take a closer look at some of the hormones that might be involved in controlling your weight.
- Cortisol – Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal cortex located on top of the kidneys. Generally speaking, chronic stress can increase the level of cortisol in the body over time. 2 3 Is too much cortisol always a bad thing? In the short term, maybe not. However, high levels of cortisol over time can cause fat to be deposited in the abdomen. 2 3 This type of fat is known as visceral fat.
- Insulin – Insulin is produced by the pancreas. If you know anything about diabetes, then you’ve probably heard of insulin. It’s the hormone that allows us to use and store glucose (sugar). The amount of insulin produced will go up as the amount of cortisol in the body rises. 1 Too much insulin may eventually lead to weight gain and even insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
- Thyroid Hormones – Thyroid disease may also have an effect on a person’s weight. The thyroid gland produces hormones that have profound effects on the metabolism of most cells. 4 A majority of people with thyroid disease tend to be hypothyroid; meaning that not enough thyroid hormone is being produced. 5 A person with a hypothyroid condition may be more likely to gain weight.
There are many more hormones involved in a healthy metabolism. If you suspect that hormone imbalances might be contributing to your weight loss problems, then perhaps consider getting your hormone levels tested by a doctor. Then you can sit down with the doctor and develop a strategy for balancing your hormones: to improve your general health and encourage weight loss. Don’t forget to look into the natural methods available for balancing your hormones.
Visceral Fat, Body Weight and Health
So far you have learned how hormones can have in impact on your metabolism and body weight. Now new research is showing that a type of body fat called visceral fat may make it much more difficult to lose weight. Visceral fat is located deep inside the abdomen, in between the bodily organs and intestines. There also seems to be a correlation between excess visceral fat and some well-known health problems including: weight gain, insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes), heart disease, and stroke. 2 3
All fat cells in the body are biologically active. However, visceral fat cells tend to be more biologically active than subcutaneous fat cells. 1 2 3 In fact, some experts are saying that it is more accurate to think of visceral fat cells as an endocrine gland; due to the fact that these fat cells produce hormones. 3 Remember that hormones are the regulators of our bodily systems, and they are directly involved with metabolism and body weight.
It also seems that visceral fat cells tend to promote insulin resistance and chronic low level inflammation. 2 There have been a few studies that have identified a correlation between higher levels of cortisol and excess visceral fat. 1 3 One study points out that visceral fat cells seem to produce a key enzyme that converts cortisone to cortisol within the body, effectively raising the level of tissue cortisol. 3 All of our research seems to indicate that excess visceral fat threatens good health and discourages weight loss efforts.
The good news is that exercise and diet seem to be effective techniques in removing visceral fat. 2 Experts suggest 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise daily to help prevent visceral fat. 2 However, we suggest you check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine. Click here to learn more about how to get started right with a healthy weight loss diet.
We offer a variety of supplements that might also be helpful in a good weight loss program. Our Liquid Chromium is said to be beneficial in controlling blood sugars and reducing cholesterol. 6 7 Our Liquid Weight Loss System is a customer favorite for jump starting a healthy weight loss program. Finally, our Liquid Polyphytogenic Complete Mind Body System may help control cravings and overeating of certain foods. This is our most nutritionally complete supplement!
In the end it is important to understand your own body. Excess stress and/or hormone imbalances may lead to excess visceral fat. Excess visceral fat seems to present more risk factors for weight gain, inflammation, and other diseases. A healthy diet and lifestyle seems like a good place to start when trying to reduce visceral fat and balance your hormones naturally. Also, you may want to work with your doctor to come up with an effective strategy for reducing visceral fat and balancing hormones.
- The Skinny on Fat. Alicia Di Rado. USC Health Magazine.
- Abdominal fat and what to do about it. Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Medical School.
- Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight. Christine A. Maglione-Garves, Len Kravitz, Ph.D., and Suzanne Schneider, Ph.D. University of New Mexico.
- Mechanism of Action and Physiologic Effects of Thyroid Hormones. R. Bowen. Colorado State University.
- Hypothyroidism. Shikha Bharaktiya, MD. EMedicine.
- Oral Chromium Picolinate Improves Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism and Enhances Skeletal Muscle Glut-4 Translocation in Obese, Hyperinsulinemic Rats. The Journal of Nutrition.
- The effect of chromium picolinate on serum cholesterol and apolipoprotein fractions in human subjects.. PubMed Central: Western Journal of Medicine.