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Control These Hormones in Order to Control Your Weight

 Did you know that your weight is largely determined by your hormones? Various studies have shown that they influence your appetite, as well as how much fat is stored in your body. If you’re concerned about your weight, there are various things you can do to “fix” your hormones, and therefore bring them under control:
 
1. Insulin 

What Is It? The hormone that allows your cells to take in blood sugar for energy or storage.

What It Does: It tells fat cells in your body to store fat, while preventing already stored fat from breaking down.

How to Control It

• Eat more protein. While protein raises insulin levels in your body in the short-term, it actually leads to long-term reductions in insulin levels.
• Eat plenty of fish as they are rich in healthy fats, such as Omega-3. 
• Exercise regularly. Doing so improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin levels.
• Make sure you get enough magnesium in your diet. Good levels of magnesium improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin levels.
• Drink green tea. Evidence suggests that green tea may lower both blood sugar and insulin levels.

2. Leptin 

What Is It? The “satiety hormone” that reduces your appetite and makes you feel full.

What It Does: It also tells your brain that your body has enough fat in storage.

How to Control It

• Avoid inflammatory foods, such as sugary drinks and trans fats.
• Eat anti-inflammatory foods, such as fatty fish.
• Exercise regularly. Doing so will improve your body’s leptin sensitivity.
• Get enough sleep. If you’re lacking sleep, chances are that your leptin levels are low, which in turn increases your appetite.
• Take supplements. Alpha-lipoic acid and fish oil have been shown to be beneficial for regulating leptin levels.

3. Ghrelin 

What Is It? The “hunger hormone” that’s released from your stomach when it’s empty.

What It Does: It tells your brain when it’s time to eat.

How to Control It

• Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and sugary drinks. These can interfere with your body’s ghrelin response after you’ve eaten a meal.
• Incorporate protein into every meal you eat. Having protein in your meal, especially at breakfast time, can reduce ghrelin levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

4. Cortisol 

What Is It? The stress hormone produced by your adrenal glands.

What It Does: It’s the hormone that gives you your “fight-or-flight” response.

How to Control It

• Meditate. Meditation helps center your mind and significantly reduces cortisol production in your body.
• Listen to soothing music. Researchers have found that cortisol levels don’t rise as much when played to a patient undergoing a medical procedure.
• Get more sleep. A study conducted on pilots showed that those among them who missed out on 15 hours of sleep during the course of one week registered cortisol level increases of between 50 and 80%.

 
5. Estrogen 

What Is It? The most important female sex hormone.

What It Does: It regulates the female reproductive system.

How to Control It

• Eat lots of fiber. This will help you reduce estrogen levels.
• Eat more cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, among others, are believed to have beneficial effects on estrogen levels.
• Eat flax seeds. These seeds are also thought to help regulate estrogen levels.
• Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help normalize estrogen levels in both pre-menopausal and postmenopausal woman.

6. Neuropeptide Y 

What It Is? A hormone produced by your brain cells and nervous system.

What It Does: It stimulates your appetite.

How to Control It

• Eat enough protein. A lack of dietary protein has been shown to increase NPY production, which leads to hunger.
• Avoid fasting for extended periods. When you aren’t getting any nutrients over a lengthy period, such as 24 hours, the NPY levels in your body increase dramatically. 
• Eat soluble prebiotic fiber. This kind of fiber is believed to feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, thereby reducing your NPY levels.

7. Glucagon-Like Peptide-1

What Is It? A hormone produced in your gut when nutrients from the food you eat enters your intestines.

What It Does: It keeps blood sugar levels stable and makes you feel full.

How to Control It

• Eat plenty of protein. Protein-rich foods, such as fish, whey protein and yogurt, increase the levels of GLP-1 in your body.
• Eat anti-inflammatory foods. Chronic inflammation has been linked to lowered GLP-1 production.
• Eat lots of leafy greens. A study carried out on women consuming increased amounts of leafy green vegetables showed that they lost more weight and had higher GLP-1 levels when compared to women in the study’s control group.
• Take probiotic supplements. An animal study has shown that probiotics increase GLP-1 levels, resulting in a reduction in food intake.

8. Cholecystokinin 

What Is It? Another hormone produced in your gut, very similar to Glucagon-Like Peptide-1.

What It Does: Reduces food intake when high levels of it are present in your body.

How to Control It

 Eat plenty of protein-rich foods. This will increase the levels of CCK in your body.
• Eat plenty of healthy fats, such as Omega-3 found in fish. This triggers the release of CCK.
• Eat lots of fiber. A study conducted on a group of men showed that their CCK levels were twice as high after eating a meal containing beans when compared to those that ate a low-fiber meal.

9. Peptide YY

What Is It? Yet another gut hormone that regulates appetite.

What It Does: It’s thought to play a major role in reducing your food intake and decreasing your risk of obesity.

How to Control It

• Switch to a low-carbohydrate diet. Eating a low-carb diet based on unprocessed food will help keep your blood sugar levels stable, and in turn ensure that they do not impede the beneficial effects of PYY.
• Eat plenty of protein. Consuming animal or plant-sourced protein is the best way of ensuring that your PYY levels remain at the levels that they should be.
• Eat lots of fiber. Doing so will also help regulate your PYY levels.

Source: authoritynutrition
 

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