The Secret (Really?) Battle of the Bulge
From conquering cravings to revving metabolism,
hormones are the key to zapping flab.
Here’s how to use them to your advantage.
Hormones are responsible for more than just the occasional binge. Their ebb and flow in your body control nearly every aspect of your weight, from when you get hungry to where you’re most likely to store flab. Even fat cells themselves secrete multiple hormones.
Something else you may not know: You can make these powerful chemicals work for you.
“People have a lot more sway over their hormones than they think they do.” – Lena Edwards, M.D.
These strategies will help you take charge over five of the most influential hormones:
• CORTISOL AND SEROTONIN
One of the many hormones produced by your fat cells is leptin, which plays a role in appetite control. Research has found that excess body fat can cause a condition known as leptin resistance, which means your brain isn’t affected by leptin even though your body contains higher levels of it.
Though it’s still unknown exactly why this occurs, one theory is that as fat cells crank out inflammatory chemicals that block the action of leptin, your body begins to think it’s starving. Obviously, that’s not really the case, but tho compensate for this perceived threat to survival, your metabolism slows down and your brain sends constant hunger signals in an effort to force you to eat, especially high-calorie foods.
BALANCE IT OUT
The good news is that leptin resistance can be combated with diet and exercise.
One thing that could help:
Try eating one cup of vegetables before 10 AM each day.
Scott Isaacs, M.D., an endocrinologist in Atlanta, has found that people who take this advice tend to be less hungry later in the day. Plus, along with satiating fiber, vegetables contain essential antioxidants and vitamins that have been shown to reduce the inflammation that interferes with leptin, which in turn helps increase fat burning and reduce your cravings.
This post was made possible by Melinda Moyer.