If you suffer from Diabesity — or worry you might develop this disease — weight loss hormones are probably not at the top of your list of treatment options. In fact, weight loss hormones may have never crossed your mind as a weapon against Diabesity. Why? Because “experts” seldom mention weight loss hormones in the context of preventing or reversing Diabesity.
Instead, “experts” and health officials still cling to the calorie myth, totally ignoring the essential role weight loss hormones play in this process.
Diabesity, Weight Loss Hormones, and the Calorie Myth
Hormones, created by the endocrine glands, are chemical messengers that travel through the blood and bodily fluids to organs and tissues. They control most major bodily functions, such as emotions, reproduction, hunger, and metabolism.
Scientists, doctors, and even true weight loss “experts” certainly know the essential role hormones play in almost every bodily function, yet they tend to disregard the concept of weight loss hormones as being a valid concept. They prefer, instead, to fall back on the calorie myth that treats weight loss as little more than a mathematical equation.
If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, you’re painfully aware of the math that says if you create a calorie deficit in your body of, say, X number of calories per week, you will lose X number of pounds — exactly. So, you’ve tried that…again…and again…and again…and again.
Every time you went on a diet, you were excited to see the pounds fall off quickly the first couple weeks — until it slowed down to barely a quarter of a pound, if that, per week. This, despite the fact you starved yourself the entire week, suffered, for just a little bit in return. When you couldn’t take the slowed weight loss and starvation any longer, you stopped dieting. In no time at all, you gained all the weight back plus 10 pounds. Variations of this story happened on every diet you tried, but you thought maybe it was the wrong diet for you.
But be honest now. Haven’t you really felt, deep down, that the calorie deficit theory of weight loss is wrong? That there is a BIG part missing?
You’re absolutely correct. This is a HUGE hole in the calorie deficit theory of weight loss, and we’re going to fill it in for you.
The Problem with the Calorie Deficit Theory of Weight Loss
The problem with the calorie deficit theory of weight loss is that it treats the metabolism like a scale, calorie in = calorie out. It teaches that all calories have the same effect on your weight, and it doesn’t matter from which foods these calories come.
The old calorie in = calorie out model ignores a century of research. Though this research is well known in the laboratory, it has not made it into weight-loss clinics or the public health discussions in a widespread manner.
You see, this research shows among other things that the source of your calories matter a lot when it comes to your health and your weight. They do not affect your body the same way. To see this in action, try this experiment:
One day, eat a 450 calories piece of cake. Write down how you feel and your eating habits for the rest of the day. On the next day, eat 450 calories of chicken breast. Write down how you feel and your eating habits for the rest of that day, too. You’ll find on the day you ate the cake, you felt a burst of energy immediately after eating it. Then about 20 minutes later, you felt tired and sluggish. Within an hour or so, you were hungry again, craving more starchy carbs.
Compare this to the day you ate the chicken breast. After eating the chicken, you felt satisfied. There was no burst of energy, but neither was there an energy drop. Your energy level remained steady, and you did not become hungry again for hours. That is the difference in the effect of starchy carbs (cake) and high-quality protein (chicken). Do you want to guess which one is a better food for weight loss? (Yes, it is the chicken, and weight loss hormones have a lot to do with that.)
You see, the body/metabolism is not like a scale. It is like the thermostat for your house, only this thermostat works to keep you at your setpoint.
Setpoint Trumps Starvation Dieting
Setpoint is the most important concept to understand and implement if you want to avoid Diabesity.
The setpoint refers to the level of stored fat the body works to maintain by regulating your appetite and metabolism through your hormones, genes, and brain, regardless of the quantity of calories you take in or exercise off.
Your brain, digestive system, and hormones talk to one another through various feedback loops to synchronize the activities that automatically maintain body fat and blood sugar at a specific level, otherwise known as your setpoint.
Think of the biological feedback system that establishes your setpoint like the thermostat in your house. Thanks to the thermostat, your heating or air-conditioning system respond to the weather outside and keep your home at whatever temperature the thermostat “thinks” it should be at. Similarly, your setpoint stimulates or suppresses your appetite and raises or lowers your metabolism in response to how much fat it “thinks” you should store.
Though the brain and digestive system play a big role in helping you lose weight, they couldn’t do this job without help from weight loss hormones.
Weight Loss Hormones and Setpoint
Most people who have trouble maintaining weight loss, who find themselves trapped in the endless cycle of “yo-yo” dieting, likely have a hormonal clog. When you become hormonally clogged, your brain can no longer receive or correctly “read” signals from your hormones that allow you to burn fat automatically.
An easy way to understand how this hormonal clog elevates your setpoint is to think about your body as functioning like a sink. When you pour liquid into a sink that is working properly, the liquid will drain right out. Yes, the water level may rise temporarily, but the sink resolves that issues. The sink is balancing water in and water out at a low setpoint. You can say, then that a working sink has a low setpoint.
A hormonally healthy body works similarly, always working to automatically prevent excess body fat from accumulating. A healthy body, like a “healthy” sink, responds to more in with more out, and to less in with less out.
The only reason water builds up in sinks and fat builds up in bodies is because they have become clogged. What causes clogs? Clogs happen when the wrong quality of things are put into it. Once a clog happens, any amount of water in will cause the water level to rise and remain high. Now you have a sink with an elevated setpoint.
Think of your body in the same way. When you put poor quality foods into it, your body becomes hormonally clogged, causing it to automatically balance you out at an elevated level of body fat (overweight and obesity) and blood sugar (diabetes.) The best way to unclog hormones is to switch to eating higher-quality foods. But before discussing that, let’s discuss a few key weight loss hormones that help defeat Diabesity.
5 Weight Loss Hormones
Though many hormones influence weight gain and loss, here are 5 of the most important weight loss hormones.
One of the most influential hormones on setpoint and the development of Diabesity is cortisol. Among cortisol’s many functions is triggering the release of insulin to get glucose into cells for energy to deal with short-term stress.
Short-term stress, from an evolutionary standpoint, is life-threatening. It’s being like chased by a lion or a similar foe. During the fight with — or flight from — your opponent, your body burns off the excess glucose. After the danger has passed, the relaxation response sets in. Your insulin, glucose, and cortisol levels return to normal. Stress is a normal and lifesaving response from your body to a critical situation.
The problem arises when your body responds to all stresses the same way. Whether you’re fretting about unpaid bills or marital problems, your body reacts as if that lion is chasing you. Chronic sources of stress cause your body to keep releasing cortisol, which keeps triggering a release of insulin. This ensures insulin stays elevated, too, making fat-burning impossible.
Plus unlike physical stress causing you to “run for your life,” psychological stress does not burn off any glucose. So your glucose levels remain elevated. This leads to increased fat storage, insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, and ultimately Diabesity. And because your cells aren’t actually getting much glucose because the excess is going to your fat cells, your body raises your setpoint.
Your fat cells produce a hormone called leptin, which signals your brain when it has had enough food.
Your setpoint becomes elevated, however, when you suffer from “leptin resistance”. This means this weight loss hormone cannot get its “I’m full” message to the brain. Because the body “thinks” you need more food/calories, it raises your setpoint.
The hormone estrogen is present in both men and women, but it’s higher in women. Research shows estrogen has a lot to do with fat storage and fat burning. A few years prior to menopause, when estrogen levels start to dip, most women notice weight gain. That’s because lower levels of estrogen encourage the body to hold onto fat.
Insulin, produced by the pancreas, is one of the most important weight loss hormones. When you consume sugar and starches, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is absorbed into your bloodstream. Your blood glucose levels rise, which triggers the release of a sufficient amount of insulin to shuttle the excess glucose into your cells for energy or to be stored for later use.
If you eat too much sugary, starchy, highly processed food, your glucose levels stay elevated longer than they need to. More insulin needs to be cranked out. Once insulin become continually elevated, cells become so accustomed to its presence they become resistant to it and will not open to let glucose in. This is called insulin resistance.
Insulin still has to do its job of clearing glucose from your bloodstream, so it puts almost all the calories you eat into your fat cells. This leads to overweight, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and Diabesity.
Ghrelin is a hormone controlling your appetite. It is one of the weight loss hormones the brain calls on when it thinks you are starving. It signals a release of ghrelin to make you hungry so you’ll eat more calories.
How to Maximize Weight Loss Hormones and Defeat Diabesity
Improving the quality of your diet is so easy to do, too. It does not involve any complicated foods or menus to remember. This is a healthy way to eat that focuses on whole foods. It focuses on eating more food to lower your setpoint weight and lose weight automatically.
Picture this: No more hunger or deprivation. No more yo-yo dieting or frustration. Your goal? Become so full of healthy foods, you’re too full for unhealthy ones.
Just select foods from the following food groups. These foods remove hormonal clogs, tigger fat-burning hormones, and lower your setpoint weight.
10+ servings per day
3-5 servings per day, 30-55 grams per day
3-6 servings per day
0-3 servings per day
Don’t stress yourself out thinking you have to totally change your diet overnight. Just make a few simple changes at a time. For instance, decide to make a green smoothie for breakfast every day this week. Then, gradually add other healthy foods. Before long, you’ll be 100% healthy — and loving it!