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How To Boost Fat Burning Hormones

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How To Boost Fat Burning Hormones

Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM on March 5, 2020

Although recent increases in the availability of junk food and decreases in institutionally driven physical activity have an obesity-permissive environment, several other factors may contribute. We know, for example, that the use of antibiotics is linked to obesity, so our gut flora may play a role. I discuss this in my video Is Obesity Infectious?.

Recently, specific bacterial species were identified. Eight species seemed protective against weight gain, and they are all producers of a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate.

Early on, we thought there might be some intestinal bacteria that were able to extract additional calories from what we eat, but the relationship between our gut flora and obesity has proven to be more complex, as you can see at 0:49 in my video. Our gut flora may affect how we metabolize fat, for example, such as through the hormone FIAFfasting-induced adipose factor.

While were fasting, our body has to stop storing fat and instead start to burn it off. FIAF is one of the hormones that signals our body to do this, which could be useful for someone who is obese, and may be one way our gut flora manages our weight. Some bacteria repress this hormone, thereby increasing fat storage. In contrast, when we feed fiber to our fiber-eating bacteria, those that secrete short-chain fatty acids like butyrate are able to upregulate this hormone in all human cell lines so far tested.

Important Hormones That Can Impact Weight Loss

1. Insulin

Youve probably heard about insulin, but do you know how it works?

When you eat, your food gets broken down into basic nutrients , and those nutrients enter your bloodstream to circulate and reach all your cells.

When blood-glucose levels rise, your pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin then circulates through your bloodstream and attaches to your cells receptors to open the gate. Once the gate is open, glucose can enter the cell, where it can be utilized as an energy source.

Sometimes, however, the cells receptors either dont respond to the insulin, or the body quits making enough insulin. As a result, the insulin doesnt usher the glucose into the cell, so it stays in the bloodstream instead of getting used up as an energy source inside the cell.

When you have excess glucose, your hormones arent balanced and weight loss becomes more difficult as your body tries to store that excess glucose as fat.

2. Estrogen

Estrogen is found in both men and women, although women have higher levels, and this hormone can affect weight loss in several ways.

Estrogen acts on the hypothalamus in your brain to help regulate food intake, energy expenditure, and to determine how fat tissue gets distributed, ultimately acting as a fat burning hormone at the right level in the body. It also acts on your pancreas insulin-producing cells to help regulate insulin secretion.

3. Cortisol

4. Testosterone

5. Human Growth Hormone


7. Thyroid Hormones

8. Leptin

9. Ghrelin

Get Tested

Weight Gain: Its All About The Hormones

Fat storing hormones? fact or fiction?

Most of us work so hard at maintaining our weight or losing weight by increasing our exercise and decreasing our calories it seems logical that you want to burn more than you eat and you will lose weight.

What if it is not just calories in and calories out like we have been told?

Some of you may be at the point where you are eating what you used to eat and achieved the results you were looking for, but it isnt working now. You may be blaming it on age or slow metabolism.

You could be partially right weight loss is a hormone issue and not a caloric issue. And, as we age, our hormones get more out of whack, which in turn affects our weight loss.

The good news is its reversible. If you fix your hormones, then you fix your health, you slow down aging, and this will fix your weight problems. It is an amazing positive chain reaction!

Read Also: How To Regulate My Hormones

Simple As Zinc At Bedtime

The level of adiponectin increased significantly in subjects who received 50 mg of zinc compared to a control group, according to a study published in the Iranian Journal of Diabetes and Obesity . Take 50 mg of zinc citrate or zinc picolinate for a maximum of 12 weeks only, then reduce the dose or switch to a multivitamin containing zinc.

Ways To Boost Your Fat

5 Keys to Balance Fat Burning Hormones

Adiponectin seems too good to be true! Essentially, its a hormone that burns fat. Thats not all. In some animal testing models, this fat-burning advantage appeared without a related increase in hunger. Adiponectin is produced inand sent out from our fat cells, where it helps us lose fat by improving our insulin sensitivity. Think of adiponectin as the fat factor that ironically leads to its own demise: its produced by your fat, but also helps to burn it up! Here are my top eight ways to give your adiponectin a boost, just in time for bikini season.

How to Increase Your Adiponectin

1.Give Your Body an Oil Change

Amazingly, researchers have found that an intake of monounsaturated fats such as fish oil, boosts levels of adiponectin by 14 to 60 per cent. And even better news: these fats are the tastiest fats to eat! They include avocados, nuts, olives and olive oil. Safflower oil has also been shown to trigger the production of adiponectin. I recommend getting your health-promoting dose of this oil by consuming 4 capsules per day of conjugated linoleic acid derived from safflower oil. Pureform Omega is also an excellent plant based omega or is our top-selling fish oil.

2. Fill Up on Fibre

3. All About Exercise

4. Dont Kick Your Coffee Habit

5. Top Up the Turmeric

6. Revel in Red Wine

7. Consume Your Carbs at Dinner

8. Simple as Zinc at Bedtime

Read Also: Why Do Guys Need Testosterone

Easy And Natural Ways To Increase Fat

Get-Fit Guy shares two easy and natural ways to increase the fat-burning hormones testosterone and adiponectin.

Whether youre a man or a woman, testosterone is one of your bodys most potent fat-burning hormones. In previous Get-Fit Guy episodes and newsletters, I’ve talked about natural ways to increase testosterone, including supplements, heavy weight training, sprinting, and sleep. But heres one you may not have heard of before: light.

Thats rightlight!

Case in point: A recent study investigated whether early morning light exposure had any impact on hormone levels. The researchers studied 11 healthy men between 19-30 years old, using urinary hormones as markers to measure the impact of light on hormones. Specifically, researchers looked at luteinizing hormone, which can increase your ability to produce testosterone. The subjects of the study were exposed to different periods of light or sham exposure taking place for five days each in different weeks. One week, each of the participants was exposed to bright light . Each session took place for one hour early in the morning. Amazingly, luteinizing hormone excretion increased 69.5% after the bright light exposure, but that didnt hold true for placebo light exposure!

So how can you use this little fat-burning hormone hack? Simply step outside and get as many minutes as possible of bright morning sunlight when you first get up. Personally, I like to use this as an opportunity to do 5-15 minutes of easy yoga.

Your Plan For Permanent Weight Loss

The plan for shedding fat and keeping it off forever is very simple and requires no deprivation.

The key is to consume plenty of protein and healthy fats. And be sure that the carbs you choose are low glycemic and high in fiber. By eating this way, your hormonal state will shift from that of a sugar burner to a fat burner.

You will soon discover that you feel more satisfied on less food. Your between-meal cravings will subside. And best of all, your metabolism will fire on all cylinders, locking your body into a perpetual fat-burning state.


  • Suzuki K, Jayasena CN, Bloom SR. The gut hormones in appetite regulation. J Obes. 2011 2011:528401. Epub 2011 Sep 22.
  • Meneghini LF, Orozco-Beltran D, Khunti K, Caputo S, Damçi T, Liebl A, Ross SA. Weight Beneficial Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Sep 7. .
  • Halford JC, Boyland EJ, Blundell JE, Kirkham TC, & Harrold JA . Pharmacological management of appetite expression in obesity. Nature reviews. Endocrinology PMID: 20234354.
  • de Castro JM, Paullin SK, DeLugas GM. Insulin and glucagon as determinants of body weight set point and microregulation in rats. J Comp Physiol Psychol. 1978 Jun 92:571-9.
  • About The Author

    Kelley Herring

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    Fat Burning Hormones Are Released By Your Fat Cells

    No matter what your age, you probably want to keep your youthful look and body in peak physical condition. If you are struggling with chronic fatigue, weight gain issues and mood swings, your hormones may be to blame. Truth is, aging is inevitable, and left unattended, hormone production can begin to wane. Although researchers are still conducting comprehensive studies on whether being overweight has anything to do with calories or exercise. Recent studies suggest misfiring hormones like thyroid and insulin imbalances lead to obesity. Although hormone replacement therapy is not a “Fountain of Youth”, hormone replacement combined with a hormone-friendly menu plan can dramatically improve quality of life.

    Everyone experiences hormonal balance at some point and numerous culprits contribute to and sometimes overlap when glands and organs are not functioning properly. Listed below are some of the popular corrective menu plans:

    Numerous studies have suggested a link between fad dieting and chemical signal resistance. Even small imbalances can have significant consequences making it tricky to restore a healthy balance.

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    Keys To Balance Fat Burning Hormones

    Growth Hormone Boost Naturally? How to Boost one of your best Fat Burning Hormones without drugs

    Fat Burning hormones play a critical role in the bodys biochemical processes dictating gender and affect human desires to socialize and maintain healthy relationships. They influence all aspects of health including aging, sexual development, immune response, growth, sleep, mood and even how our body responds to stress.

    Given their complexity, it is no surprise that people who struggle with weight loss are unaware that their hormones may be the culprit. There are 5 fat burning hormones that play a critical role in regulating body weight. Read on to learn how they impact your ability to burn fat and how balancing these hormones can support your weight loss endeavors and improve your overall quality of life.

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    Follow This Eating Pattern

    Eating plenty of colorful vegetables and fruit along with heart-healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts as well as fish and vegetarian proteins appears to be one of the healthiest ways to promote weight loss and prevent chronic diseases. It may also make your cells more sensitive to insulin, reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

    In particular, oily fish contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that may help reduce insulin resistance, a risk-factor for Type 2 diabetes.

    Having healthy fats in your meals and snacks triggers the release of hormones that help you feel more satiated, which can support weight loss.

    The Hormone That Tells Our Body To Burn Fat

    Adiponectin is also produced by fat cells and the beauty of this hormone is that it increases our sensitivity to insulin and encourages our body to burn fat into energy. It may sound weird, but it comes from fat and burns fat. And unlike leptin, the leaner we are, the higher the adiponectin level is.

    Recommended Reading: How To Check Your Estrogen Levels At Home

    What Causes Leptin Resistance

    The exact cause of leptin resistance hasnt yet been determined by research, however there are some warning signs that may appear before leptin resistance is diagnosed:

    • Inflammation: Inflammation in the hypothalamus can cause miscommunication of leptin signals. This may be caused by regularly eating highly processed foods that are high in refined sugar and saturated fat.
    • Free fatty acids: If there are large amounts of free fatty acids in the bloodstream, these can interfere with leptin signalling.
    • Pre-existing high leptin levels: When leptin levels in the blood are consistently high, the body develops resistance to leptin.
    • Cortisol: This stress hormone can make the brain less receptive to leptin.

    Many factors of the modern lifestyle, including stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep and consumption of highly processed foods, may contribute to leptin resistance. Leptin resistance, in turn, has been linked to obesity.

    So, what can we do to keep our bodies sensitive to leptin and maintain a healthy weight?

    Add Zinc To Your Diet

    10 Foods That Boost Your Fat Burning Hormones

    Zinc is present in almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and green leafy vegetables are all rich sources of zinc. Zinc-rich foods can activate adiponectin hormone for burning fat and losing weight.

    Good quality dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants that benefit your health and also aid fat burning.

    Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

    DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information,health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems likediabetes,cancer,pregnancy,HIV and AIDS,weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.

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    Specifically, waiting too long to eat between meals causes a blood sugar drop, which triggers a stress response in your body, which in turn releases cortisolcausing you to crash hard. That means you’ll probably overeat at your next meal, leading to a blood sugar and insulin spike. You can break this cycle by eating three or four square meals. If you choose to eat four times a day, have a meal that contains whey protein as your third one, to cut cravings and balance cortisol so you will eat less at your next meal.

    Increase Your Iron Intake

    Iron is an important mineral that has many vital functions in the body.

    As with other nutrients such as iodine, a deficiency in iron may impact the health of your thyroid gland. This small gland in your neck secretes hormones that regulate your metabolism .

    Multiple studies have found that low levels of iron in the body may be associated with impaired thyroid function and a disruption in the production of thyroid hormones (

    Unfortunately, many people dont get enough iron in their diets.

    Women, infants, children, vegans and vegetarians are all at a higher risk of iron deficiency.

    Be sure to incorporate plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet to help meet your iron needs and maintain your metabolism and energy levels.

    You can find iron in meat, poultry, seafood, fortified grains and cereals, leafy green vegetables, dried fruits and beans.

    Summary A deficiency in iron may be associated with impaired thyroid function and can cause symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath. One study found that treating iron deficiency aided in weight loss.

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    What Is The Leptin Hormone

    The definition of leptin is a peptide hormone that is produced by fat cells that plays a role in body weight regulation by acting on the hypothalamus to suppress appetite and burn fat stored in adipose tissue.

    Leptin is known as the starvation hormone because it notifies your brain if you have eaten enough and your energy levels are sufficient, or if your energy intake needs to increase. A number of factors can influence leptin and ghrelin levels, including:

    • Calorie intake
    • Exercise
    • Stress

    The main regulator of leptin production is body fat . Levels fluctuate depending on your current weight, especially your percentage of body fat. Leptin is produced mainly by adipocytes , which is why levels of leptin usually increase when someone gains more body fat, and decrease when someone loses weight. Leptin also plays an important role in the regulation of the reproductive system, thyroid gland, adrenal glands and growth hormone production.

    Leptin does its job by binding to and activating receptors in the brain known as LEPR-B receptors. When leptin levels go up your hunger should decrease, while at the same time you start consciously and unconsciously increasing energy expenditure . This feedback system helps most people to prevent too much weight gain.

    How is leptin different than ghrelin?

    Avoid Starchy Carbs At Breakfast

    3 Easy Tips To Boost Leptin (Your #1 Fat-Burning Hormone)

    Sticking to a high-protein breakfast increases thyroid hormone and sets your dopamine levels for the daywhich means you will enjoy better appetite control and stay craving-free while avoiding that mid-afternoon slump. This means breads, cereals, bagels, etc., are off limits. The first few days may feel challenging, but I promise it will quickly become second nature.

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    So How Do You Stimulate More Glucagon

    As I mentioned earlier, the production of insulin and glucagon are like a see-saw. So the first thing you need to do to stimulate the production of glucagon is to reduce total carbohydrates in your diet and be sure those you choose are low glycemic.

    But theres another important step to crank up your bodys production of glucagon: Eat a protein-rich diet!

    Protein directly stimulates the production of glucagon and sends the signal to your body that the hunting is good and it is safe to shed excess fat. Protein also promotes a long-lasting feeling of fullness, helping you to stay satisfied on a diet of fewer calories.

    Here are the high quality protein sources you should choose from and include at every meal and snack:

    • Grass-fed beef and lamb
    • Wild seafood
    • Pastured poultry
    • Game meats
    • Pastured eggs
    • Grass-fed whey protein

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