If you are having difficulty losing and maintaining weight, you may be experiencing a “hormonal blockage” that keeps your set point high. In a nutshell, what we call “set point” refers to the stored fat level the body is trying to maintain by regulating your appetite and metabolism through your hormones, genes and brain, regardless of the number of calories you consume or burn. There is an invisible force within us that conspires to hold onto extra pounds, and that has nothing to do with calories, the food you order, cardiovascular exercise, or the traditional diets you follow; moreover, this invisible power fails us many times. It is your setpoint that really holds us back when it comes to losing weight and also sets us permanently free. Here’s the good news: You can check your setpoint. When you control it, you are naturally weak.
You cannot hear or see it, but there is an ongoing commotion inside you. Your intestines, organs, muscle and adipose tissues are in constant communication with your nervous system and brain through chemical messengers called hormones. For example, they “talk” about how much fuel they think you need to keep your weight stable at the set point. If they feel that you are at risk of your weight falling below your set point, they will release chemical messages that allow you to burn calories daily by affecting your appetite and cravings.
This conversation goes well when you get high-quality calories. Quality calorie intake triggers fat burning hormones. The right amount of hormone is used to burn calories and the desired message is delivered: “Burn body fat.” However, when you eat low-quality, processed calories, the phone lines break. Your body no longer has a good idea of how much fuel you need. Hormones become “out of order” and your body demands more food and accumulates calories because it doesn’t understand what’s going on and begins to make mistakes in order not to starve.
This “hormonal blockage” raises your set point and therefore triggers a daily increase in appetite and cravings and a slowing of calorie burning. “More calories” and “fewer calories” are what almost every cell in your body tells you to survive. Even if you grind your teeth and stick to intermittent fasting and jogging exercises, this hormonal blockage causes your body to store more of the calories you eat as fat while burning less during exercise. In other words, “You try harder,” but basic human biology causes your body to fight by storing more and burning less.
As you can see, hormones play a big role in regulating your setpoint. Fortunately, we were not at their mercy! There is a lot you can do to control your hormones, and you can also control how these will affect your calorie intake, burning and set point. It is only necessary to understand what they are and how they work. There are several main hormones that affect your setpoint and how well your body burns fat:
Fat cells in the body produce a hormone called leptin, and this hormone sends a signal to our brain when you eat enough. As the fat stores increase, more leptin is released, and leptin sends the message to the brain: “The fat level is rising, so I will make you feel full and fidgety so you can unconsciously eat less and exercise more.” Likewise, even if fat levels drop, the brain receives a strong hormonal signal to eat more and move less. A ‘leptin resistance’ condition arises when the hormone fails to deliver the message properly, which raises the set point.
Also known as the hunger hormone, ghrelin horon is all about appetite. When you cut calories and don’t eat, your body rebelled. He begins to defend a higher set point. As part of this defense, your brain also signals an increase in the hormone ghrelin to make you eat more. Ghrelin increases with traditional hunger diets. This is another big reason traditional diets can disappoint you. They just make you hungry more and tell you to eat foods that cause hormonal blockage in the first place! It’s not your fault. On the contrary, ghrelin is unstable and you need to take the right measures to get it back under control.
We cannot talk about fat burning hormones without mentioning the insulin produced in the pancreas. In order for glucose to enter the cells to be burned as fuel, a “door” must be opened to the cells. These gates are insulin receptors on the surfaces of cells. The function of insulin is to introduce glucose into cells through these receptors. When your body digests the sugars and starches you eat, it breaks them down into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. Your insulin automatically rises to transport glucose to your cells. If you eat a lot of sugary, starchy, highly processed foods, glucose levels stay high longer than they need. More insulin is reduced and has to work overtime. When insulin spikes 24/7, the insulin receptors in cells become so used to it that they stop recognizing it, a condition known as insulin resistance. Keeping insulin levels in check is vital not only to prevent diabetes, but also to maintain a healthy, low set point and weight.
Testosterone, known as the male hormoneis also one of the hormones needed to keep set points low in men and women. Low testosterone levels promote fat storage and inflammation. Eating plenty of refined carbohydrate and soy meals lowers testosterone and raises the setpoint in both men and women. On the other hand, proper exercise with nutrient-dense proteins and whole food fats optimizes testosterone, lowering the setpoint.
Although it has more vital functions in women, estrogen is also found in both men and women. A few years before menopause, women’s estrogen levels start to drop, causing the body to retain fat. The good news is that the same dietary and lifestyle factors that optimize testosterone levels for a lower set point are shifting estrogen for both women and men.
Stress hormones secreted by the adrenal glands play a role in signals of weight and hunger. One of the most effective stress hormones on set point and weight, cortisolStop. One of cortisol’s many functions is to induce the release of insulin to take glucose into cells for energy that can cope with short-term stress. This is part of your body’s survival response to stress. If a tiger starts chasing you, you have to get fast fuel. Then the crisis ends, glucose is burned, and a relaxation response gradually brings the body’s systems back to normal. This is a normal and life-saving response of your body. The problem is that your body reacts to all stress in the same way. If you’re experiencing anxiety, guilt and embarrassment due to marital problems, financial worries, job stress, hunger or weight, it all means “tiger chases” from your body’s point of view.
Because cortisol stimulates insulin secretion, this hormone stays high when we are stressed, and based on what you learned about insulin, this is not good at all. The insulin resistance caused by this cortisol chaos triggers feedback to the brain that cells are not taking up glucose, which leads to a craving for more glucose, which shifts willpower to sugar and starch.
In short, chronically elevated cortisol leads to increased insulin, insulin resistance, sugar and starch cravings, even more insulin, more intense desire, increased setpoint, weight gain, prediabetes and then type 2 diabetes.
Thyroid hormones also regulate your metabolism, which in turn affects your set point along with your heart, brain, digestive and other body systems. The most common problem is inadequate thyroid or hypothyroidism, where thyroid hormone levels are less than optimal. Major symptoms include fatigue, feeling cold, dry skin, weight gain, insulin resistance, depression, hair loss, and memory problems.
Other Setpoint Hormones
Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a hormone that plays a role in satiety. According to research, overeating can make receptors in cells less sensitive to CCK. This triggers another vicious cycle: The more low-quality food you eat, the less your body recognizes the slowdown signal.
Adiponectin is another hormone that affects the setpoint. This hormone secreted by fat cells helps regulate blood sugar and supports fat burning. In combination with leptin, it reverses insulin resistance. When you lower your setpoint and consume non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense proteins instead of starches / sweets, the levels stabilize and you become fitter.
Jonathan Bailor. “How Your Hormones Affect Weight Loss”. Şuradan alındı: https://experiencelife.lifetime.life/article/how-your-hormones-affect-weight-loss/ (31.01.2019)