Let’s get on the same page: fat loss is about hormones. We dramatically influence our hormones with the foods we eat.
Food is information. Everything you eat communicates a message to your hormones. Your hormones message you back. There is a constant dialogue happening in your body & I want to help you direct the conversation.
We impair fat loss when we only consider the calorie equation. (I have explained why the calorie perspective on fat loss is seriously lacking on this episode of the podcast if you need to listen to a refresher!)
See, it is your hormones that signal whether or not FAT LOSS is allowed. Only under certain hormonal conditions will your body allow fat burning.
We can create those hormonal conditions with our food choices. We can prevent those hormonal conditions with our food choices.
If you want a free, detailed overview of the relationship between insulin & fat loss and specific, actionable strategies for naturally controlling insulin, you can download them for free by clicking below. This is a 5 page excerpt from my ebook on how to balance hormones for fat loss and I am certain you’ll find some strategies you can put to work for you!
In today’s post, I want to hit the highlights & talk about 2 of the most important hormones for fat loss, what they do & how we can manage them via our food & lifestyle choices.
Insulin is a critical fuel delivery hormone. Insulin is appropriately referred to as the “master fat loss hormone” and is dramatically influenced by our food choices.
Let’s take a look at what insulin does, how it works & how it impacts fat loss.
Think of insulin as an usher. It responds to fuel (nutrients) in the blood stream & ushers them to the cells to be used as fuel or stored. Without insulin, your cells would starve.
The presence of elevated insulin levels tells the body, “There’s plenty of fuel. I’m finding a place for it to go. Don’t add more fuel into the pipeline.”
Insulin’s message of “there’s plenty of fuel” temporarily prevents fat burning.
Think about it – when there is fuel in the blood & insulin is busy finding a place for it to go, why would the body break down body fat? It won’t!
Body fat is burned in response to a lack of fuel in the blood. Body fat is burned to give the body needed energy. The presence of insulin prevents fat burning because extra fuel is not needed.
Fuel storage and fuel breakdown are opposites. They don’t happen at the same time, just like you can’t throw a ball up and down simultaneously.
Insulin puts the body in fuel storage mode. Fat burning is a fuel breakdown mode. They cannot and will not happen at the same time.
That does not make insulin the enemy. Again, without insulin, your cells starve.
However, many people spike their insulin levels every time they eat. They will keep you out of fat burning mode.
We need to manage insulin via our food choices. The macronutrient that drives insulin most is carbohydrate. This is why the right carbohydrate strategy is essential for fat loss. That’s not suggesting we need to eliminate carbohydrates – I do not believe that at all. We do, however, need to focus on:
- Limiting sugar & processed foods
- Following the Golden Rules of carbs & fat loss
- Eating fat, protein & fiber from non starchy vegetables with meals and snacks.
For more detailed information on how insulin works & how you can avoid having it impair your fat burning, download the free insulin overview & guide. Implementing these strategies will help you increase your energy, accelerate your fat loss & decrease cravings.
Cortisol is another critical hormone when it comes to how we can balance hormones for fat loss. Cortisol is one of many stress hormones & works very closely with insulin.
One of the primary reasons that cortisol impacts insulin is due to the type of hormone it is – it belongs to a class of hormone known as glucocorticoids.
What word do you see in there? “Gluco” refers to cortisol’s ability to increase blood sugar independent of what you eat!
Yup, when cortisol is elevated, it can break down proteins in your body to form glucose, elevating blood sugar (even if you aren’t eating carbs!)
This is actually part of your body’s natural survival mechanisms but our diet & lifestyle may cause it to work against us.
See, in times of physical stress or danger, your body wants to make sure extra glucose gets to your muscles so you can escape danger.
Unfortunately, many of us live in perpetual states of physical and/or emotional stress and therefore our cortisol levels are on overdrive, increasing our blood sugar & elevating insulin (keeping us out of fat burning mode.)
To help control cortisol & prevent it from impairing your fat burning potential, consider the following:
- Practice relaxation and/or meditation
- Limit “chronic cardio” styles of exercise like distance running
- Do not eat within a couple hours of bedtime
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid sugar & processed foods
There are many hormones involved in the fat burning process but you don’t need to know & do everything. You only need to know & do the highest impact things. This free insulin overview & guide will tell you everything you need to know & do without overwhelming you will all you don’t!