Hormones And Weight Loss: What Is The Correlation?

Published on: 2018/05/28

Diana Pinto, MS Biokinesiology (USA), Specialist in Sports Performance Nutrition

Simoni Shah


Dieting alone – restricting calories and carbohydrates – does nothing to build metabolically active muscle, a necessary health reserve for our later years. Combine diet and exercise and you will lose the fat and save the muscle.

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Hormones and weight loss

According to WHO, globally,  there are nearly 775 million people who are clinically obese. These are the people who have BMI above 30. The USA, China, and India are the top three obese countries in this world according to 2017 data.

While the statistics are alarming, we have to be more aware of the causes of weight gain.

What are the top causes of weight gain?

1. Food addiction & junk food – like alcohol, many foods on the market are responsible for making people eat uncontrollably.

2. Genetics – Children with obese parents are more likely to be obese. Genetic components are also responsible for weight gain.

3. Insulin – the modern food and the sedentary lifestyle promotes insulin resistance in our bodies. Insulin is one of the important organs that regulates energy storage. Intake of high carb food increases the insulin levels in our bodies.

4. Leptin resistance – leptin is the hormone that tells your brain to stop eating high-fat foods when your body cannot take any more. Leptin resistance is another major reason for high BMI.

5. Sugar – added sugar, cornstarch or fructose is the main culprit as far as weight gain is concerned. Added sugar changes the hormones of your body if consumed in excess

What hormones cause weight loss?

Hormones play a vital role in our body. Hormones help in development, reproduction, growth, and behavior. Hormones help our body run efficiently by signaling when and what to do. In any given second, we have dozens of hormones acting to complete some physiologic condition.

Hormones are responsible for your mood, energy levels, and weight.

What are the hormones that are responsible for body weight?

These are the three you should know about:

1. Leptin

Leptin is produced by fat cells. Due to modern processed food, many human beings have become leptin resistant. Leptin resistance is a condition where your body cannot know if it is full or not. This is mainly because of the high levels of fructose in the processed food that gets stored in your body as fat. This makes your leptin levels high. You may never know when you are actually full and this leads to overeating and obesity.

2. Estrogen

Estrogen plays a vital role in women in the development of reproductive organs. Estrogen causes weight gain in various stages of a woman’s life right from puberty to menopause.

The estrogen to progesterone ratios in a woman’s body is responsible for the weight gain. When there is too much estrogen compared to progesterone, it gets stored as fat. Estrogen dominance is also caused by chemicals, plastics, pesticides.

3. Insulin

Insulin helps your body to regulate glucose. When you consume more processed food or sugary food, your pancreas should work hard to produce that much insulin necessary to get rid of the sugar from the blood. The excess sugar gets stored as fat.

4. Cortisol

High levels of stress in our lifestyle causes a high amount of cortisol in the body. Excess cortisol not only gets you a lot of belly fat it also increases the chance of heart disease.

Read more – How can a hormone imbalance be treated? What are the signs of hormonal imbalance? How can hormonal imbalance affect men and women?