Did you know that your weight is mainly controlled by your hormones? Researchers have discovered that your hormones can depend your appetite and how much weight you’ll store in your body.

Here are 9 ways you can fix your hormones and control your weight.

  1. Insulin

Insulin is a hormone in the body that is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. It secrets a small amount throughout the day and gives off larger amounts after you eat. Insulin lets the cells take blood sugar for energy and storage all depending on what is need at that time. Insulin also is a fat storage hormone in the body. This allows fat cells to store ft and can prevent fat from being broken down. There are times with cells are insulin resistant which is actually very common, this is when both the blood sugar and insulin levels spike up drastically. Chronically elevated insulin levels can cause many health disorders, two being obesity and metabolic syndrome. When a person eats more that they should, or large amounts of sugar, refined carbohydrates and fast food it cause the insulin resistance to go out of whack and greatly increases insulin levels.

9 Ways to Fix Hormones That Control Your Weight and How Much Fat You Store

Here are some tips to balance out you insulin levels and improves the way insulin reacts:

  • Avoid or minimize sugar: High amounts of fructose and sucrose promote insulin resistance and raise insulin levels
  • Reduce carbohydrates: A low-carb diet can cause an immediate drop in insulin levels
  • Fill up on protein: Protein actually raises insulin in the short-term. However, it should lead to long-term reductions in insulin resistance by helping you lose belly fat
  • Include plenty of healthy fats: Omega-3 fats found in fatty fish can help lower fasting insulin levels
  • Exercise regularly: Overweight women who walked briskly or jogged had an improvement in insulin sensitivity after 14 weeks in one study
  • Get enough magnesium: Insulin resistant people are often low in magnesium, and magnesium supplements can improve insulin sensitivity
  • Drink green tea: Green tea may lower blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Bottom Line: Insulin is the main fat storage hormone in the body. Reducing sugar intake, cutting carbs and exercise are the best ways to lower insulin levels.
  1. Leptin

Leptin is created by fat cells in the body. This is considered as a satiety hormone which will decrease your appetite and will make you fell full longer. The role of this hormone is to message the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that determines your appetite and how much food you consume. Leptin is able to tell the brain when there is the right amount of fat stored and the body doesn’t need any more to prevent you from overeating. People who are overweight or obese tend to have much higher levels of leptin in their blood than an average weight person would have. One study discovered that the levels of leptin in obese people are 4 times higher than an average person. In people who are obese the leptin levels don’t work properly, which is called leptin resistance. Once the leptin signal isn’t working properly it won’t send messages to the brain which tells them to stop eating, it also don’t notice when you have enough energy in the body already.  The brain believes that you are starving and causes you to eat a lot more than you should.

Two potential causes of leptin resistance are chronically elevated insulin levels and inflammation in the hypothalamus

Here are a few suggestions for improving leptin sensitivity:

  • Avoid inflammatory foods: Limit foods that cause inflammation, especially sugary drinks and trans fats.
  • Eat certain foods: Eat more anti-inflammatory foods, such as fatty fish
  • Exercise regularly: Moderate activity can improve leptin sensitivity
  • Get enough sleep: Studies have shown that insufficient sleep leads to a drop in leptin levels and increased appetite
  • Supplements: In one study, women on a weight-loss diet who took alpha-lipoic acid and fish oil lost more weight and had a smaller decrease in leptin than those in a control group.

Bottom Line: People with obesity tend to be resistant to the effects of leptin. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods, exercising and getting enough sleep may improve leptin sensitivity.

  1. Ghrelin

Ghrelin is known as a “hunger hormone.”

When your stomach is empty, it releases ghrelin, which sends a message to the hypothalamus telling you to eat. Normally, ghrelin levels are highest before eating and lowest about an hour after you’ve had a meal. However, in overweight and obese people, fasting ghrelin levels are often lower than in people of normal weight. Studies have also shown that after obese people eat a meal, ghrelin only decreases slightly. Because of this, the hypothalamus doesn’t receive as strong of a signal to stop eating, which can lead to overeating

Here are a few tips to reduce ghrelin levels:

  • Sugar: Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened drinks, which can impair ghrelin response after meals
  • Protein: Eating protein at every meal, especially breakfast, can reduce ghrelin levels and promote satiety

Bottom Line: Eating plenty of protein and avoiding foods and beverages high in sugar can help reduce ghrelin levels.

  1. Cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone that is produces by the adrenal glands. Many people know this gland to be the stress hormone as its released when your body is feeling some type of stress. Just like all hormones in the body cortisol keeps you alive. When a person has too much of this hormone it causes them to eat too much and leads to weight gain. Women who contain excess weight boost the amount that this hormone is released. A study was performed on this and discovered that women who had a low calorie diet had larger amounts of this hormone are reported that they felt more stressed that women who ate a balanced diet.

These strategies can reduce cortisol levels:

  • Balanced diet: Follow a balanced, real food-based diet. It’s best if you don’t cut out large amount of calories at once.
  • Meditate: Practicing meditation can significantly decreased cortisol production
  • Listen to music:. Studies reported that when soothing music is played during medical procedures, cortisol doesn’t rise as much
  • Sleep more: One study discovered that pilots lost 15 hours of sleep over the course of a week, their cortisol levels increased by 50-80%

Bottom Line: High cortisol levels can increase food intake and promote weight gain. Eating a balanced diet, managing stress and sleeping more can help normalize cortisol production.

  1. Estrogen

Estrogen is the most important female sex hormone. It is produced by ovaries and other cells throughout a woman’s life, and is responsible for breast growth and other changes at puberty. Both very high and low levels of estrogen can lead to weight gain. This depends on age, action of other hormones, and overall state of health. During the reproductive years, estrogen allows women to store fat to ensure enough energy is available for pregnancy. Obese women tend to have higher estrogen levels than normal weight women, and some researchers believe this is due to environmental influences. During menopause, when estrogen levels drop because less is produced in the ovaries, the site for fat storage shifts from the hips and thighs to visceral fat in the abdomen. This promotes insulin resistance and increases disease risk

These nutrition and lifestyle strategies can help manage estrogen:

  • Fiber: Eat plenty of fiber if you want to reduce estrogen levels
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Eating cruciferous vegetables may have beneficial effects on estrogen
  • Flax seeds: Although the phytoestrogens in them are controversial, flax seeds appear to have beneficial effects on estrogen in most women
  • Exercise: Physical activity can help normalize estrogen levels in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women

Bottom Line: When estrogen levels are too high or low, weight gain may occur. This depends on age and other hormonal factors.

  1. Neuropeptide Y (NPY)

Neuropeptide Y ( NPY) this hormone is produced by the cells in the brain and also the nervous system. It in control of the appetite, especially carbohydrates and works as its peak when fasting or food deprivation. Levels of neuropeptide Y tend to be high when the body is stress which causes a person to eat more and many gain abdominal fat.

Recommendations for lowering NPY:

  • Protein: A low-protein diet is able to  boost release of NPY, which leads to hunger, increased food intake and weight gain
  • Don’t fast for too long:  An Animal study was performed have discovered that very long fasts, or fasting over 24 hours, can dramatically increase NPY levels
  • Soluble fiber: Eating many soluble prebiotic fiber to feed the friendly bacteria in the gut may reduce NPY levels

Bottom Line: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) stimulates hunger, particularly during fasting and times of stress. Protein and soluble fiber can help lower NPY.

  1. Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1)

Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) This is a hormone that is produced in the gut when nutrients enter the lower digestive tract. GLP-1 holds a main role in making sure the blood sugar levels is balanced, it also tells the body when you’re full. Many studies suggest that when you decrease your appetite that happens right after a weight loss surgery is somewhat due to the great production of GLP-1. There was a study with mean that were given GLP-1solution every morning for breakfast and they stated that they felt like they felt more satisfied then they would usually. They also ate 12% less food than they usually would for lunch.

Suggestions to increase GLP-1:

  • Eat plenty of protein: High-protein foods like fish, whey protein and yogurt have been shown to increase GLP-1 levels and improve insulin sensitivity
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods: Chronic inflammation is linked to reduced GLP-1 production
  • Leafy greens: In one study, women who consumed leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale experienced higher GLP-1 levels and lost more weight than the control group
  • Probiotics: In an animal study, a probiotic supplement increased GLP-1 levels, which led to a reduction in food intake

Bottom Line: GLP-1 can decrease appetite and increase weight loss. Consuming a diet high in protein and greens can help boost your levels.

  1. Cholecystokinin (CCK)

Like GLP-1, cholecystokinin (CCK) is another satiety hormone produced by cells in your gut

Higher amounts of CCK have been shown to reduce food intake in both lean and obese people

Strategies to increase CCK:

  • Protein: Eat more protein with each meal
  • Healthy fat: Eating fat triggers the release of CCK
  • Fiber: There was a study that consist of  men who ate a meal containing beans, their CCK levels rose twice as much as when they consumed a low-fiber meal

Bottom Line: CCK is a hormone that reduces appetite and is produced when you eat protein, fat, and fiber.

  1. Peptide YY (PYY)

Peptide YY(PYY) is another gut hormone that is in charge of the appetite. This is released by cells in the lower part of the gut. Peptide YY has been proven to have a big role in decreasing food intake and will lower the chance of obesity.

Strategies to increase PYY:

  • Lower-carb diet: Consume a low-carb diet based on unprocessed foods so you can keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Elevated blood sugar may impair PYY’s effects
  • Protein: Consume enough protein it doesn’t matter if it’s from animal or plant sources as long as you consume it
  • Fiber: Consume a great amount of fiber

Bottom Line: In order to increase PPY levels and reduce appetite, try avoiding processed carbohydrates and eating plenty of protein and fiber.

  1. Anything Else?

Hormones work in many different ways for the body  but mainly it increase or decrease appetite and fat storage.

If the system isn’t work as it should, you should find yourself struggling with weight issues on an ongoing basis.

Fortunately, diet and lifestyle changes can have powerful effects on these hormones.