26 Apr 2012

How Hormones Help Store or Burn Body Fat

the calorie myths 3 Comments

In the last post we covered the importance of healing our hormones rather than starving ourselves or spending hours on stair-steppers. Now let’s start to dig into why focusing on hormones instead of calories in and calories out is critical to solving the metabolic cause of chronic fat gain and sub-optimal health.

“Short-term [hormonal] signals are primarily from the GI tract [digestive system]…and are involved in promoting sensations of satiety…. The long-term [hormonal] signals insulin and leptin are produced and circulate in proportion to recent energy intake and body adiposity [body fat]. Together, the short- and long-term [hormonal] signals interact to regulate energy balance…” – P.J. Havel, University of California

Translating Dr. Havel’s insightful technical commentary, our digestive system, muscle tissue, and fat tissue are constantly communicating with our nervous system and brain via hormones. Our body “speaks” hormones…not calories. It is discussing how much fuel it thinks we need to keep us at our set-point. If our body thinks we are at risk of rising above our set-point weight, it automatically decrease our calories in and increase our calories out, and vice versa.

 

 

When we eat SANE high-quality calories, this conversation goes well. The right amount of hormones are used and the right message gets across: “Burn surplus body fat.” When our hormones are able to do their job, we have the ability to burn body fat, and away our surplus body fat goes.

However, when we eat inSANE low-quality calories, communication breaks down. Our body doesn’t have a good idea of how much fuel we need, hormones go bonkers, and our body demands more food since it does not know what is going on and errs on the side of not starving. Thanks to this communication breakdown, we end up overeating, hormonally clogged, and heavier.

To gain a deeper understanding of this communication breakdown, and how we can prevent it, in the next post we’ll look at a specific hormone—insulin—and its role in this process. Insulin is a good choice because it is known in scientific circles as, “The most important hormonal factor influencing lipogenesis [body fat creation].”

Jonathan Bailor
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