ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding the Basics of Hormones and Fat Loss

Updated on January 8, 2011

The subject of fat is a common topic these days, with the focus on how to lose it to look good and stay healthy.  Although sedentary lifestyles and modern diets filled with saturated fats and excessive sugars contribute to America's growing obesity problem, scientists have discovered a link between hormones and fat loss which can help explain the epidemic.

Our bodies are designed to produce fat cells up until puberty, at which point fat is added to existing cells.  While these fat stores once served as an energy source in times of prolonged periods without food, they can now remain as stored energy unless burned off through exercise.

So what hormones trigger the body to produce and store fat, and how can we manipulate this knowledge to our advantage?

A healthy body will use insulin to draw in a ready source of energy, glucose, for use during exercise and daily activities.  During the digestive process, insulin helps to transform fat molecules from food into fat cells.  In a diabetic, insulin is resisted by the cells, and eventually the body can no longer produce this hormone, resulting in excessive storage of glucose. 

Other hormones such as Leptin are considered fat controllers, communicating with the hypothalamus to tell the brain when to stop eating; the hormone Cortisol has a negative effect when released by fat cells for a prolonged period.  Triggered by physical or emotional stress, Cortisol can cause the body to store additional abdominal fat.

Cortisol is also released when the body undergoes intense physical exercise, responding to help repair muscle tissue after activities such as bodybuilding.  As with any other stressful activity, too much of this hormone can be released, causing over-training effects and leading to longer periods of recovery for the body. When not done to excess, intense exercise has a positive effect on the body, encouraging the release of testosterone and growth hormone.  Both hormones are considered beneficial for increasing lean body mass when released naturally by the body. 

To learn how to lose fat weight, we first learn how to encourage the body to use fat, or release fat reducing hormones.  In a highly trained individual, the body will look to use fat stores for energy as they are the most efficient, providing more than twice the amount of stored glucose. To train the body to use fat, working up to 60-90 minutes of steady state cardiovascular exercise, three to four times a week is recommended.

To encourage the natural production of testosterone and growth hormone, using bodybuilding protocols with free weights and/or machine resistance, and following a healthy diet is the preferred method.  In fact, a study involving men and growth hormone reported by Karlis Ullis, M.D. and Joshua Shackman, Ph.D., showed a significant decrease in body fat, and the combination of testosterone and IGF-1 was even more effective.  

Research continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of exercise and a healthy diet to encourage healthy hormone production, as fat cells only act in response to their messages. Instead of trying to lose weight in 2 weeks, check with your doctor, then get started on a healthy exercise and eating plan for life.  


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)