How Hormones Affect Weight Loss

Mar 01, 2021

Most of our body systems are controlled by hormones, including appetite and fat storage. Hormones are chemical or signaling messages produced by the endocrine system and transported to the organs and tissues by the blood to perform their specific functions. We have hormones for almost every function in the body. The most commonly known hormones are sex and blood sugar hormones.

However, we have hormones that can influence your body weight.

Weight loss programs are increasingly becoming popular. Most people are focusing on diet and nutrition, but a great percentage of the weight loss problems are hormones. Balancing your hormones is important in the journey to attaining your ideal body weight. In this post, we list four of the common hormones that affect weight loss.


Insulin regulates blood glucose. It is produced by the pancreas in small doses throughout the day and in large quantities after taking your meals. This hormone allows the body cells to take up blood sugar for energy or storage. When you eat optimal amounts of food, insulin will take all the glucose available and convert it to energy.

However, when you overeat or take a high-carb diet, the blood will have an excess supply of glucose. Therefore, Insulin will convert glucose to fat. This will eventually cause weight gain.

It is vital to avoid insulin-induced weight gain by tracking your calories, not skipping meals, and getting regular exercise.


Weight gain and loss are not about willpower but are linked to leptin. This is a hormone produced by the fat cells in the body. Leptin or satiety hormone sends a signal to the brain when your stomach is full and have stored enough fat. It triggers the fat burning process at a normal rate.

Leptin levels are determined by the level of fat in the body. This means that obese people tend to have a higher level of leptin than slender ones. Given that leptin works by promoting the calorie-burning process, people with obesity should naturally burn fat and limit food intake. However, because of leptin resistance, fat loss becomes a problem.

Even though the body has high levels of leptin, the brain cannot sense it and therefore things that you are starving (even if you have stored more than enough fat). This causes you to eat more and reduce energy expenditure.

You can manage leptin resistance by avoiding processed foods and lowering triglycerides.


Ghrelin and leptin work together. One is a satiety hormone the other is known as the hunger hormone. Ghrelin is produced in the gut and it signals the brain when it is time to eat. It increases the appetite, causes you to take in more food, and also stores fat. An empty stomach is a trigger for the secretion of ghrelin. The levels of this hunger hormone are highest when the stomach is empty and begin to decrease when you attain satiety.

Higher levels of ghrelin can cause you to overeat and make it hard to lose or maintain weight loss.

You can regulate ghrelin levels by avoiding weight extremes, having enough sleep, and eating more protein.

It is important to regulate the production of leptin and ghrelin because an imbalance can cause fat gain. Speak to our doctor in W. Bellfort on tips to manage both at the same time.


Cortisol is the stress hormone and is produced by the adrenal gland in times of increased stress. It increases the body’s heart rate and energy levels to prepare the body to respond to stressful situations. This response is normal, however, elevated levels of cortisol can cause negative effects, such as weight gain.

The elevated levels cause you to overeat. Also, it leads to the accumulation of fat in the abdominal area.

Elevated cortisol levels can cause changes in mood, irritability, fatigue, and insulin resistance.


Schedule an Appointment

Visit Dr. Smitha Mantha at Crosspointe Medical Clinic for more information on hormonal management and how you can balance them to aid in weight loss or attain your ideal body weight.

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