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Hormones and Excess Weight: Fat Under Control

We all know that hormones are chemical messengers that regulate all the key processes within the human body. Hormones like insulin, leptin, sex hormones, and growth hormone influence our metabolism, appetite, and fat distribution across the body.

If you’ve got abnormal levels of the mentioned hormones caused by obesity, your body accumulates the excess body fat and your metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories for energy) is slowed down.

Vice versa, if your metabolism is slowed and you’ve got the hormonal imbalance that triggers the production of excess body fat, this results in gaining excess weight.

Hormones are secreted into our bloodstream by the system of glands which is called the endocrine system. This system works together with immunity and the nervous system to assist the body in coping with stresses.

The deficiency or excess amount of specific hormones can be caused either by stresses, injuries, disorders, or other factors, and as a result, we’re gaining or losing weight.

Let’s review the key hormones responsible for the regulation of body weight.


Leptin is released by the fat cells to be sent directly to the bloodstream. This hormone is responsible for reducing craving for food, more precisely, when you’re having a meal, it tells the brain when you’ve got enough food to make it signal the body to stop eating and block your appetite till the next meal.

Leptin works on specific centers in the brain both to reduce a person’s urge to eat and control how the body stores fat. When people are obese, they are less sensitive to the action of leptin, this is why they are not able to feel full after a meal and this is why they can’t lose weight.

Managing the levels of leptin can help obese people to lose their excess pounds.


Insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates. It is produced by the pancreas and stimulates the uptake of sugar from the blood into the liver, muscles, and fat.

Such a process is important for accumulating the energy for everyday living and essential for keeping normal levels of glucose in the blood.

In obese people insulin signals are often lost, so tissues are no longer able to regulate the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood which can lead to type || diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

In this case, the best variant to prevent harmful disorders is to lose weight to restore the proper action of insulin.

Sex Hormones

In men, the main sex hormone is testosterone responsible for the fat distribution, muscle strength, and, of course, the formation of all the male characteristics.

The decreased level of testosterone can badly influence the body fat distribution as well as cause the gaining of fat deposits at the abdominal area and even cause the risk of heart stroke.

In women, the main sex hormone is estrogen which is produced by the ovaries and regulates the menstrual cycle. Postmenopausal women don’t produce enough estrogen in their ovaries but instead more estrogen is produced in their fat tissues.

Testosterone and estrogen are present both in men and women, though estrogen is present in men in very small amounts while testosterone is produced in women in much smaller amounts than in men.

As well as women entering menopausal age, men experience the decline of their sex hormones in their mature age, and this is why controlling the weight gain becomes a much tougher task.

Hormone replacement therapy can easily resolve these issues and help gain better shape as you’re getting older.

Growth Hormone

In childhood, the human growth hormone (HGH) is responsible for the growth and development of bones, tissues, and organs. In adulthood, HGH is responsible for maintaining our youthful look, regulating body weight, gaining muscle mass, energy, metabolism, and a number of other functions important for living.

Studies have confirmed, that the levels of growth hormone are lower in obese people than in those who have normal weight.

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