#1 – Insulin
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and is released whenever we eat any food that contains sugar, basically any carbohydrate!
When it comes to building muscle, Insulin is key post-workout. This ‘anabolic’ muscle-building hormone can trigger nutrient delivery to muscles. But, once the muscles are full, that sugar is shuttled directly to fat to be stored! What’s more this process immediately halts fat burning!
The key takeaway here – be sure to always eat your carbohydrates with a source of protein, which will control insulin release, and keep you lean and muscular!
#2 – Glucagon
The pancreas also secretes this peptide hormone, in an effort to raise blood sugar levels. Which means, it acts directly opposite to Insulin. While Insulin stores carbohydrates and fat, Glucagon breaks down stored body fat and fuels fat burning.
Eating too many carbohydrates will cause this hormone to stop converting stored fat into energy.
If you want to maximize Glucagon release, it is as easy as following a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.
#3 – Adiponectin
Adiponectin is another important hormone that is produced by our body fat. It can crank up your muscle’s ability to use carbohydrates for energy, boost your metabolic rate, and increase the rate by which your body breaks down fat. It also has an appetite suppressing effect!
If your lean mass levels are too low, your adiponectin will also be low. To maximize Adiponectin, you simply need to lift more.
Shift your body composition to more muscle mass, and less body fat, and you can start to regulate this fat-burning hormone!
#4 – Leptin
Leptin is made by our fat cells and signals to the brain when we are full. The more fat you have, the more Leptin will be released, which sounds great. But, the problem is too much body fat leads to too much Leptin!
This can cause the brain to become numb to Leptin’s signal, causing Leptin resistance! The result, you can’t stop eating and your metabolism grinds to a halt!
The simplest remedy to boost Leptin is to jack up your metabolism, start following a regular diet plan, and be sure to throw in the occasional cheat meal…..OR a massive carb meal.
#5 – Ghrelin
Ghrelin, which is made and released in the stomach, can be considered the opposite hormone to Leptin. When the stomach is empty, it signals to the brain that you are hungry.
If you want to lose weight you want less Ghrelin so you don’t get hungry. If you want to gain muscle weight, then you want more Ghrelin.
The challenge is, when you are on a diet, this hunger hormone doesn’t go away, and even after dieting for months, this hormone can stay elevated!
Your body actually never adapts to eating less and constantly sends the ‘I’m hungry’ signal, which can make maintaining weight loss very hard!
If you want to control this hormone, go train! An intense exercise session can decrease Ghrelin levels.
#6 – Cortisol
Cortisol is a catabolic, muscle-wasting hormone produced by the adrenal glands whenever we encounter stress. Whether it is from life, or massive amounts of training, chronic high levels of cortisol result in higher than normal insulin levels, muscle loss and ugly body fat gain!
Cortisol can also deplete the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can have a direct impact on sleep, recovery and your appetite!
If you want to control this hormone, be sure to get your 8 hours of sleep every night, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
#7 – Norepinephrine
I saved the best for last – by far the most important hormone when it comes to fat burning is Norepinephrine! It is the key regulator of fat metabolism and when released from the brain directly switches on fat cells, cranking up fat breakdown at an amplified rate.
The most effective way to induce Norepinephrine release is to get the adrenaline pumping. Hit the bag, do a circuit workout or jump on your closest treadmill and go for an all out sprint!
Controlling Norepinephrine release will not only give you the best bang for your buck, it will give you the fastest results.