How Did I Get Fat?
Hormones are often referred to as "chemical messengers." As an example we have the endocrine system; when we eat carbohydrates it signals the pancreas to release insulin, which causes muscle and fat cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream.
HOW CAN I PREVENT THE STORAGE OF FAT?
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There are 3 hormones to pay special attention to in any weight management program:
Insulin, Glucagon, and Cortisol.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas when blood sugar levels are high. It facilitates the storage of Glucose (carbs turned into sugar) into the muscle tissue and especially into the fat cells.
Insulin is also one of the body's most anabolic muscle building hormones, the same as Human Growth Hormone(HGH), thyroid hormone, testosterone and, estrogen.
Adrenaline, cortisol, and glucagon work as catabolic hormones.
Glucagon is also secreted by the pancreas, but when blood sugar levels are low. Glucagon causes the liver to release stored energy into circulation. This secretion primarily occurs between feeding and when exercising.
Cortisol is released in response to stress and very low blood-glucose concentration. If unbalance, cortisol can weaken the activity of the immune system. One of the symptoms of too much release of cortisol includes weight gain. Particularly around the abdomen and the face.
Metabolism is the chemical reactions your body does to turn food into energy. It is influenced by genetic factors, our diet and our level of activity.
Insulin and glucagon work in balance; Insulin increases, glucagon decreases. Insulin promotes the storage of energy, glucagon promotes the release of stored energy. How these two hormones affect the fat storage in your body comes down to your body’s ability to regulate them.
Most of us are aware that fat consumption needs to be controlled in order to control our body weight. But what about carbohydrates?...
Carbohydrates are the major source of fuel for our metabolism and when they are not immediately needed by many cells, they are often converted into a more space-efficient form; glycogen. With the majority of it stored in the liver and muscle cells.
The body has limited storage capacity for glycogen, so when our muscles and our liver get filled up with this glycogen, the excess is turned into fat.
This is why there is an insistence of physical activity and especially resistance training. They are key elements to give your body a metabolic advantage; using excess glycogen to help with the recovery of muscle tissue, instead of being deposited as fat in the adipose tissue.
For decades we've believed in caloric reduction and strenuous physical training as the primary method to lose weight. But In the last decade, study after study shows that restricting calories does NOT exactly lead us to fat loss. There is more to it; hormones.
In general, hormones are classified as Anabolic or Catabolic - based on their effect within the organism. In the human body, hormones affect many physiological activities including metabolism, appetite, growth, mood, puberty, fertility, etc.
After the age of 30, the production of anabolic hormones diminishes and the process of catabolism becomes more prevalent (in simple words, aging). During catabolism, lean muscle mass is broken down, which, unfortunately, also slows down our metabolism.
It's key to exercise according to the metabolic state of that particular day, otherwise our efforts won't produce any visible results; we will not lose fat nor gain any muscle mass. Keep reading why.
Metabolism is divided into two categories:
Build molecules and require energy.
Break down molecules and create energy.
These two pathways complement each other in a way that the energy released from one, is used up by the other.
Our body, according to the food we consume in a particular day, will be in only one of these two pathways - never on both states at the same time.
When the body is in a Catabolic state we lose fat - but we might lose muscle mass. When the body is in an Anabolic state, it gains muscle mass - but it might gain fat.
That's why is important to exercise according to the metabolic state of that particular day. Otherwise, our efforts will not produce any visible results; we will not lose fat or gain any muscle mass.
Too many or too little carbs make you fat
If you eat too many carbs on a particular day overfilling your storage, the rest will be turned into fat.
On the other hand, if you are too low on carbs for long periods of time, your body's metabolism slows down and protects its fat deposits.
A lot has been talked in the last decade about Metabolic syndrome (MS). It refers to a collection of risk factors that includes obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. When combined, this increases an individual's risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Metabolic Syndrome is also called Insulin Resistance, a condition in which the body produces insulin but it does not respond to it properly; muscle, fat and liver cells begin to fail, not taking in the insulin produced. As a response, the body increases its production of insulin in an attempt to get these cells to accept the glucose that begins to build up in the bloodstream.
A diet that is high in starchy and processed carbohydrates, plus unhealthy fats, can trigger the pancreas to make too much insulin (the body requires more insulin to metabolize carbohydrates than it does fat and protein) which eventually will fail to keep up with the demand of it and possibly end up developing into Type 2 Diabetes.
Diabetes 1: Results when the pancreas is completely unable to produce insulin.
Diabetes 2: Results when the pancreas begins to slow the production of insulin after a period of high demand, often caused by insulin resistance.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT METABOLIC SYNDROME?
In order to succeed in any weight management program; gain or lose weight, is necessary to understand how metabolism and hormones work in the body.
"Insulin and Glucagon, the yin and yang of blood glucose maintenance". How these two hormones affect the fat storage in your body comes down to your body’s ability to regulate them.
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