Nothing is quite as detrimental to your weight loss efforts as your body’s desperate need to hold on to its fat stores. If you give your body any indication that nutrients or calories are scarce, or if you eat far too much fat for your activity level and body type, your body holds onto fat with a tight grip.
Luckily, you can work against your body’s natural tendencies and activate your fat burning hormones while toning down the fat storing cues in your body.
What Are Fat Burning and Fat Storing Hormones?
The main hormone that is responsible for fat burning is testosterone. This makes sense, given that men tend to have much lower body fat percentages than women.
On the other hand, fat storing hormones are estrogen, insulin, and cortisol. Estrogen is the female sex hormone. For women, it can lead to fat retention because your body is always trying to prepare you for pregnancy by holding onto a little bit of extra weight.
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. If you are constantly in fight-or-flight mode, fighting tight deadlines, or trying to juggle too many responsibilities, it is likely that cortisol is making your body hang onto fat.
Clearly, the key to burning fat is simultaneously bumping up your testosterone while minimizing your fat storing hormones. Follow these three steps to do so.
Step 1: Boost Testosterone
Testosterone is the solution to excess estrogen. However, don’t turn to artificial solutions like testosterone injections or medications. Rather, you can naturally encourage testosterone in your body by weight training and doing endurance training.
For women, this may mean hitting the heavier weights, boosting muscle mass, and taking on more intense cardio training. Furthermore, these things will help you burn more fat overall.
Step 2: Stave Off Insulin Resistance
If your body develops a resistance to insulin, you may see your fat stores increase considerably. The quickest way to develop insulin resistance is to consume too much sugar. Given the excess of sugary drinks and foods in the American diet, it is pretty easy to do this.
Start looking for changes you can make in your diet to minimize your sugar intake and balance your diet.
Step 3: Stop Excess Cortisol Production
The final step in this process is stopping the development of excess cortisol in your body. Even if you follow the other two steps, you are still going to have a little layer of stomach fat if you cannot stop stressing out.
Keep in mind that cortisol is produced in response to physical, mental, and emotional stress. You need to address all three sources of stress.
This may mean learning relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, and mindfulness. These techniques help you handle mental stress while minimizing the physical symptoms of stress that increase cortisol production.
If you can’t seem to get rid of stubborn fat, it may not be your fault. It’s clear that hormones play a big role in fat retention and burning. By following these three steps, you can maximize your body’s potential to burn fat.