Two hormones that can boost fat loss
Losing fat is probably the number one goal most people have in mind when starting a diet and/or a physical activity, but the question is: how can we get rid of it?
In this article, I am going to focus on subcutaneous fat loss. As you may have seen on social media and different magazines, the topic of losing fat is a big thing these days and we could talk about it forever. But today I will focus on two hormones that can help you with your fat loss process.
The human body is made up of two primary kinds of fat:
- Subcutaneous fat, which Is the fat located under the skin.
- Visceral fat, which Is the fat around our organs.
Fatty acids and triglycerides have different functions in our body, including:
- They help with certain fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and mineral transportation.
- They provide the structure of our plasma membranes.
- They help regulate our body’s temperature with subcutaneous fat.
- They are a great reserve for energy in the human body.
- They provide raw materials for many hormones and help with regulating the function of other hormones.
How much subcutaneous fat we carry depends on our genetics, physical activity, diet, and stress levels.
Subcutaneous fat is not bad for our body but like everything else, too much of it may put us at a higher risk of health problems like fatty liver disease, kidney disease, sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure.
For reducing our body fat, we have two important hormones: epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline and noradrenaline). When these two hormones go up with exercise, our body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream so our muscles could have the energy to move. These hormones also suppress appetite and gastric function; when they go up hunger comes down. Another thing that can bring these hormones up is stress but this is another topic, so I am not going to talk about it in this article.
Now, I know all of you are thinking that in order to lose fat you must have high levels of these hormones. However, without doing any physical exercise, raising up our epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones is not that useful because even though the fat is available to be used as energy, there is no increased muscular activity to use this energy source, so the fats simply go back home (fat storage).
We understood how these two hormones can help us lose fat, know let’s talk about what stimulants can raise the two hormones.
By now I think all of you know that physical activity (aerobic, HIIT, and strength training) and a nutritious diet with moderate energy restriction will help reduce adipose tissue (fat), but let’s talk about how we can speed up the process.
Recent studies have shown that a low-calorie diet supplemented with a thermogenic supplement which often contains either caffeine, green tea or both, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a protein gel, and a multi-vitamin improved bodyweight reduction 97% more, reduced body fat% according to skinfolds 9 times more, and reduced skinfold thicknesses at five sites, compared to a diet without supplementation.
Since skinfolds were significantly reduced with supplementation and segmental DXA measurements were unchanged, the data suggest that these supplements were affecting the selective mobilization of fatty acids from subcutaneous fat depots for oxidation over visceral and other fat depots.
If you think about it, this is true because stimulants borrow energy since energy can’t be created nor destroyed. But if we don’t use this energy it goes back often leaving us fatigued without too much energy. On the contrary, if we combine these stimulants with physical activity than guess what? Those fatty acids we just borrowed are going to be used as energy and therefore the fat loss is activated!
Now let’s talk about the supplements:
Multi-ingredient thermogenic supplements have been shown to stimulate greater energy expenditure, increase fat burning, and reduce appetite, which could significantly reduce body weight, fat mass, and abdominal fat mass. Green tea can exert anti-obesity and inflammatory effects. In fact, there is research showing that thirty overweight female participants decreased body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR), and body fat percentage by taking a 500 mg green tea capsule daily with endurance training 3 sessions per week. It also produced changes in anti-inflammatory and metabolic markers compared to exercise alone.
As a nutritionist, I suggest taking natural green tea 2-3 times per day instead of supplementing it.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is another common weight loss supplement. Many studies have reported a decrease in body fat with CLA supplementation and one study demonstrated reduced body weight after a 12-month CLA intervention. However, the effectiveness of caffeine-containing supplements and CLA over shorter periods of time remains unclear.
For the general population, losing fat can be done simply by living a healthier life, following a training plan consisting of strength training, aerobic work, and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), and eating a healthy and nutritious diet with minimally processed food.
I suggest doing a 3-day full-body strength training focusing on building your foundation with basic compound movements, and 2 days of aerobic work. If you are a beginner, there is no need for high-intensity interval training. Instead, 30-60 minutes of aerobic work will be more than enough for people just starting.
And for the nutrition, I suggest eating protein and vegetables (do not forget to eat all the colors) with all your meals and playing with your carbs and fat based on your weekly results. Remember that losing fat is all about total daily calories. Eat less than you consume and you lose fat, eat more than you consume and your body will start storing fat.
But if you are doing all of this, your nutrition is 95% accurate, and you want to take it one step further, then you can add a thermogenic supplement like green tea or caffeine, and CLA while eating a lower calorie diet and performing a physical activity to boost up the fat loss process, but remember these are not magic pills and they may work for some people but have no effect on others.
I do not suggest protein gels and multivitamins since your nutrition is on point and you must get enough protein and micronutrients from your diet.
(for more details on how many calories you must eat daily click here and easily use my free TDEE calculator)