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Why You Need 3 Hormones on Your Side for Fat Loss

Why You Need 3 Hormones on You Side for Fat Loss

Eat Less + Train More = Fat Loss

Makes sense right?

Unfortunately fat loss can be much more complicated than that!

Why You Need 3 Hormones on Your Side for Fat Loss

Now i’m not going to go all Steven Hawkins on you and talk science gobbledegook! I am however going to briefly explain the 3 hormones you need on your side for optimal fat loss and share with you some KEY POINTERS that are guaranteed to turn you into a ‘lean, mean fat burning machine!’ – just ask LEP members!

What Are Hormones? 

I’m going to keep this fun, I apologies in advance for any offensive language or funky writing but i’m not prepared to put you through watching paint dry!

Hormones are your bodies communication network, telling your body how to function. You need to get them on your side otherwise there may be catastrophic consequences (like fat gain – which were going to dive into shortly). Hormones are chemical messengers that get secreted directly in our blood, which then carries them to organs and tissues of the body to exert their functions. These include sexual function, reproduction, growth, metabolism, cognitive function, and mood (1).

Are you getting the gist? they’re pretty damn important (putting it mildly!)

Have you ever made a line of dominos? Where you line up a bunch of dominoes and then push the first one over – which consequently leads to a chain reaction of falling dominoes…

dominos and fat loss

When your hormones are working in harmony (homeostasis) the dominoes fall over as planned. In other words your body functions as it should.

However when they don’t the consequences can be catastrophic…

Negative Effects of Hormones 

Ever played the game ‘Chinese Whispers’? Well Hormones are kind of like this.


Chinese whispers: Is a game in which a message is distorted by being passed around in a whisper. By the end of the game the message is usually completely distorted.

It only takes a very small amount of hormonal change to bring about major changes in the body (2). Even a very slight excess of hormone secretion can lead to disease states such as:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Sexual dysfunction

Again coming back to the domino analogy, when hormones are altered negatively – communication is altered which can then lead to disease, weight gain and many other detriments (some of which have been listed above). It’s a bit like somebody putting a hand in the middle of your domino line, the chain reaction will stop depending on where the hand is placed.

fat loss - dominoes - LEP Fitness - fitness blogger - fitfam - personal trainer

Hormones for Fat Loss

There are many many hormones in the body, however today we’re going to look at 3, which if you get them on your side are going to turn you into a ‘lean, mean, fat burning machine!’

1) Cortisol 

When we are stressed our bodies release a hormone called ‘cortisol’ in response, it’s basically an inbuilt system that repairs the damage caused by stress (3). Stress can be anything from physical exercise, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, emotional stress, injury, hormonal imbalance, environment, to name but a few (4).

cortisol hormone - LEP Fitness

The problem is that many of us are chronically stressed and our bodies are constantly in negative equity otherwise know as running into our ‘Adaptive Reserve’ (5) – this is  like constantly living in your overdraft (-£2,000 and counting!). You just can’t seem to recover.

The constant release of cortisol places even more stress on the body and the problem is exacerbated until a shift and change in lifestyle occurs (strategies coming up shortly). This can lead to temporary illness and more worryingly long term ‘life threatening’ issues such as heart attacks and strokes (6). With regards to weight gain, chronically high cortisol levels have been proven to significantly increase your chances of storing fat specifically on your stomach (7) – otherwise recognised as a tyre of belly fat!


2) Insulin 

Get insulin on your side and you’ll have a ton of energy and blitz fat! Make it an enemy and you’ll  end up with low energy levels, mood swings, fat storage and more worryingly… potential Diabetes (8).  Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. It helps keep your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).

When we are carrying excess timbre (body fat!) our bodies become insulin resistant – which basically means we don’t utilise and store carbohydrates for energy very well (9). Insulin resistance is a bit like being rejected by a receptionist, you want to go and meet the CEO (you want carbs to be stored and utilised) but the receptionist (your cells) don’t let you through the gates (insulin resistant). The problem with this is that once your cells are full your body has no other option, and any excess will be layered down as body fat – see my post Why Carbs Make Fat People Fatter! This is one of the reasons why low carb diets do work when wanting to annihilate body fat (more on this shortly).

3) Oestrogen (Estrogen) 

Oestrogen is a hormone that controls a woman’s monthly cycle. It gets a lot of attention in women’s lives, but it is actually a hormone that affects both men and women (10). Here’s what you need to know about estrogen and the way it can affect your body composition:

“Oestrogen is a hormone that causes a girl to develop into an adult during puberty. It creates the changes that cause growth of the breasts, hair in the pubic area and under the arms and the beginning of menstruation. Once puberty is complete, estrogen continues to work, helping control the menstrual cycle, protect bone health and keep cholesterol in control” (11).

High oestrogen levels can cause weight gain, which encourage layers of body fat to accumulate around problematic areas. It increases the number of alpha-adrenergic receptors in the lower body of women. These receptors slow fat release. This is one reason why many women have a gynoid or pear shape fat distribution (12). Men with too much estrogen may grow breasts and have poor erections.

Strategies For Improving Hormonal Function

1) Cortisol Solutions 

Our aim here is to prevent and mitigate the damage of stress, we can do this by:

You could also try my ‘Superman Energy Drink’…

2) Insulin Solutions

Our aim here is to improve our insulin sensitivity: our bodies ability to store and utilise carbohydrates efficiently, we can do this by:

  • Losing excess fat through exercise – Free Resistance Band Workout 
  • Cardiovascular activity – rowing, swimming, cross trainer, running, etc
  • Resistance training – training our muscles to use glycogen (energy stored in our muscles)
  • Reducing overall carbohydrate intake and replacing with protein and fats
  • Building muscle – the more muscle the more room for glycogen storage
  • Fasting (not eating) for 12, 16 or 24 hours can be very effective (from my experience 1-4 x per month)
  • Improving digestion – eating more slowly, chewing food properly, taking Digestive enzymes
  • Reducing stress – see above section
  • Consume Cinnamon – add to your Protein Porridge Bonanza or Protein Pancakes

3) Oestrogen Solutions 

Our aim here is to balance out high oestrogen levels by increasing natural testosterone, we can help do this by:

  • Following a resistance training program
  • Increasing Strength – using heavy compound movements like the squat, deadlift, bench press, bent over row, and military press
  • Selecting exercises that improve and stimulate full body circulation – cross trainer, rowing machine
  • Increase protein consumption – chicken, salmon, eggs, cod, steak, nuts
  • Increase fat consumption – butter, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocado, Greek yoghurt
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This post was written by Sheffield Personal Trainer Nick Screeton


  1. https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Hormones.aspx
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/endocrine-system-disorders
  3. https://www.adrenalfatigue.org/cortisol-adrenal-function
  4. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-kinds.aspx
  5. https://ironauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/ADAPTIVE-RESERVES1.pdf
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body
  7. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson.htm
  8. https://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/insulin-basics.html
  9. https://www.medicinenet.com/insulin_resistance/article.htm
  10. https://www.healthywomen.org/condition/estrogen
  11. https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health/what-is-estrogen
  12. https://www.metaboliceffect.com/female-hormones-estrogen/