The Basics: Health, Hunger and Hormones

The purpose of this blog is to provide you with a snapshot look at specific “hunger” or metabolic determining hormones that is essential for a basic understanding of metabolism.

ADIPONECTIN: Found only in adipose (fat tissue); involved in metabolic processes such as glucose regulation and fat storage for energy production. For these reasons, this hormone is correlated to body fat %. 

LEPTIN: A protein that sends signals of satiety (decreases appetite); produced in fat tissue,  regulates energy balance (intake and expenditure), controls food intake & energy expenditure via the receptors of the hypothalamus (signals the brain when the body has had enough to eat).

Some studies indicate that some obese patients are actually leptin-resistant. 

GRHELIN: Signals the stomach that you’re hungry (increases appetite); decreases the body’s ability to burn fat. 

Some studies indicate that obese patients tend to produce more ghrelin then normal weight patients. 

INSULIN: Regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism; removes excess glucose from the blood and enhances entry of glucose into the cells. Also enhances synthesis of fatty acids & proteins and is produced by the pancreas (fat synthesis).

When not regulated properly; as in diabetes, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, Insulinoma, the blood glucose levels will rise and can have adverse affects on the muscle and fat cells related to glucose absorption (aka glycogen stores and trigylcerides).

CORTISOL: A steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland directly related to stress. Known as the “stress hormone”. 

What does this all mean for you?

This is the way that your body works! Quit looking for fad diets, starvation diets, diet pills or miracle drugs to solve your problems. Chances are, if you are experiencing weight issues then you have hormonal imbalances.

Though, there are some supplements out there that may help you in weight and body fat management with use in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. (I am not against supplementation!)

How do you fix your imbalances?

First off, it is very important that your lifestyle allows your body to properly regulate your hormones. Healthy nutrition habits, regular exercise, proper sleep, stress management, and proper fluid are all major preventative measures to avoid any type of hormone imbalances.

Sometimes lifestyle changes may not be enough; especially in cases of disease. It is important to recognize the proper place for drugs and medicines as they pertain to your mental state, your overall health, and your belief systems. 

Imbalances may also be corrected or reduced by alternative medicine therapies.

You can better manage all of these issues and your hormones by:

Sleeping!!  Sleeping is correlated in several studies to leptin and grhelin production as well as all other hormones in the body. It is also absolutely essential for repair and recovery.

Eating!! While there is so much to say about eating, I will stick with saying that the first key to eating healthy is actually eating! Keep in mind that different foods yield different chemical reactions in your body; so do not just calorie count, but ensure that you are taking in proper nutrients for your body to perform efficiently whatever your goal!

Management and prevention of imbalance & disease; which includes: Good nutrition, exercise, fluid intake, and regular doctor check-ups; especially if you have known diseases that affect your metabolism and hormone production.

If you do have a condition such a diabetes, PCOS, metabolic syndrome, thyroid, etc be sure to take your medication, and have regular blood work to make sure your levels are within normal limits.

Fuel for performance and fuel based on condition. This means that you must have a knowledge and understanding of your disease, and the recommended dietary guidelines for that condition. Take into consideration for example a diabetic. They must eat at very specified times and have a good carbohydrate balance to avoid complications ; both short-term and long-term. EAT TO LIVE, DO NOT LIVE TO EAT.

Brain Power!! That’s right, the power of your mind. Positive thinking. Stress is a state of mind, and stress affects your body in a very significant way. Be sure to nurture your emotional and mental state. Health goes beyond your physical body.

Something to Think About:

There are several older and newer studies on these hormones; some inconclusive. There is much controversy over metabolism as chemistry is an ever changing science. It is important to understand your body, and educate yourself by professional assistance and credible sources to determine if any of these hormones may be contributory to your metabolic state. 

Consult your doctor for questions about your health. You may receive referrals to a Dietician, Endocrinolgist, or simply be counseled and encouraged to seek out professional assistance to be educated on how to make healthy changes by diet and exercise. Whatever your position, seek out a professional that fits your goals; whether you are a professional or not. Afterall, we all need coaches! 

Educate yourself !


University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center (2004, April 22). Fat Cell Hormone Causes 
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (2004, May 3). Study Detects Protein In Human Milk Linked To Reduced Risk Of Obesity
University Of California – Los Angeles (2004, June 29). Scientists Discover Obesity Disrupts 
American Heart Association (2004, March 8). Metabolic ‘Footprint’ May Be New Measure Of Obesity Risk In Kids. ScienceDaily. Retrieved 

People lover. Personal training. Striving to leave a mark on the hearts of others; turns out it leaves an irremovable one on my own.

2 thoughts on “The Basics: Health, Hunger and Hormones”

  • Great post!! what happen to my comment the other day? Computers are amazing sometimes 🙂 but I think this is my favorite post, you break down how the body functions, give reasons to change it, how to maintain it, you eliminate the excuses before they can produce them and give us some amazing tips to keep on pushing. Love it!!!Keep your work alive.

  • Thank you Phil! I have no idea, I was wondering the same thing! 🙂 Thank you for your continued feedback, and also your inspiration to your readers. Always keeping the work alive! Love your support & positive attitude!