Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Metabolic Hormone #10: Growth Hormone
Growth hormone (sometimes called HGH) is one of those hormones we all want more of.
It seems to make everything better – it builds muscle, burns fat, helps you resist heart disease, protects your bones, increases your overall health, and even makes you happier.
People with higher levels of growth hormone live longer, and better.
But don’t get HGH shots just yet – supplementation is controversial and risky, and may even cause insulin resistance.
One of the primary goals of this program is to protect and increase your natural production of growth hormone.
Where Growth Hormone Is Produced: The pituitary, a tiny gland underneath the hypothalamus in your brain.
Growth hormone is one of the most influential anabolic hormones, playing a huge role in the growth of bone and other body tissue while also enhancing immunity.
How Growth Hormone Impacts Metabolism: Growth hormone increases your muscle mass in several ways.
It helps your body absorb amino acids, helps synthesize them into muscle, and then prevents the muscle from breaking down.
All these actions raise your resting metabolic rate and give you more power for your workouts.
Growth hormone is also amazing at helping you tap into your fat stores.
Fat cells have growth hormone receptors that trigger your cells to break down and burn your triglycerides.
Growth hormone also discourages your fat cells from absorbing or holding onto any fat floating around in your bloodstream.
And growth hormone can be your liver’s best friend.
It helps to maintain and protect the pancreatic islets that produce insulin and also helps the liver synthesize glucose.
Growth hormone promotes gluconeogenesis, a really cool process where your body can create carbs out of protein.
Gluconeogenesis helps you lose fat faster while providing your brain and other tissues with the energy they need.
Growth hormone actually counters insulin’s ability to shuttle glucose into cells, nudging it into the liver instead.
Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons excess supplemental growth hormone can cause insulin resistance.
How Growth Hormone Gets Out of Whack: Growth hormone deficiency is a very real condition, especially detrimental in childhood.
Kids without enough growth hormone end up shorter and have delayed sexual development, and this shortfall can continue into adulthood.
Growth hormone deficiency can also begin in adulthood, but is harder to diagnose, as symptoms include common signs of aging, like declining bone mass, energy, and strength.
Just as in menopause and andropause, the sad fact is growth hormone naturally starts to decline sometime after our 30s.
But we also do many things to hasten the decline prematurely, and we change those behaviors before we ever consider supplementation.
Of all the less-than-smart things we do to mess up our hormone balance, depriving ourselves of good-quality sleep is probably the dumbest.
Growth hormone is released in adults in an average of 5 pulses throughout each day.
The largest of these pulses happens during our deepest, stage 4 sleep, about one hour after we first drop off.
A recent study found when people are deprived of this stage of sleep their daily growth hormone levels fell 23%.
Another way we suppress our own growth hormone levels is when we eat too many low-quality carbs and keep our blood sugar and insulin high.
Protein, on the other hand, can help release higher levels of growth hormone.
New evidence is also starting to emerge that hormones from pesticides and other contaminants in our environment and diet can impact our growth hormone levels.
One way we turn our bodies into growth hormone factories is with intense exercise.
During intense exercise, and especially during intervals, growth hormone shuns glucose and encourages your body to use fat as its fuel.
Not only does this help you burn fat while you exercise, it keeps your blood glucose level stable so you have the energy to keep exercising.
When you don’t exercise and your muscles become insulin-resistant, you increase your level of circulating insulin, and you suppress growth hormone even further.
We need to get off our butts and capitalize on this incredibly healthy way to reverse aging!
This diet incorporates all the proven ways to naturally boost growth hormone: stress relief, rest, and improved sleep; balanced blood sugar and high-quality protein; and just enough intense exercise to burn fat, improve insulin sensitivity, and flush toxins from your body.
We’ll talk about leptin in the next post.
Come join me on my weight loss journey! I’d love to have you along!
Have an awesome day!
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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!
Dick and Lenay
email: Lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657