Which Hormones in Your Body Make you Fat and How to Turn Them Off

Hormones play a vital role in weight management. This is the reason why many people don’t lose weight even when they indulge into rigorous exercise and diet routine. The well-regulated lifestyle and physical activity would also fail to make you slim and the reason behind this is hormonal imbalance. These hormones are responsible for everything starting from calorie consumption to fat formation. The misfiring of hormone would create an imbalance in the system and hence fat deposition takes place. The hormonal imbalance can be on higher or lower side depending on the age, gender, and body tendency of the person. Here are the hormones that play a major role in your weight loss regime and the ways to fix them.

1. Leptin

Leptin Hormones



Leptin is meant to keep you slim and away from overeating. This is the hormone that tells you that you are full and it is time to stop eating.

It is the hormone that regulates your appetite and is released by your fat cells. Leptin sends signal to the hypothalamus in brain that there is enough fat storage and there is no need for further fat consumption. The problem arises when the leptin level increases beyond a certain level as your body will develop resistance towards this hormone. The message would not be interpreted correctly by hypothalamus and hence you will eat more than required.

Obese people have about 4 times leptin compared to those having their weight in the normal range and have more chances of leptin resistance.

Quick Fix – The main factors triggering leptin resistance are hypothalamus inflammation and constantly elevated insulin levels. To turn off the leptin resistance, you may –

  • Take proper sleep   
  • Indulge into regular exercise   
  • Avoid fatty and sugary foods that cause inflammation   
  • Eat more of anti-inflammatory foods




Cortisol Hormone



2. Cortisol

This is also known as “stress hormone” and is produced by adrenal glands when there is any stress sensed by the body. The role of this hormone is vital to the body functioning but higher levels of cortisol would result into overeating and weight gain.

Cortisol is quite common in women who remain stressed to overcome the pressure of personal and professional lives. Those women having fat deposited in the middle part may be having higher levels of cortisol.

Quick Fix – Low calorie diet and stress reduction are two things that bring down the cortisol levels in your body. You can opt for –

  • Meditation   
  • Sleep   
  • Stress relieving exercise   
  • Balanced diet




3. Insulin

Insulin is the hormone produced in pancreas and is responsible for blood sugar regulation. The hormone would take up the blood sugar and convert it into energy that can be used or stored as per the body requirement.

Insulin HormoneInsulin is released whole day through in your body in small amounts and you will find more insulin secretion after meals. The function of the insulin is to signal your fat cells to store more fat for future energy needs. Unhealthy eating habits and sugar consumption would slowly develop insulin resistance in cells and hence elevate the insulin as well as sugar levels in the body. The chronically high insulin levels would bring with it many health issues along with obesity.

Quick Fix – Unhealthy eating habits, more consumption of fast foods and sugar are at the base of elevated insulin in your body. You can make following changes in your lifestyle and diet to get it right –

  • Cut carbohydrates   
  • Reduce sugar consumption   
  • Have more fluids   
  • Sip green tea   
  • Regular exercise   
  • Omega 3 fat consumption   
  • Take more magnesium

4. Estrogen

Estrogen HormoneEstrogen is the sex hormone in females and is responsible for making her a woman. The female reproductive system is regulated by estrogen. The normal levels of estrogen may not create any problem but the main problem arises when there is either too low or too high estrogen.

It is estrogen that induces weight gain in females at puberty to make her body ready for future child bearing age. The pregnancy weight gain is also the result of estrogen.

Estrogen levels dip when female reaches the menopause age and hence fat deposition is shifted from thighs and buttocks to abdomen. The insulin resistance may also be triggered due to estrogen imbalance.

Quick Fix – Diet and exercise can help in managing the estrogen levels in your body. You can include more fibers, green vegetables, and regular exercise in your routine to manage estrogen levels.

5. Peptide YY (PYY)

Peptide YY controls the appetite and is vital gut hormone. Normal PYY levels would check food intake and reduce weight gain. It is released by colon and intestine cells. If you are willing to regulate your appetite then you will have to work on PYY levels.

Quick Fix – You can include following foods in your diet to increase PYY –

  • Protein   
  • Fiber   
  • Low carb and sugar free foods

6. Ghrelin

Ghrelin HormoneGhrelin sends the signal to the hypothalamus when you are hungry and hence it is called “Hunger Hormone”. In normal person, ghrelin level would be high before having food and would drop considerably after meals. Thus, the signal is quite clear.

In case of obese people, the ghrelin levels are almost same before and after meals and hence the signal of hunger is not properly conveyed. This results into frequent eating habit in people who are overweight.

Quick Fix – You may avoid high sugar drinks and foods to manage ghrelin. The protein intake shall be increased to regulate ghrelin levels.

Other hormones that may be responsible for weight gain or being fat are Neuropeptide Y (NPY), Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1), and Cholecystokinin (CCK) that directly or indirectly encounter to weight gain or hinder weight loss.

The solution to fix the hormonal imbalance triggering weight loss is regular exercise, plenty of fluids, high fiber diet, meditation, and proper sleep. Your lifestyle and eating habits can regulate the hormone issues raised by age to major extent, but that is not working then look for the supplements.