Is Your Progress Affected By Your Hormones?
Have you experienced amazing results at the start of your fitness journey but only to be left disappointed by hitting a plateau later on? Or perhaps, you may have started by taking care of every possible thing -- right diet, best workout exercises, emphasising on the right calorie intake -- and yet no difference. You’re left clueless as to why you cannot progress as you want! Here comes the all-important question -- how well do you know your hormones?
Are you aware of the roles played by the hormones of your body when it comes to lose fat, gain muscle, or the metabolism functions?
In this piece of information, we would emphasise on three important hormones -- human growth hormones, cortisol, and thyroid hormones -- all of which play huge roles for both men and women by contributing to their fitness regimen.
First, let’s take a moment to understand by understanding the meaning of hormones.
Hormones can be classified as chemical messengers that have the potential of signalling reactions within the body for carrying out functions specific to tissues or cells.
Human Growth Hormone
Every few hours, HGH is secreted by the body's pituitary gland and more frequently during our non-REM sleep.
Human growth hormone when secreted has the potential of stimulating hormones that results in the following reactions and actions in the body:
- Breaking down of fatty acids in the adipose tissue and then using it for ATP production
- Growth and maintenance of bone and muscle mass
- Regulation of glucose so that it can be used for energy and keeping enough reserves in times of shortage
- Increase tissue healing and repair of injuries or skin
Essentially, the regulation of HGH is critical to our overall health. Therefore, it is critical that you prioritise your sleep. It is highly recommended that you must have a quality and uninterrupted sleep of at least 8-9 hours so that healthy HGH levels can be secreted. It is equally important for you to engage in increased vigorous physical activity but without putting yourself in too much of stressful situations. The production of HGH to be secreted can also be positively influenced by reducing your intake of fatty acids and increasing your amino acids and protein intake.
It is important to remember here that the secretion of human growth hormone can be negatively influenced by sleep deprivation, unhealthy intake of fatty acids through diet, obesity, hypothyroidism, and low levels of amino acids and protein.
Cortisolor the stress hormone has a disappointing reputation for weight gain. However, it plays a critical role in the use of glucose and the regulation of metabolism in the body. Cortisol is also useful for regulating our blood pressure and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
The levels of cortisol are usually the highest when we wake and they then undergo a declining journey throughout the day. Individuals with high levels of cortisol for extended period of time may experience anxiety, depression, rapid abdominal and visceral fat gain, and changes or bruising in colour of the skin. On the other hand, low levels of cortisolcan result in hair loss, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, muscle depletion, and extreme weight loss.
Like all hormones, it is all about finding and making the right balance! To maintain "good" cortisol levels, it is important to emphasise on monitoring your stress levels at regular intervals. It is equally important for you to practice self-love, self-forgiveness, and self-care. Moreover, you should spend a majority of your quality time by thinking and doing things that bring you the peace of mind, happiness, and calmness. These simple but extremely useful and relevant actions can help you control the cortisol levels to stay protected against harsh and stressful environments.
Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4) are thyroid hormones that have an impact on almost every physiological process in the body, including but not limited to body temperature, heart rate, growth and development, and metabolism.
The thyroid gland converts the iodine from the body into the hormones, T3 and T4. Later on, it releases them into your system for regulating the speed of your heart rate and how fast the body can digest the food consumed by you.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) happens when too much of the hormone thyroxine is produced by the thyroid gland. It can accelerate the metabolism of your body to cause irregular or rapid heartbeat or unintentional weight loss.
During hypothyroidism, the body is either unable to produce sufficient quantities of T3 and T4 due to an iodine deficiency or because of an autoimmune disease. This can result in health complications such as fatigue, fluid retention, unexplainable weight gain, constipation, sluggish bowels, and depression. Therefore, it is important for you to consume iodine-rich foods like tinned fish like salmon and tuna, shell fish, Oysters, and seaweed.
Remember, none of these hormones are bad as every hormone is produced in the body for specific reasons.
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