Fat Loss and Hormones 

Fat Loss and Hormones – what goes on when we eat?
To start with – just to reiterate I’m no doctor. I’m a normal dude whose trained a lot, read a lot and applied a huge amount.

With this in mind, all of my understanding towards training and nutrition stems from hours of research combined 9 years of consistent training, trial and error.


I like stuff which makes sense.

Information which when broken down properly makes the normal guy/gal think ‘… oh right, is it really that simple?’

In fitness – the right information to achieve results normally is really that simple. It’s just we’re all lead into utter confusion from the conflicting advice floating around

So… hormones.
Hormones is a topic which many over look – but it’s vital to understand optimum health, how the body breaks into fat stores and even the next level – How to prevent pre or full blown type 11 diabetes (covered in next article) which is a huge problem at the moment.

First off we have two primary hormones which are responsible for nutrient supply and energy distribution in the body:

– Insulin

– Glucagon

The body will switch between secreting one of the other depending on when we eat and don’t eat.

What do they both do and why are they so important?

Insulin is secreted after eating. When consuming a certain level of Protein, Fat and especially Carbohydrate the body will rev up Insulin production.

The insulin is secreted into the bloodstream from the pancreas with two sole aims:

to remove glucose from the blood and shuttle it into all lean tissue.

– to store excess within the liver and fat cells for future use.

Think of insulin as a bouncer at a club. All the people are trying to get into the club and that bouncer is the buffer. The bouncer opens the door and lets the people in to have a merry old time.

Insulin is the same as a bouncer – just in the body.

This provides our muscles with continuous energy to burn.

After eating (when insulin levels are high) we are in the fed state. In this state there will be zero fat burning – period.

Like anything in life – the pathway of least resistance will always be taken. The pathway of least resistance in this case is burning consumed carbohydrate for quick, easily accessible fuel as opposed to stored fat which lets be honest, makes total sense.

Now onto our best friend for fat loss – Glucagon.

Glucagon is secreted when we’re not eating. This hormone withdraws stored glycogen from the liver, muscles, and begins to break down fatty acids into glucose to increase our blood sugar levels.

Blood sugar has a basic minimum level requirement to keep us functioning – hence why the above occurs.

It is this state which puts us directly into ‘fat burning mode’. Studies show that the body will begin to shift to Glucagon secretion approximately 4-6 hours after eating (as blood glucose levels lower due to insulin putting it all way in lean tissue).

Check this graph below showing how the body will switch between the two throughout the day:

See the blue parts?

This is where glucagon is pumped into the bloodstream to withdraw stored glucose (known as glycogen) from the liver, muscle tissue and is breaking down fat stores for energy.

See how glucagon is exceptionally high during our sleeping period?

Now, would it make total sense to extend this period to maximise fat loss?

Hell yes.

The dietary method used here is coined ‘Intermittent Fasting’ – the very method I’ve used to personally achieve 7% body fat with ease and gradually help others do the same.

I’ve written about this strategy in my other article ‘Intermittent Fasting, the key to optimum fat loss?’ here:


*Deep breath* – this is long but bear with me.

‘High spikes in insulin makes us fat’ is what I always hear down the grapevine.

Let me establish that this is flat out wrong. Science has debunked this myth over and over again.

I’ve explained more on this in my article ‘The truth about sugar’ here:


Insulin is the fat storage hormone – but certainly not in itself responsible for excessive fat gain regardless as to how rapid it rises or not.

Fast digesting carbohydrates will cause a more rapid rise in insulin purely because it is digested faster. A healthy metabolism can and will deal with this faster rise in insulin absolutely fine.

The reason why people say this is because of the following series of events:

– Rapid insulin spikes are associated with diets high in fast digesting carbohydrates (think chocolate, sweets, liquid meals)

– An individual eating a diet high in the above – in most cases does not understand proper nutrition or training (and doesn’t apply both properly)

– As a result they over consume calories relevant to what they expend very easily (through consuming fast digesting food which lacks satiety) and thus…. we have weight gain.

So fast digesting carbohydrate and rapid short-term rises in insulin is not causing excessive fat gain by itself – it’s a combination of all of the above and ultimately the law of thermodynamics (excess energy in vs energy out) which causes the weight gain.  

Hopefully this has really shed some light on what goes on in the body and most importantly makes total sense.

All we have to go on is research and application which corresponds (or doesn’t) with experience to legitimise it (or not).

As always – I’m very open. I welcome all questions about fitness and methods. Give me a shout if you need help with your fat loss and/or strength gain escapade.

I need a nap.

Until next time!

Stay strong

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