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
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:
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: