Calorie deficit and exercising are the two most important things that make you lose weight. If you combine them, you’re going to see results. But what if you don’t? And why does that happen that even if you’re not eating excessively, you still put on some weight? 

Well, just so you know, hormones play a crucial role as well. They facilitate a wide range of bodily processes related to appetite, metabolism, and increased storage of excess energy in food as fats. To maintain a weight that’s healthy for our unique bodily makeup, a delicate balance of hormones is required. For this reason, hormonal dysregulation or imbalance — too little or too much of a hormone — can significantly impact health, including body weight.

In this blog, we will explore how hormones respond to various lifestyle factors which may affect appetite control, hunger, satiety, and weight control.

Here are some of the key hormones involved in weight management:

Appetite regulation:


 Also known as the “fullness hormone,” leptin acts as a key hormone that regulates food intake and energy expenditure. Increased leptin levels lead to reduced appetite and increased energy expenditure, helping to prevent overeating.


Also known as the “hunger hormone,” Ghrelin stimulates appetite and promotes the feeling of hunger. It is primarily produced in the stomach and signals the brain to increase food intake. Ghrelin levels rise before meals and decrease after eating.

Metabolism regulation:


The pancreas produces insulin, which is essential for controlling blood sugar levels. It facilitates the movement of circulatory glucose into cells for storage or usage as an energy source. Insulin also promotes the absorption of fatty acids and inhibits their release from fat cells, which helps to store fat. For metabolism to function effectively, maintaining optimal insulin sensitivity is essential.

Hormones of the thyroid (T3 and T4): 

The body’s metabolic rate is impacted by thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, can cause a slower metabolism; hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, can cause a faster metabolism and perhaps contribute to weight loss.

Fat storage and usage:


Insulin facilitates the uptake of glucose into fat cells, which contributes to fat storage. Elevated insulin levels, frequently linked to insulin resistance, may result in heightened fat accumulation.


Prolonged stress can raise cortisol levels, which can encourage fat storage, particularly in the abdominal region.


 Adiponectin helps control the breakdown of fat and improves insulin sensitivity. Improved fat control and utilisation are linked to higher adiponectin levels.

Satiety and fullness:

Peptide YY (PYY) and Cholecystokinin (CCK): 

These hormones are released in response to food consumption and promote feelings of fullness and satiety, reducing the desire to eat.

Lean body mass:

Growth Hormone (GH):

 Growth hormone helps maintain lean body mass, which is important for metabolism. It also contributes to the breakdown of fat for energy.

Sex hormones:

Estrogen and Testosterone: 

Sex hormones influence fat distribution and body composition. Changes in hormone levels can affect where fat is stored in the body.

Sleep regulation:


Melatonin, which regulates sleep-wake cycles, indirectly affects weight regulation. Poor sleep patterns can disrupt hormonal balance, affecting appetite and metabolism.

Hormones work in a complex and interconnected manner to maintain energy balance, which is crucial for weight regulation. When there is a disruption in hormonal balance, such as insulin resistance, leptin resistance, or thyroid dysfunction, it can lead to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.

Closing thoughts

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight often requires addressing hormonal imbalances through lifestyle changes, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, stress management, and sufficient sleep. In some cases, medical interventions may be necessary to address specific hormonal issues contributing to weight problems. Consulting with a healthcare professional or endocrinologist can be beneficial in such cases.

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