Obesity, which is a complicated problem, has no easy solution. There are many factors that can influence our appetite, metabolism, body fat distribution, and other aspects of obesity. Weight loss is not always about mind over matter. Sometimes it’s a matter of “matter above mind”. This means that sometimes, before we can lose weight, we have to correct our metabolism.

Hormones control our metabolism, appetite, and body fat. These chemicals make us feel alert, hungry, sleepy, and even sexy. These hormones can cause problems like obesity, depression, type 2 diabetes, and increased risk for heart disease.

An interaction of many factors is what causes obesity. The hormones Insulin, Growth Hormone and Sex Hormones as well as Leptin can influence your appetite, metabolism, body fat distribution, and even your ability to metabolize them. But genetics, lack of exercise, quality of food and quantity of exercise all play a part.

The body’s ability to cope with stress and different situations is aided by the endocrine systems. Obesity can result from hormone excess, or hormone deficiency. Obesity inturn can cause hormonal changes.

Your body’s chemical and hormonal balance is extremely delicate. The endocrine system and its various hormones are made up of many different glands. The major glands in the endocrine system are the pituitary (parathyroid), hypothalamus, thyroid, adrenal, testes ovaries, and pineal.

Obesity and Leptin

Hunger is one of our primary driving forces. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in fat cells and secreted into the bloodstream. Leptin acts on certain brain centers in the brain to reduce an individual’s hunger and appetite. It appears to also control the body’s ability to store body fat.

Obesity is complex and multi-factorial. It can affect people who are genetically more likely to be obese than others due to their lifestyles and other environmental factors. 

However, once an obese person starts eating a high-calorie/low-nutrient diet and becomes overweight, the fat tissue in his/her body produces leptin but, the brain doesn’t receive the message and, therefore, continues to produce the appetite stimulant ghrelin which leads to overeating and obesity. Ghrelin also  makes you store more calories and increase your appetite.


The regulation of carbohydrate and fat metabolism is essential by insulin. It is produced by the pancreas. Insulin stimulates glucose uptake in the blood. It is found in muscles, fat, and the liver. This is an important step to ensure energy availability for daily functioning and normal levels of glucose in the blood.

An obese person may lose insulin signals, and their tissues may not be able to control glucose levels. This can lead to the development of metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.

Obesity and Sexhormones

In the development of obesity-related diseases such as stroke, heart disease and other forms of arthritis, body fat distribution is crucial. Fat around the abdomen can be more dangerous than fat stored at our bottom, hips or thighs. The distribution of body fat seems to be determined by oestrogens. 

The ovaries produce sex hormones called oestrogens in premenopausal females. They trigger ovulation in every menstrual cycle.

Postmenopausal men and women don’t produce a lot of oestrogen through their testes (testicles), or ovaries. Most of their oestrogen production is found in their body fat. However, this is much less than the amount produced by pre-menopausal women’s ovaries. The testes are the main source of androgens for younger men. These levels slowly decrease as men age.

Both men and women experience changes in their sex hormone levels with age. This is associated with changes in the distribution of body fat. 

Women who are pregnant tend to store their fat in the lower parts of their bodies (called “pear-shaped” by women). However, older men and women postmenopausal tend to store more fat around their abdomen (called “apple-shaped”). 

Postmenopausal women who take oestrogen supplement don’t have excess fat around their abdomens. Animal studies also showed that excessive weight gain is caused by a lack of oestrogen.

Obesity and Growth Hormone

The growth hormone produced by the brain’s pituitary gland is a result of a person’s metabolism. It can influence a person’s height and help build bone and muscle. Growth hormone can also impact metabolism, which is the rate at energy we burn in kilojoules. Researchers found that the growth hormone levels of obese people are lower than those who are normal weight.

Inflammation and Obesity

Obesity can also be associated with chronic low-grade inflammation in fat tissue. Excessive fat storage can cause stress reactions in fat cells. These stress reactions lead to the release of proinflammatory substances from fat cells. This can lead to major health problems.

Obesity hormones can be a risk factor in some diseases

Obesity increases the risk of several diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and various types of cancer. In addition, it is associated with a decreased quality of life and a shorter lifespan. An example of this is the increase in breast cancer risk due to the higher production of oestrogens from fat in obese women.

Obesity Hormones and Behavior

Obese people have high levels of hormones that encourage body fat accumulation. Overeating and a lack of exercise can ‘reset the body’s processes to regulate appetite and fat distribution and make it more likely for someone to gain weight. It is constantly trying to balance itself, so it resists crash dieting.

Long-term lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, regular exercise and good nutrition can help the body shed excess body weight and maintain it. Studies have shown that weight loss can be achieved through healthy eating, exercise, bariatric surgeries and medical weight loss programs with prescription weight loss medications like Phentermine. This will result in improved insulin resistance, reduced inflammation, and beneficial modulation for obesity hormones. Also, weight loss is associated with lower risk of some cancers, such as stroke, type II diabetes, heart disease and heart attack.

If you need help losing weight call Lisa at 215-821-7336 and she will schedule your weight loss consultation.

Get into Shape

Lose Weight Today