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Hormones and Weight Loss: Glucagon

Mar 17, 2015

So, on the previous post we covered insulin--a hormone that, even if you didn't know it's exact role, you've probably heard in conversation before. On the contrary, today we are going to talk about glucagon--a much lesser known hormone that also has a key role in helping your body burn fat and keep it off.

Gluca-what? If you look at the word glucagon, you probably recognize the beginning "gluca" and can intelligibly assume that it has something to with glucose. Like insulin, the body's source of glucagon is the pancreas. It performs the exact opposite function of insulin, however. It MELTS body fat!

We already know that when blood sugar is elevated, insulin enters the picture. Well, when blood sugar is low, the pancreas secretes glucagon to supply your muscles with blood sugar and energy. How? Glucagon's job is to pull stored glucose from the liver and fatty tissues to raise blood sugar levels.

Guess what? When glucagon kicks in and breaks down stored forms of energy for use, you lose weight! So, this tells us that you really can't expect to lose weight if your body perceives a constant influx of energy via food--glucagon will never be needed to open up the pathway to storage forms of energy.

With all of this new knowledge about glucagon, how about we put it's use to work. Here's some practical implementation strategies:

  • Keep a diet that is low in sugar. Remember, when insulin is high, glucagon stays at bay.
  • Incorporate sources of healthy fats and sufficient amounts of protein that slow the absorption of the carbs that you eat--another tactic to keep insulin from spiking.
  • Shuttle glucose into the muscles via exercise. Lowering blood sugar through exercise will increase glucagon production.

If you're still curious about glucagon and what it does and why, feel free to send me an email or comment below. I love keeping the conversation going! Keep in mind I'm not a doctor or a diagnostician, so take anything I say as information to do with as you wish.

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