Tag Archives: metabolism

Put your Metabolism into Spring by Eating to Increase Glucagon

Glucagon is a hormone you probably haven’t heard a lot about, but it plays a major role in breaking down fat and allowing your body to have the right energy levels. Glucagon counterbalances insulin, and is also produced in the pancreas, along with insulin. While insulin has the job of helping nutrients get into cells, the job of glucagon is to release the stored nutrients to be used for energy as needed.

Glucagon promotes the release of stored glucose from the liver and the release of free fatty acids from your fat store. Therefore, this hormone actually breaks down fat. Since glucagon counterbalances insulin, they aren’t present at the same time. The pancreas either is releasing insulin in response to sugar or releasing glucagon in response to protein foods. However, neither is released when nonstarchy vegetables and fats are consumed. The ratio between insulin and glucagon determines whether food is used as building materials and fuel or stored as fat. A higher proportion of glucagon means that more food is used as building material or fuel.

A high carbohydrate diet will cause people to overproduce insulin and not enough glucagon. You can heal your metabolism and encourage glucagon to burn fat by balancing your insulin. When you eat natural fats and adequate amounts of protein, eliminate refined carbohydrates and exercise, you naturally increase your levels of glucagon, which encourages your body to use nutrients as fuel and building blocks for muscle and other important tissues in your body and to not store them as fat.

The following factors increase glucagon:

  • Diet low in sugar and low blood sugar
  • Exercise
  • Increased blood amino acid levels (eating protein)
  • Protein foods

The following factors decrease glucagon:

  • Free fatty acids in the blood (from too much sugar)
  • Frequent meals
  • High blood sugar
  • Insulin
  • Refined carbohydrates in diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Supplements to Aid Weight Loss

Vitamins and minerals ensure that thousands of reactions take place in the body to maintain a healthy metabolism, balanced hormones, and good health. A deficiency with just one vitamin can create a chain reaction that slows your metabolism and brings your health down along with it. Nutrients in our food can be depleted by any number of factors, so it’s important to make up for this depletion with supplements such as a quality multivitamin.

To support hormonal balance, weight loss, and good health, there are some key ingredients to look for when choosing a multivitamin.

  • Vitamin A, which supports thyroid function, enhances your metabolism and allows for weight loss.
  • B vitamins, which have many weight-loss qualities including helping metabolism, keeping adrenal glands healthy, converting carbohydrates into energy and breaking down fats and protein.
  • Vitamin C, an antioxidant that is important during times of stress and vital for virtually all aspects of wellness, including healthy metabolism. Low levels of Vitamin C correlate with excess weight and might promote cravings for sweet or salty snacks, or beverages that are sugary or contain stimulants, such as caffeine.

Multivitamins don’t contain adequate Vitamin D, and it is estimated that only four percent of Americans consume enough Vitamin D, so taking Vitamin D in supplement form is important. Vitamin D plays a major role in overall health, but in weight loss terms, it helps the pancreas release insulin and endocrinologists have discovered that weight-loss success is more likely for those taking Vitamin D.

Other vitamins and minerals for weight loss include:

  • Chromium, an essential nutrient involved in the regulation of carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Chromium has been recognized for its beneficial effect on reducing blood sugar levels, burning calories, decreasing sugar cravings, reducing fat and decreasing cortisol.
  • Selenium, acts as an antioxidant and is required for proper thyroid function.
  • Zinc, another trace mineral, is good for your metabolism, helps insulin do its job and necessary for healthy thyroid function.
  • Calcium, is required for breaking up fats and energy production. Too much though can reduce thyroid function and make it more difficult to lose weight.
  • L-Carnitine, is helpful for weight loss by converting stored fat into energy.