This decreasing hormone makes weight loss harder as you age

Ever wonder why it gets harder to lose weight as you get older?

The truth of the matter is, as we age, weight gain is easier, and weight loss is more difficult. 

This is largely because of a decline in a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies known as growth hormone, or perhaps you’ve heard it termed, human growth hormone. 

The good news is, there are ways that you can compensate for its natural decline, giving your body a fighting chance if you find yourself going head to head with some extra pounds as you age. 


legacy

What is growth hormone?

Near the base of your brain rests your pituitary gland. The job of this small organ is to secrete hormones that play a large role in how your body operates. 

One protein hormone produced by this gland is growth hormone (GH). This hormone is responsible for…you guessed it…growth. 

Throughout childhood and puberty, GH facilitates growth in most all tissues in your body. 

But, into adulthood, it’s role shifts to preserving body structure, keeping your metabolism healthy, as well as keeping your blood sugar levels in check, and repairing cells. 


How does growth hormone work?

When your pituitary gland secretes growth hormone, it triggers a reaction in your liver causing it to produce yet another hormone, similar to insulin, called Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1). 

These two hormones create a team of messengers that communicate to your body the need to add more cells to induce bone, muscle, organ, and tissue growth. 

In order for these tissues within our bodies to grow, they need energy. Growth hormone gives our tissues this energy by breaking down fats and helping our cells make protein. 

The production and release of growth hormone happens roughly every 3-5 hours, with our body naturally regulating this process. 

Unfortunately, the older we get, these growth hormone levels decrease. 

This decrease leads to an inadequacy in the body’s control of blood sugars, metabolism, and composition. This is why with age, we often see a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in body fat. 

Thankfully, studies show that there may be ways that we can elevate growth hormone levels as we age. 


How to boost growth hormone levels?

So, now that we know that the body’s natural regulation of metabolism, blood sugar, and body composition decreases with age. 

What can we do to boost those growth hormone levels back up to aid in weight loss and optimize the health of our body?

Sleep

Remember earlier, when we mentioned that our bodies naturally produce and release GH every 3-5 hours? 

Well, to get a bit more technical, these releases actually happen in conjunction with your circadian rhythm. 

This rhythm is generally centered around times of light and darkness, which is why we often associate them with sleep patterns, or times of sleep and wake. 

Studies have shown that growth hormone production and release occurs in large amounts with the onset of deep sleep. It has been said that getting appropriate amounts of sleep nightly, especially deep sleep, is the best way to boost your GH levels. 

To ensure a restful night of quality sleep: 

  • Avoid caffeine after 2 pm.
  • Shut off electronics within 2 hours of bedtime. 
  • Do not sleep with electronics in the room. 
  • Sleep in a cool room (temperatures in the 60’s are ideal)
  • Seek to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night 

Exercise

Exercise is recommended as another top way to boost GH levels. And, high intensity exercise has shown the largest increase. 

However, even moderate exercise (a combination of strength training and aerobic exercises) can both increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. 

These two are a double-win when looking to boost growth hormone levels as they enhance overall hormone function in the body and provide a lasting GH boost. 

Nutrition

Since we’ve learned that GH is directly linked to blood glucose regulation, I’m sure this next tip will come as no surprise. 

You can give your body a hand in boosting growth hormone levels by steering clear of refined sugars.

Consuming refined sugars and carbohydrates causes a spike in insulin levels. This spike then causes a further decrease in GH production. 

And, in regards to nutrition, another link to boosting growth hormone has been seen in healthy protein consumption. 

The following contain high amounts of arginine, an amino acid responsible for aiding in GH production:

  • turkey
  • chicken
  • eggs
  • grass-fed beef
  • pumpkin seeds 
  • legumes 

Fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a method of fasting that incorporates a period of time where a person eats, followed by a period of time where a person refrains from eating (or fasts). 

One example of an intermittent fasting schedule: 

An individual eats from the hours of 12 pm to 8 pm and fasts from the hours of 8pm to 12 pm the following day. (8 hour feeding window, 16 hour fasting window in a 24 hour day)

While studies have shown that individuals participating in multi-day fasts saw great increases in GH levels, this method of fasting is often not sustainable. Most individuals seeking the benefits of fasting find that intermittent is most suitable. 

On top of that, intermittent fasting has been a proven method of fat loss, and it helps lower insulin levels. 

These combined effects provide yet another way to boost growth hormone production. 

Reduce Body Fat

In obese individuals, studies show that growth hormone production is inhibited. And because GH is required for healthy weight loss, this quickly snowballs into a seemingly hopeless situation.

Fortunately, virtually all of the GH level boosters we’ve discussed thus far will also help you reduce body fat. 

And when you start to lose weight, GH levels rise as well, creating a positive feedback loop to accelerate weight loss and GH production in lockstep.


Recap

Since we’ve covered a lot of ground here, let’s go over a few highlights:

  • Growth hormone facilitates growth in all body systems through puberty.
  • In adulthood, GH regulates metabolism, blood sugar levels, and cell repair.
  • With age, growth hormone levels decrease.
  • Decreases in GH levels can lead to muscle loss and fat gain, and can make it difficult to lose weight as we age.
  • You can boost your levels of growth hormone naturally by: 
    • getting proper sleep 
    • exercising regularly  
    • skipping refined sugars 
    • adding arginine rich proteins into your diet 
    • incorporating practices like intermittent fasting 
    • reducing body fat

Boosting your body’s growth hormones, especially as you age, puts you in a prime position to combat weight gain and facilitate fat loss. 

Click here for more information on how to boost HGH for weight loss while you sleep.





References:

  1. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/growth-hormone/#:~:text=In%20adults%2C%20it%20does%20not,glucose%20levels%20within%20set%20levels.
  2. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=16691
  3. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/growth-hormone/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1806481/
  5. https://healthengine.com.au/info/growth-hormone-for-weight-loss#:~:text=reach%20sufficient%20height.-,Why%20is%20growth%20hormone%20used%20to%20manage%20obesity%3F,and%20lipogenesis%20(fat%20accumulation).
  6. http ://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypopit/gh.html
  7. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/growth-hormone-releasing-hormone/
  8. https://www.britannica.com/science/growth-hormone
  9. http ://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypopit/gh.html
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10851571/#:~:text=Growth%20hormone%20(GH)%20secretion%20declines,lipoproteins%3B%20and%20a%20reduction%20in
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959966/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2355952/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1188300/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC297368/
  15. https://perfectketo. com/human-growth-hormone/
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/10484056/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/books/NBK279056/
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/1548337/
  19. https://blog. davincilabs. com/blog/does-intermittent-fasting-boost-human-growth-hormone-hgh

Sharing is caring!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments