2 Easy and Natural Ways to Increase Fat-Burning Hormones

Get-Fit Guy shares two easy and natural ways to increase the fat-burning hormones testosterone and adiponectin. 

Ben Greenfield
2-minute read

Easy Way to Increase Fat-Burning HormonesWhether you’re a man or a woman, testosterone is one of your body’s most potent fat-burning hormones. In previous Get-Fit Guy episodes and newsletters, I've talked about natural ways to increase testosterone, including supplements, heavy weight training, sprinting, and sleep. But here’s one you may not have heard of before: light.

That’s right—light!

Case in point: A recent study investigated whether early morning light exposure had any impact on hormone levels. The researchers studied 11 healthy men between 19-30 years old, using urinary hormones as markers to measure the impact of light on hormones. Specifically, researchers looked at luteinizing hormone, which can increase your ability to produce testosterone. The subjects of the study were exposed to different periods of light or sham exposure taking place for five days each in different weeks. One week, each of the participants was exposed to bright light (e.g. the equivalent of sunlight or a fancy device called a “blue-light box,” and the other week each was exposed to a placebo (a light that didn’t have this bright light exposure). Each session took place for one hour early in the morning. Amazingly, luteinizing hormone excretion increased 69.5% after the bright light exposure, but that didn’t hold true for placebo light exposure!

So how can you use this little fat-burning hormone “hack”? Simply step outside and get as many minutes as possible of bright morning sunlight when you first get up. Personally, I like to use this as an opportunity to do 5-15 minutes of easy yoga.

While you’re at it, you might as well tap into one more way to increase fat-burning hormones: in this case, a hormone called adiponectin. The benefits of adiponectin seem almost too good to be true. Basically, it increases your body’s ability to mobilize storage adipose tissue and burn it as fat. In animal studies, adiponectin also increases metabolism, without increasing hunger. In human skeletal muscle, t can increase mitochondrial density and efficiency. And what's one easy way to increase adiponectin? Exposure to cold (which I’ve written about before here).

So before going out in the sunlight early in the morning, simply take a brief 3-5 minute cold shower. That’s enough to jumpstart your fat-burning hormonal response to cold!

And there you have it: light and cold – two easy and natural ways to increase your fat-burning hormones. If you have more questions about these methods, join the conversation over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!

Beautiful young girl meditating in park image courtesy of Shutterstock

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.

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