Exercise to Trigger Fatburning Hormones

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

For more information about Dr. Berg's 3-day intensive program in Alexandria, Virginia, call 703-354-7336.

In this article, I will explain how to strategically trigger key fat-burning hormones to melt the fat off the stomach and hips.

There are two main types of exercise: One is light, low-endurance, low-pulse-rate exercise. This is called aerobic, which means “with oxygen”.

The other is intense, resistance-type, higher-pulse-rate exercise called anaerobic, which means “without oxygen”.

The first one (aerobic) burns fat, mainly during exercise, but only after 20 to 30 minutes. So if you exercise for 31 minutes, you would get only 1 minute of fat-melting. If you exercise for one hour, you may burn around 300 calories. This would be equivalent to several teaspoons of salad dressing. Very insignificant.

The second one (anaerobic) does NOT burn fat during exercise; it burns sugar fuel. However, it is the only type of exercise that has any significant effect on fat-burning hormones, but this mainly occurs 24 to 48 hours later, mostly in your deep cycles of sleep.

The two hormones triggered are growth hormone and glucagon. Growth hormone works through the liver. Glucagon also works through the liver but is produced by the pancreas. These two hormones are triggered by intense exercise. The more intense, the better. Basketball, soccer, swing dancing, jumping rope, weight training, step-aerobic-type exercise—basically anything that is really intense.

This is good information, but let me tell you WHY most people are NOT successful.

1. The more intense the exercise, the more stress occurs, which means cortisol is triggered. Cortisol nullifies the fat-burning hormones. This is why you have to do short intense-duration-type exercise with lots of rest in between. You want to make sure you don’t exhaust the body, just the specific muscle. Also, don’t do this every day. Do it every other day because fat-burning occurs in the rest periods.
2. Lack of quality sleep or insufficient sleep (less than seven hours) will nullify fat-burning hormones as well. Poor sleep prevents fat burning.
3. Pain and inflammation will also nullify these hormones. Pain triggers cortisol, which will stop fat burning.
4. Eating sweets, juice, or alcohol before bed will nullify fat-burning, too—sorry! The false information people have is “Eat everything in moderation”. This is bad information because just a little sugar will keep you out of fat burning.
5. If you have an Adrenal body shape, you can’t initially do anaerobic exercise because the intensity will create more stress. You should do only the aerobic ones for a few months, and then go to anaerobic.


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