Fat Loss & Your Liver
Fat Loss & Your Liver
The liver is a very active organ that directs around 500 different tasks in your body. It's located in the upper right corner right around the ribs, on top of your stomach.
A typical liver weighs around 3 lbs but it can become inflamed and enlarged if it's dysfunctional. Certain lifestyle habits can affect your liver: alcohol consumption, drug abuse, poor nutrition, birth control pills, anabolic steroids and some liver toxic herbs, over the counter medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen) can harm it.
Why is the liver important for fat loss and muscle strength?
It produces IGF-1, also known as insulin-like Growth Factor 1. IGF-1 is produced in response to your pituitary secretion of Growth Hormone.
Both these peptide hormones are generally anabolic, which means they promote muscle gain, bone growth, collagen production. Interestingly, growth hormones also increase the breakdown of fat, which is a catabolic, not an anabolic effect. We are most anabolic when we are young, and over time the release diminishes. This is one reason it takes longer to recover from intense training with age. Growth Hormone and IGF-1 are two well-known hormones in this peptide hormone family but there are many other variations that have different structures.
Your lifestyle choices influence how and how much these hormones are released into circulation.
How do you optimize growth hormone release?
-Lose fat and stay lean
-Work out hard
-Get plenty of sleep
Currently there's a lot of interest in fasting and its regenerative effects on health and body composition.
Fasting has been stated to increase growth hormone release, however, I'm not convinced that it's the fasting per se that causes it. If someone who's overweight fasts, but then during the feeding time frame consumes a caloric surplus, I doubt growth hormone levels will be optimal, since the individual is not optimized in the first place by being lean. I'm not an expert, nor a medical doctor, so this is just my speculation. Fasting only leads to fat loss when the energy balance over time is negative, meaning you are consuming less energy than you need to maintain your current body composition. The amount of body fat you carry influences release of growth hormone. More body fat, less growth hormone release. The amount of body fat you carry also influences IGF-1. More body fat, less IGF-1 release by the liver.
The leaner you are, the greater your insulin sensitivity tends to be. Excellent insulin sensitivity allows your pancreas to release much less insulin to balance blood sugar levels.
Insulin shuffles nutrients into muscle cells which is great for muscle growth, but it also stores fat in your fat cells.
Now you might see why getting lean via diet is key to stay lean for life. A diet that makes you lean promotes growth hormone release and that stimulates your liver to release potent IGF-1.
Do you have to fast at night to stimulate growth hormone release? That would suck for all us who love to eat a lot at night!
I'm one of those who eat most of my food at night. My eating schedule is usually spread out into three feedings: early am, mid day and at night. This means I might not promote growth hormone release with my habits, but that is just if I consider an acute effect. The real life outcome is what matters and the proof is in the pudding: I am lean, I'm strong and that means something is working. It's easy to get caught up in details and potential outcomes, but the big picture will always be what matters. I don't spike my blood sugar with refined carbs that might increase insulin and decrease release of growth hormone. I do eat and I do eat most of my calories at night, and so do many other Fighterdiet warriors, and look at us: we get and stay lean!
Let's go back to your liver, here are some of its other functions:
-Bile production which is important for breaking down dietary fat
-Converts blood sugar to stored glycogen
-Releases glucose into the blood as needed in response to the hormone glucagon (released by your pancreas that also produce insulin)
-Makes specific proteins in your blood plasma
-Activates hormones, for instead inactive thyroid hormone to active hormone
-Converts ammonia to urea that can be excreted via urine
-Clears your blood from medicines and drugs, for instance alcohol
-Controls blood clotting
-Removes bacteria from your blood
-Prevents infections and plays a role in controlling your immune system
Since the liver is such a metabolically active organ it's important to take care of it.
This is why I have my Fighterdiet Detox supplement. It has ingredients known to promote a healthy liver, for instance N-acetyl-cysteine and Milk Thistle. If you are overweight, prediabetic or have liver disease running in your family I hope this motivates you to change your lifestyle habits.
If you've been neglecting your liver for years you might have a fatty liver. Does this mean you can just pop this pill and keep on drinking vodka every night? Nah! Diet and weight loss will make you and your liver healthy again. Eat for shreds, Train for mass: that's how you get healthy, strong and lean.
Fighterdiet Detox is therefore a great way to support your liver and in that way also promote a fit and strong body.
Disclaimer: I, Pauline Nordin, is not a medical doctor. Always consult your medical advisor about proper strategies for a healthy body for YOU.
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