It’s no mystery that your hormones are either helping or sabotaging your weight loss at any given time. While some hormones help to keep your appetite under control, speed up your metabolism for fast fat burning and keep your energy levels high, others aren’t doing you any favors. They can make you feel sluggish, hungry, and reduce your body’s capacity to blast through calories and stored fats.

That said, while there are some obvious players working against you, such as ghrelin and cortisol. However, there are other hormones that also play a role in the way your body responds to your efforts to lose weight: growth hormone.

What is Growth Hormone?

Human growth hormone is naturally produced by the body for a number of different purposes. You may already have heard of it as many products contain ingredients to promote some of its potential benefits. These primarily include muscle growth and anti-aging effects, but a range of other health and wellness issues, too.

Is Growth Hormone Sabotaging Your Weight Loss?

The results of a recent study from the University of São Paulo in Brazil have shown that while growth hormone may come with many benefits, this might not be appealing to dieters. The reason is that growth hormone’s activities may work in opposition to those of someone who is trying to lose weight. The researchers found that it activates the body’s metabolic responses and directs it toward conserving more energy.

When the body tries to conserve energy, this means that it slows down its rate of calorie burning and fat burning. In this way, it is sabotaging your weight loss. When your body isn’t burning through energy as quickly as it should, it takes more effort for you to drop the pounds. You need to eat fewer calories and exercise even harder.

Study author José Donato Jr. explained how growth hormone’s presence can be sabotaging your weight loss. He stated that muscle and tissue, liver and other organs involved in metabolism all contain large quantities of growth hormone receptors. This was already known. That said, the researchers discovered that the brain itself also contains many growth hormone receptors.

They also found that the brain’s growth hormone is not a part of the metabolism. Instead it affects energy conservation when you’re dieting or feeling hungry. This was a brand new discovery for medical science and could mean a great deal as researchers work to discover why many people struggle to be able to lose weight.