Hacking Hunger Hormones
Why am I always hungry? It’s a question that many hopeful dieters ask themselves as they try to battle the impulse to eat, even after they know they’ve consumed enough calories to sustain themselves for the day. Leptin and Ghrelin are the two pesky hormones that control hunger and satiety, creating a love-hate relationship among those who wish to regulate their appetite. Leptin is even responsible for controlling metabolism, so being able to hack it is essential to a successful weight loss regimen.
Most may think that it’s an impossible battle but there are actually simple ways to hack into your hunger hormones. The key is knowing which activities and foods to do more of and which to avoid altogether.
Some Things to Avoid:
- MSG: There is nothing good about this particular preservative. Not only does it encourage weight gain around the abdominal region, but it also suppresses leptin, which lets you know when you’re full. All-around bad idea!
- All Fructose: Always check the labels and be on the lookout of what you’re putting into your body that contains high-fructose sweeteners. Experts suggest even keeping natural fructose in juices and fruit to under 25 grams a day.
- Low-Calorie Diets: You may think that limiting your food consumption to 1,000 or fewer calories a day is the ticket to extreme weight loss, but you’re going to feel hungry all the time. How? Your ghrelin hormones will surge, leading to uncontrollable hunger and weight gain that inevitably follows.
Reduce Hunger By:
- Eating Every Three to Four Hours: The hormones that trigger a hunger response works on a timer, much like many other hormones in our body. Ghrelin releases every two to four hours, anticipate and take steps to prevent uncontrollable hunger pangs. Make sure you have light meals every three to four hours.
- Performing Aerobic Exercises: Aerobics helps suppress hunger for about two hours after the exercise is completed, putting off cravings. It will also increase leptin sensitivity, which will make you recognize satiation faster. Finally, your metabolism will get a boost from all the cardio and act as a ghrelin suppressor.
- Consuming Protein: Protein makes you feel full faster and stay full longer than carbohydrates. Why? Out of all the other food groups, it takes the longest to digest and has been proven to be the most effective at suppressing ghrelin. Since it helps you lose weight, it helps you become more sensitive to leptin as well.
- Reducing Stress: Not only does minimal stress lead to a myriad of health benefits, it can help suppress hunger and encourage weight loss. Cortisol, one of the hormones you produce while stressed, interferes with your body’s interpretation of hunger signals and increases the duration and frequency of ghrelin release. The theory is that food can release feelings of pleasure, so the body tries to get you to eat more to bring up your level of happiness. Try taking steps to reduce your stress today. Meditation, massage therapy and breathing techniques are a good place to start.
- Getting More Sleep: How does reduced sleep increase hunger? Simple: When you don’t allow yourself to rest, your body needs more energy to run efficiently. So, it’s no wonder that it releases more of the hunger hormone to collect more of that much-needed energy. Additionally, because your reflexes are delayed when you’re groggy, the leptin release is also delayed, which prevents you from knowing when you’re actually full.
- Eating More Foods High in Fiber: Soluble fiber has been shown to keep ghrelin from releasing as frequently as other foods, and it also reduces the amount of sugar and calories that get absorbed into your bloodstream. Translation: You’ll be able to avoid sugar spikes and the accompanying sugar drop and increase of ghrelin.
By taking these simple steps, you’ll be able to take control of your hunger and manage your healthy lifestyle without too many pangs along the way. As always, the team at HealingRadius wishes you good luck!
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