Have you ever experienced a day when you felt that there was nothing that would completely satisfy your hunger needs? Have you ever felt that, despite you just eat a pretty large meal you still felt hungry? Well, if you have wondered what was going on with you, then, it could probably have been your body’s hunger hormones fault. They weren’t functioning properly.
The truth is, hunger is the number one reason why for millions of people, willpower becomes not enough to achieve their fitness goals. These hormones are also the ultimate factor why so many people find it difficult to be on a diet. Or even skip consuming a type of food that they know is doing them harm.
Fortunately, during these last decades, science has gone pretty far and discovered how the hunger process works, what triggers the excessive eating and how can people control their hunger hormones. Below, you can get some basic tips and information to best control your hunger. Having the necessary knowledge about your hunger hormones, how do they work, and what you need to do to keep them in a right balance, is very important.
How can hunger hormones affect you?
Did you know that there are multiple hunger hormones that strongly influence our daily food intake? Even though there are about 14-15 types of hormones that do also play their part on this aspect, in this article, we are going to focus only on the 2 major players (hunger hormones) such as Leptin and Ghrelin.
What this hormone does, is to keep our fat mount at a constant level. The main function of this hormone, after it’s released from our fat cells, is to signalize our brain to tell the body the amount of calories we’re taking in. Then, leptin, when the mount of calories we’re burning reaches the amount of calories we’re taking in, stays at a constant, optimal level and signalizes the brain to not overeat or even under eat.
That is why, when we’re on a diet, the leptin level drops. The fullness signals leptin sends to our brain are not sent as they would normally be. That is why, our hunger levels will increase because this hormone is trying to “save” us from starvation.
On the other hand, how good our brain reacts to the leptin signals, is also a very important factor in our body fat levels and also, obesity. Since leptin and insulin go hand to hand, whenever our brain cells are not fully reacting to their signals, (leptin and insulin resistance), glucose and other not necessary nutrients stay in our blood longer, causing obesity, overweight and many other heart-related issues.
What to do: You see, all we need to do, is to keep our leptin levels in a constant mode. Also, make them function properly so the signals they will send to our brain, can really do the work. It is recommended that the HIIT-type of training, when performed for at least three times a week, can significantly help our leptin levels function in the right way! Also, experts recommend that we need to at least sleep for 7 straight hours each night.
Ghrelin is elevated every time we’re hungry. It is an appetite-inducting hormone. When in a high level, this hormone makes us crave carbs. Only after we’ve eaten carbs, for example a chocolate, its level will drop and will normalize. They are usually high before each meal and drop after we are fully satisfied with the meal. The real issue with Ghrelin happens when it doesn’t properly function and makes you crave more than you actually need. Leading to obesity, weight gain issues etc.
What to do: The same habits you followed for the Leptin hormone, are also available for this hormone. Daily exercises that vary from moderate to high intensity level are the ones to follow. Also, try to focus on consuming proteins every time you can replace a high-in-fat product with a protein-oriented one. People who consume more proteins that the ones that mostly focus on fat-oriented foods, have lower risk for their Ghrelin hormones to function properly.