OVERCOME THE HUNGER
Learn how to control your feeling of hunger
If you are a fitness addict, healthy food addict, or just want to lose some fat, you probably think something like: I wish my hunger feeling can simply disappear, everything would be much easier then. And that is true. Whenever we are ill or stressed, our sense of hunger weakens and we lose weight automatically. There are also substances that block hunger. All of these are very bad options that we should avoid. If we want to overcome hunger, we should first know how this whole process works, and then it will become clearer how we can act in order to get the most out of our diet in terms of health and good look.
There are two hormones in our body that affect hunger and satiety. Maybe you heard about them. These are ghrelin and leptin. These two hormones directly determine the level of our hunger at a given moment.
Ghrelin is a hormone that is secreted in digestive tract, at the moment when the stomach is empty. This automatically gives the signal to the brain (hypothalamus) that it is necessary to eat and we feel hunger. Hence, ghrelin is known as a hunger hormone. Now, you probably think it’s only necessary to get rid of the ghrelin and that’s it. But, not so fast. Studies have shown that a higher level of ghrelin is associated with a higher level of growth hormone in the body. The growth hormone is the main “builder” of our muscles along with testosterone. So, if you want a good shape, it’s not so scary if you miss a meal every now and then, or if you’re a bit hungry from time to time. Also, ghrelin secretion is an excellent signal that it is really necessary to eat, and we all know how important it is to learn to listen to your body. You should know how to distinguish the real hunger from so-called boredom hunger.
Leptin is a hormone that is made by fat cells in our body. Then, receptors in the hypothalamus recognize it, and we are no longer hungry. That’s why leptin is called satiety hormone. The conclusion can be made that if we have more fat in the body, we will be less hungry. This is only partly true. A diet rich in fats really gives a sense of satiety, everyone who tried it knows what I am talking about. But, as blood triglycerides level rises, so as the level of our fat tissue, there will be a point where resistance of the leptin receptors in the hypothalamus will occur. Now, our fat cells continue to produce leptin, but the body can not recognize it, and instead of feeling satiated, we are still hungry, we continue to eat, and this circle has no end. This further affects the disordered secretion of all hormones in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis: sex hormones, thyroid hormones, adrenal gland hormones, and so on. The disorder of the reproductive system occurs so as disorder of overall metabolism. We are rapidly gaining fat, our bones become more fragile, immunity and strength are falling down, and stress and depression caused by bad shape are accumulating.
In order to avoid this, it is important to create an adequate sensitivity to leptin, because if it is produced when is needed and in right amount, there should be no problems.
Now, when we know which are the two basic hormones that manage our desire for food at a given moment, where they are secreted and how they operate, we can develop the adequate lifestyle in order to improve our physique and satisfaction.
• It is necessary to eat sufficient amounts of healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, because they stimulate the adequate release of leptin and thus the sense of satiety in our body is obtained at the right time.
• Coffee can also help because it releases triglycerides into blood, leptin is secreted and therefore we are not hungry after we drink it. These triglycerides can then be used for energy. Thus, coffee is a good choice before workout. Of course, you should take care of amount, because caffeine can create addiction.
• Too much leptin in the body, constantly, can create inflammation. So, occasional periods when we are in a mild caloric deficiency definitely do not harm our body, these will even help us regenerate and reduce the inflammation that exists.
• It’s incredibly important to sleep properly. This means sleeping 7–8 hours each day, no more or less than that, and more importantly, the time when you are going to sleep and getting up needs to be settled. Good sleep has a huge influence on the secretion of ghrelin and leptin. You must have noticed that in the days when you sleep for only 3–4 hours, it is very hard to control your appetite next day.
• Learn to listen to your body. This is not an easy process, but you should definitely know to make the difference between real hunger and boredom hunger. If you feel hungry, ask yourself a question: do I feel like eating a salad? If you don’t, you’re not hungry. Learn to resist the temptations, you will be very proud of yourself tomorrow.
• So, the conclusion is that you should have balanced diet, and you really need to apply the habit to count calories and nutrients no matter how boring it may sound to someone. That’s what you put into YOUR body, not someone else. Learn to read labels on food, and to identify bad and good ingredients.