Hunger Hormones And How To Control Them
Hunger Hormones And How To Control Them: Different hormones affect appetite and control fat storage, Hence affecting body weight. Leptin and Ghrelin are basic hunger hormones. Insulin and cortisol also influence appetite.
1. Leptin: Leptin is a hunger-suppressing hormone that is produced mostly by the Adipose (fat) tissue and in small quantities in the stomach. It mediates long-term regulation of energy balance. It sends feedback to the brain (hypothalamus) to prevent food intake. It tells the brain that the fat in storage is enough and no need for more energy and fat, it helps you feel full. The more fat in the body the higher the Leptin level. If that be the case, obese and overweight people should have reduced appetite, unfortunately, overweight people don’t have a good working leptin system, and this situation is known as LEPTIN RESISTANCE. Leptin resistance is a case where the Leptin message to the brain is impaired, which means the brain doesn’t get the message to stop eating. The point is, having more body fat past a certain level can disrupt the Leptin system.
2. Ghrelin: The stomach releases the ghrelin hormone when empty and sends a message to the brain that food is needed. Ghrelin is secreted in the lining of the stomach that is when you start feeling hungry. It is high before the meal and the lowest for about an hour after a meal. People with disrupted Ghrelin systems have high Ghrelin levels most times of the day.
3. Insulin: insulin is produced by beta cells in the pancreas. It plays the primary role in controlling blood sugar levels in the body. It allows the body to use sugar (glucose) from the food we eat as energy. It is secreted in little quantity throughout the day and in a larger quantity after meals. Insulin is the main fat storage hormone in the body. Keeping the insulin level low for a long time say 16 hours and above helps in fat loss. Excess sugar intake keeps the insulin level relatively high at all time and this can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance over a long time can lead to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
4. Cortisol: cortisol hormone also known as ” stress hormone ” is produced by the Adrenal gland. Cortisol is released the moment the body senses stress. High cortisol level leads to overeating and to weight gain over time. Extreme dieting can cause the body to feel stressed and therefore produce cortisol hormones.
Tips to maintain healthy hunger hormones
1. Reduce sugar intake: Sugar from processed foods and beverages are high in fructose and sucrose leading to a high level of insulin and impair ghrelin response.
2. Healthy fats: fats from fatty fish, cheese, Egg, etc helps to reduce the insulin level and improve leptin sensitivity.
3. Diet: A well-balanced diet rich in protein overtime keeps the insulin level low in the long-term.
4. Sleep enough: insufficient sleep can lead to a drop in leptin level and a rise in cortisol level (stress
hormone) causing increased appetite. It is important to sleep enough to keep the body from feeling
5. Regular exercise: physical activities help to improve leptin and insulin sensitivity over the long term. Exercise is important for the whole bodily activities.