It’s a common misconception that you can only control your hunger hormone by controlling your calorie intake.
But what actually controls the amount of ghrelin in your system, the hunger hormone? Well for starters, it’s not all down to food. Plenty of other factors influence the levels of ghrelin in our bodies, not least exercise and stress.
But that’s not all. Did you know that eating too many high-carbohydrate foods, such as potatoes and pasta, can also affect how much ghrelin your body produces?
So why are low carb high fat foods better at controlling hunger? And what does this mean for your waistline?
What is the hunger hormone?
Ghrelin is a hormone produced in your stomach when it senses that your body is running low on energy.
It’s the main ‘hunger hormone’ that tells your brain that you need more energy, and triggers increased levels of a chemical called ketones in your blood, which provide you with energy to meet this demand.
When ghrelin levels are low, you feel the need for food and are more likely to eat when you don’t need to. This is bad news if you want to keep off fat around your middle.
When ghrelin levels are high, your body feels satisfied and you’re less likely to eat when you don’t need to. This is good news if you want to keep the weight off. This is why your stomach often grumbles after meals that are rich in protein and fat.
So by eating foods that naturally raise ghrelin levels, such as eggs, meat and nuts, our bodies get a ready supply of energy at the times they need it most – without craving food all the time.
Conversely, foods that naturally lower ghrelin levels, such as potatoes and pasta, will generally make you feel fuller for longer and may also increase levels of a chemical called leptin in your body. So high-carbohydrate foods are more likely to cause you to overeat than low-carb, high-fat meals.
HORMONES & ENERGY
Your metabolism is vital for controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is essentially what proportion of energy (calories) you burn. one among the best players of this is…you guessed it! Your thyroid hormones.
Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you’ll feel cold, hungry and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is just too fast (hyperthyroid), you’ll feel hot, jittery and reduced .
What you really want is a perfect metabolism, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and a perfect weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.
HORMONES & WEIGHT
Your weight could also be controlled by hormones, quite you think! Insulin controls your blood glucose , and whether that sugar goes to be stored as fat or not. And when your blood glucose is just too low, you’ll start craving sugar and carbs.
You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and the way full you are feeling are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those hormones are out of balance, you’ll end up eager to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied…even if that’s not true!
Also craving food (especially sugary sweets) and not feeling full are getting to be huge drives for you to eat more. albeit your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you simply do.
Ever wondered why you’re feeling so moody and irritable lately? You might be experiencing hormonal imbalance: this can be caused by a number of factors, not least of which is diet.
Luckily, there are a number of natural methods to help re-balance your hormones. From foods and herbs to supplements and detoxes, you can know more about a balance that’s right for you.
Garlic is a well-known spice that is used in cooking around the world. It offers a number of health benefits from fighting colds to boosting the immune system and even preventing heart disease. But did you know it’s also great for hormonal balance? That’s because garlic can help to boost estrogen levels, which in turn works to preserve bone density and tone muscle tissue.
Eating foods rich in good fats are great for your hormones. But what’s the best one to include in your diet? Olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil are all fabulous. These can help to balance out high levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and increasing insulin sensitivity will keep you energized throughout the day.
Eating a handful of seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin, and chia regularly will help balance hormones. Flaxseeds have been found to be particularly beneficial for balancing estrogen and testosterone levels. Chia seeds are particularly useful in regulating hormones because they contain both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Another way to consume these is through walnuts, which also come with a host of other health benefits. Simply eat them whole or as part of a salad.
Flaxseeds not only work to balance out estrogen and testosterone, they can also help to balance out your blood sugar levels. This is because they contain a substance known as lignans, which help to normalize leptin and insulin production. This can help to reduce cravings for sweet and sugary foods. You’ll find flax seeds among the grains in your local supermarket; sprinkle them on your breakfast cereal or stir them into your yogurt for a healthy breakfast every day.