Monday, May 5, 2014

Hunger Games Part 1 Always Hungry, Craving Starches and Sweets? Imbalanced Hormones May Be the Answer

You are not alone…..about 35% or 4 out of 10 Americans may be obese and struggling with weight loss challenges. Our hormones regulate our energy level, sexual functions, sleep, how we react to stress and many other important metabolic cycles in the body. Did you know they can influence appetite and food cravings along with whether or not we store excess body fat and put on weight?

Insulin regulates how carbohydrate foods are broken down and whether or not the fuel is burned for energy or stored as fat. 1

Our pancreas secretes the hormone insulin in response to the carbohydrate foods we eat. If you are following the Standard American Diet (SAD) you are probably eating carbohydrates 6 times a day or you may be loading up on white flour and white sugar. Too many carbs , too much white flour and white sugar trigger high levels of insulin  which signal our cells to fill up with fat instead of burning our carbohydrate foods for energy. High levels of insulin  reduce the ability of our body to respond properly to it and can suppress the production of an adrenal hormone-glucagon. 2 At the same time-low glucagon levels make it very hard to burn up body fat.

Solution: Eat more leafy green vegetables and low sugar fruits so that you can cut back on bread, pasta, cookies and cake. Eat your heavy carbs early in the day so your body has time to burn off their influence throughout the day. The quickest way to pack on excess fat is to eat heavy carbs late in the day.

High levels of ghrelin make you feel hungry all the time.

The pancreas and the stomach produce ghrelin. Right before meal times our ghrelin levels go up to create hunger. After meals they drop as our hunger subsides. If our ghrelin levels are too high we can feel hungry all the time.

Solution: Make sure that you have some form of protein and fiber with every meal. These foods slow down our ghrelin production and normalize appetite making us less hungry.

Leptin works with ghrelin to regulate appetite and body weight.

When leptin levels are too low cravings for sweets, high calorie foods and increased appetiteare triggered. Our fat cells produce leptin  but things like high stress, not getting adequate sleep, and eating large amounts of high calorie foods drive the leptin levels too low. The same things that make leptin too low can also make the body resistant to using it efficiently.

Solution: Regular restful sleep, reducing stress and regular exercise not only keep us from storing fat but also encourage fat loss. As the leptin levels normalize- these same steps will also balance our insulin levels.

Human Growh Hormone (hGH) encourages fat loss. 5

Our pituitary produces the hGH which actually encourages burning fat as fuel and can create weight loss.  hGH also enhances muscle growth. The more muscle we have the higher rate of calories we burn each day.

Solution: Amplify your hGH by lifting weights regularly and having intense short periods of exercise often. IE short sprints, brief fast walks, rapid short bike rides etc.

Our brains and emotions  have a remarkable effect on our neurotransmitter and hormone production…regardless of what you eat and no matter much you weigh you can help ourselves feel better by practicing being happy for a few minutes each day.

Hug a friend, cuddle with your pets, practice smiling morning and evening while you think about things in your life that you are grateful for.  All of these can make wonderful changes in  how you feel about yourself and in turn make it easier to follow through with your plans to become more healthy.

I enjoy hearing about your healing adventures and respond to all communication so let me hear from you by posting your comments or emailing me direct.

1.Causes of Obesity Insulin Resistance Tied to Fructose Generated by the Body
2.Appetite Controlling Hormones Leaves Obese People Still Hungry
3.Ghrelin-What is Ghrelin?
4.Researchers Identify Genetic Causes of Severe Obesity
5.Impaired hGH Levels-Sleep Fragmentation

You might also enjoy: Better Sleep-7 Tips for a Good Night's Rest
                                    The Best Advice to Create Joy in Your Life
                                    The Physical Effects of Obesity on Happiness


  1. Hi Siota, I enjoy reading your posts and I always learn something new.
    Thanks Jana Hamik

  2. Hi Jana, glad to hear that you are reading and learning. Hope you and your family are doing great! Siota


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