It happens when you are on a diet, the feeling of hunger reaches a brutal level. It is discouraging, frustrating, and even sometimes forcing you to end the diet and rush along obliquely – there is always when you are hungry. Do not throw away the white flag. This situation can be corrected!
First, let’s figure out what hunger is. Have you ever thought why are you hungry? Hunger begins with ghrelin. And this is not a monster living inside of you – it is a hormone synthesized by cells in the gastrointestinal tract. For visualization, imagine a car dashboard. There is a speedometer showing how fast you are driving and a fuel gauge showing how much gas is in the tank. Occasionally, a low fuel level warning light flashes. This is a signal to stop at a gas station, where we refuel and move on.
Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone”, he warns us about the low level of “fuel”, his task is to send a “time to go” signal. You feel his work when hunger begins to grow. At first, ghrelin is almost like a whisper, then a quiet conversation and now he is screaming into both your ears!
And although hunger and a warning light about low fuel levels are very similar, there is one huge difference between them: if you don’t pay attention or ignore the fuel indicator, you will be on the side of the road. But what happens to ghrelin when he shouts: “It’s time to eat!” And we ignore it? Many of us will never know because they react too quickly to cries of hunger. It’s like with children when it is easier to surrender right away than to listen to screams and cries asking for something that is needed here and now. You just want the screams to stop.
And now the most important fact about ghrelin. Ghrelin at the peak of hunger screams in both ears, but then the cry gradually decreases when a person does not give up! And this does not mean that one should not eat at all. But if you feel hungry after eating, do not succumb to the provocations of ghrelin!
The hormone of fullness dictates its conditions
Now a few words about the opposite of hunger, about the “hormone of fullness” – leptin. It is a fatty peptide hormone that regulates energy metabolism. Like ghrelin, leptin is also a signal, only it shows when there is enough gasoline in the tank.
What happens if the fuel sensor is broken? You, filling the tank, listen to the sound of flowing gasoline and by ear try to understand when it fills the entire tank. But for a moment they were distracted, the sound was missed and fuel was being poured around the car. This is exactly what happens when you have leptin resistance. He sends a signal that it’s time to stop eating, and you don’t hear it. Your body continues to crave food, when in fact it is not, and you eat more than necessary.
Right now, you thought: how can I know if I am resistant to leptin? If you are overweight, most likely your body is immune to hormone fullness. And what to do with it?
How to negotiate with ghrelin and leptin
1. Start with a diet that you can keep for a long time.
Before you begin any diet, no matter how fashionable it is, ask yourself the question: “Can I stick to this diet for at least 3 years?”. If the answer is no, the diet will not last long enough. That is why so many people jump from one diet to another and ultimately become frustrated in all. What works for your relative, colleague or friend may not work for you. You need a plan drawn up by a nutritionist for you, under your image and schedule of life.
2. Eat more protein
You have probably heard many times that you need to add more protein to your diet. If you don’t, why? Protein helps you feel full, increases metabolism, and helps get rid of fat. If you lack protein, you lack a key ingredient in the fight against hunger.
3. Remember Fiber Is Your Friend
There is no hunger when there is the right combination of protein, fiber, and water. Some studies show that the more fiber you consume, the fewer calories you eat. With an abundance of fiber, you experience a feeling of fullness. So, eat less! One of the best ways to get more fiber is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Slow down, eat slower
Have you heard that you need to eat more slowly? In fact, if you’re searching for “weight loss tips” on Google, 99% of the articles will definitely offer some advice or tactics for slow eating. There is a reason for this! Studies show that the faster you eat, the more you eat. Fast food is associated with weight gain.
From the moment you start eating, it may take 20-30 minutes before you feel that you have satisfied your hunger. Therefore, if you suppress everything in 3-5 minutes, you will not feel full. Start chewing thoughtfully. Yes, at least with a timer. See how fast you eat, or rather, see how slowly you can eat.
5. Know all about emotional eating.
If you eat to hide your emotions (seize stress), you will never feel satisfied. Hunger will be back. It’s like trying to fill a pool in which there is a hole: it will never fill until you eliminate the gap.
If you are bored, worried, tired, and trying to fix it with food, you need to eliminate the cause of your negative emotions. That is why it is important to understand what is the hunger of the body for you (physical) and what is emotional hunger. Do not confuse these two concepts!
Specialists of the University of Luxembourg have proved the existence of food dependence. Some women who participated in the study experienced acute food cravings immediately after eating. This directly speaks of addiction associated with the work of neurotransmitters: they are included when a person plays gambling, smokes, has sex, takes drugs, and … eats.
The condition of the participants was checked 3 hours after the meal or immediately after the meal, showing them pictures of food on the computer. Some of the pictures had fatty or sweet foods, and some had pictures that were not related to food. Women had to click on the mouse as quickly as possible with the appearance of pictures. In the images of food, some women slowed down mouse clicks and admitted that they felt hungry – no matter how long they had eaten. Mostly behaved women with excess weight.