Most people sincerely and naively believe that weight loss is all about dieting. They may successfully lose a few pounds after adopting a rigorous diet practice initially, only ending up with the same or higher weight once the practice is no longer being followed.
The key to a scientific and successful weight loss program lies on two unfamiliar hunger hormones: ghrelin and leptin. They work together to increase or decrease your appetite.
Relying on human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) to burn fat is dangerous, we encourage you to use safe and effective steps to manipulate natural hunger hormones and reach the weight-loss goal.
What Is Ghrelin?
Ghrelin is an appetite-increasing hormone, a “growth hormone-releasing peptide” (or GHR). Its level tends to rise before meals and fall after that. It is produced by ghrelinergic cells in the stomach and fluctuates throughout the day, depending on your intake of food. It can communicate with the central nervous system, especially the brain, to give you the feeling of hunger.
Ghrelin is the only appetite-stimulating hormone in humans, giving people the desire to eat and potentially causing them to overeat.
Ghrelin reduces fat utilization. It is negatively correlated with weight, so dieting tends to increase ghrelin output. Ghrelin plays a major role in short-term feeding and long-term weight gain, as well as regulation of growth hormone and insulin secretion, blood pressure and heart rate, etc.
Interestingly, ghrelin also contributes to weight gain by maintaining a person’s stress levels and causing strong desires to snack or overeat.
Ghrelin vs. Leptin
Leptin is a hormone that is made by fat cells to decreases your appetite. Ghrelin and leptin work together to facilitate feeding, energy and weight.
Leptin is essentially in the opposite side of ghrelin, which increases appetite. Within the brain the same area that holds the receptors for ghrelin (GHS-Rs) also has the receptors for leptin.
Our body produces leptin based on body fat percentage. Once gaining weight, your blood leptin levels tend to increase. On contrary, once you lose weight, the level of leptin will decrease and often cause more hunger. However, obese people are generally “leptin-resistant,” having difficulty to lose excess weight because they require more food to feel “full” or satiated. It is not very clear about how leptin-resistance and increased ghrelin contribute to obesity.
Both leptin and ghrelin can be controlled naturally through smart dietary choices, exercise, sufficient sleep and stress management.
How to Make Ghrelin Serve Your Needs
There are multiple ways to lower your ghrelin levels to control appetite:
Avoid Overly-Restricting Calories
If you constantly under-eat, the ghrelin levels will increase and you feel hungry. However, overeating causes ghrelin levels to decrease, but you will gain weight.
The most challenging part of attempting to diet for weight loss is on how to control hunger.
Fortunately, we now know certain types of dietary habits can help to control ghrelin: eat lots of nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods, fiber and protein !
Ghrelin levels go down significantly after a meal, and stay low for about 3 hours or more. If you feel hungry soon after eating, or wanting to snack throughout the day, think again if you are eating enough calories. Eating enough healthy food including quality fat, protein and fiber will prevent you from entering in “starvation mode” that will only increase your appetite.
Eat Enough Protein
Eating a higher proportion of protein foods can help control appetite. Protein tends to ward off hunger, prevent loss of muscle mass, increases the thermic effect of food digestion and improves glucose homeostasis.
Exercise, Especially High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Low-to-moderate aerobic activity, such as walking or jogging, will increase ghrelin levels and appetite, thus not necessarily helping weight loss.
Burst training and HIIT help manage hunger by manipulating ghrelin and leptin. They can also increase muscle mass.
Total ghrelin concentrations decline after high-intensity sprinting and were significantly lower after 30 minutes of recovery than they were pre-exercise, suggesting that burst training can not only contribute to weight loss, but help curb appetite long-term.
HIIT is not only effective at curbing appetite and controlling weight gain in the short term, but also in the long run.
Getting enough sleep can better manage ghrelin and leptin. Morning exercise may cause greater levels of satiety in comparison with afternoon exercise.
Chronic stress will increase your appetite for “comfort foods”, and contribute to other unhealthy habits like overeating, snacking, drinking more alcohol, skipping sleep and remaining sedentary for long periods of time.
There are many ways to manage stress. Yoga, meditation, prayer, writing in a journal, spending time outdoors, getting enough rest and downtime, eating an anti-inflammatory diet are all encouraged.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods taste exceptionally great but they are usually high in calories and low in nutrients. They tend to cause overeating as they activate “reward centers” in the brain.
Normally, our digestive system would send signals to our brain saying that we’ve had enough and should stop eating. However, when we eat processed foods, this feedback system doesn’t work so well. It appears that the human brain is “hard-wired” to enjoy calorie-dense foods!
Examples of such bad foods: cakes, donuts, cookies, soda, sweetened beverage, pizza, white bread, rolls, candy, ice cream, salty snacks, and fried foods.
Eating a whole-foods , such as lots of vegetable, fruit, proteins like eggs or fish, healthy fats like grass-fed beef, proves to be the best way to naturally regulate your appetite since these foods are dense in nutrients , high in fiber, lower in calories, thus lowering your desire to keep eating.
No Artificial Hormones
While you should naturally balance levels of ghrelin or leptin, be cautious on trying some weight loss programs using artificial hormones.
Manipulating hormones in order to help weight loss is not a new concept. One of the most controversial methods is the use of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is produced during pregnancy that helps release a woman’s fat stores in order to support the growth of the baby. As a matter of fact, this is a starvation diet, not a miracle.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the HCG therapy:
- It is not safe and doesn’t work long-term, because many people will regain their weight
- FDA cautions people “to steer clear from over-the-counter weight-loss products that contain HCG.”
Supplements for Weight Loss
Aided by natural nutritional supplements, hunger hormone can be adjusted to meet your needs:
MCT and Coconut Oil
MCT oil prevents the accumulation of fat and help ketogenic effects without having to eat very low-carb diet. You can simply mix it with coffee as your morning treat!
Green Tea and EGCG
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. These include improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other impressive benefits.
Beta glucan is one form of soluble dietary fiber that’s strongly linked to reducing the absorption of carb, improving cholesterol levels and boosting heart health. If you have to eat high carb food, we suggest you take dietary fiber capsules.
Ghrelin is an appetite-increasing hormone that makes you feel hungry before meals but decreases after that. Another hormone, called leptin, decreases hunger. They work together to manage hunger, food intake and body weight.
You can control the two hormones naturally by making smart dietary choices, exercising, sufficient sleeping and stress management.
Supplements can be very powerful in helping adjust hunger hormones.