Control Your Hunger Hormones

Are there ways to control our "hunger hormones," and take back command of our appetites? Possibly -- by avoiding foods high-fat or low quality carbohydrates.

When we eat, messages go out to various parts of our bodies to tell us we've had enough. But when we eat fatty meals, this system doesn't work as well. When we eat low quality carbohydrate, this system gets overworked, and over time will also not work as well.

Eating fat tends to lead to eating more calories, gaining weight, and storing fat. Researchers have seen some of these effects after only three days of a high-fat diet.

  1. Eat quality: Researchers have shown that either a diet rich in either "good" carbohydrates (like whole grains) or a diet high in protein suppresses ghrelin much better than a diet high in fat.
  2. Get more rest: Something that might help (and certainly won't hurt) is to get enough sleep! In a study of 12 young men, sleep deprivation was associated with an increase in ghrelin levels, appetite, and hunger compared with when they slept 10 hours a night. Read this article to get more information about getting better sleep.
Rest when you can.

All in all, this adds to the huge amount of evidence showing that avoiding a high-fat, high starch, high sugar diet is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy weight. For more information on how the hunger hormones work, read this article.