Ever noticed when you get hunger pangs !!! “Ghrelin” & “Leptin” are the two important hormones that play an important role in energy balance and are hormones for natural weight loss. The experts from the medical center in Amsterdam call Ghrelin and Leptin the “hunger hormones” because either they increase or decrease the appetite. These two hormones can be manipulated with effective steps that will help us to reach our desired weight. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) the artificial hormone used to burn fat cells can be harmful. Ghrelin & Leptin can be balanced naturally by making smart healthy eating habits, regular exercising, getting enough sleep and managing stress levels.
Stress and Ghrelin secretion:
Ghrelin is a hunger hormone made by the stomach. This hormone communicates with the brain sending a signal which makes one feel to be hungry. It plays a role by stimulating the appetite, increases food intake, take in more calories and promotes fat storage. The blood level of Ghrelin increases when one is hungry and fall off or return to lower levels after meals.
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For many people stress directly impacts their weight, either it causes weight gain or weight loss. Some people tend to gain weight in stress because of missed meals, or strong urges to overeat and poor food choices indulging in more of processed foods. Ghrelin is directly released in response to stressful events; it plays a major role in inducing short term feeding and long term weight gain. Chronic stress can set in motion a chain of reaction of events that can end with unwanted pounds and inches. Increased stress causes an increase in cortisol production, decreased Leptin sensitivity, an increase in hunger, fat storage and ultimately an increase in weight. By reducing the level of cortisol production and absorption you can stop the cycle and regain control over your weight.
Hormones are very sensitive to a little bit of stress or any other triggers which can disturb the equilibrium and even small hormonal imbalances can cause side effects throughout the body. So taking effective positive steps, if one focuses on healthy eating habits, making smart food choices, exercising regularly and managing stress can help balance our hunger hormones. Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to promote weight loss. According to researchers blocking ghrelin levels may be the key to weight loss.
Hunger hormone Leptin:
Ghrelin and Leptin help maintain energy balance and weight management. In the brain within the same area holds the receptors for ghrelin and receptors for Leptin too. Leptin is a hormone that is made by fat cells; the role of Leptin is exactly opposite to that of Ghrelin it decreases the appetite. Leptin suppresses appetite and food intake and thereby helping to reduce the weight.
Steps to fix the Ghrelin hormone effect to maintain your weight:
Sugar-sweetened drinks and foods can impair ghrelin response after meals so avoid foods and beverages which are high in sugar to maintain your ghrelin levels.
2) Fill up on Protein:
Protein is a most satiating macronutrient, eating plenty of protein especially in breakfast can help to reduce ghrelin levels and promote satiety. A higher proportion of protein foods results in delayed gastric emptying because of which there is a prolonged feeling of fullness in the stomach and wards off the hunger feeling. Also, proteins prevent muscle mass loss during dieting and help to secrete satiety hormones.
3) Avoid inflammatory foods:
Limiting foods that cause inflammation will help to improve Leptin sensitivity. So limit inflammatory foods especially sugary drinks and trans fats.
4) Say NO to processed foods:
The refined and processed foods are high in calories and low in nutrients. Calorie-dense foods interfere with appetite regulation. The refined grains, sugar, synthetic ingredients tend to increase appetite and one is at risk of overeating. Say no to foods such as pizza, pasta, chocolates, carbonated drinks, cakes, cookies, pastries, salty snacks, and fried foods. Having lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, eating protein-rich foods like eggs or fish, healthy fats such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil, fish, etc. will help to naturally regulate the appetite as these foods are high in nutrients, low in calories, high in fibre.
Burst training also called high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is recommended. Burst training is a short burst of vigorous body movements, involves a burst of high-intensity style exercise for 30 to 60 seconds followed by brief periods of rest, one to two minutes of recovery periods. HIIT proves to be more effective than traditionally advised low-moderate aerobic activities like walking or running. Insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance both of which are related to ghrelin production can be improved especially if you exercise on empty stomach in the morning.
6) Getting good enough sleep:
Good sound sleep helps in better management of Ghrelin & Leptin hormone secretion. The body reacts very quickly to hormonal disturbances, disturbed sleep is associated with hormonal imbalance, and the lack of sleep is associated with an increase in levels of ghrelin, which stimulates appetite and hunger compared to those who get longer deep sleep. Good quality of sleep is very important, the irregular bedtimes, the long-continued phone calls at night, watching TV before going to sleep, being active on social media WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram in the night can make the condition of your hormones worst. A night of peaceful sleep is also important for the proper absorption of minerals in the body for maintaining the hormone balance. The best time is to sleep is 9 pm to 6 am.
7) Managing stress:
Stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation helps to calm the mind and let you connect with your body. The techniques help to reduce stress, can regulate cortisol which helps balance your hormones. Regularly performing yoga poses help to beat the anxiety and stress levels. Also doing deep breathing exercises that are called “Pranayama” helps to manage your emotions. Emotions and breathing are very closely linked to each other, when one is angry the breathing rate increases and vice-versa when one is at peace of mind, the breathing is natural one doesn’t even notice that they are breathing. So working on your breathing doing regular breathing exercises helps to cope with stress and managing the stress levels naturally. Apart from that connect socially, join the club, vent out the problems to near and dear ones, make a list of your plans and prioritize the tasks, listen to music, take out time for your long-forgotten hobbies, spend time in nature and relax.
Hormones influence our appetite, and how much fat we store, so the body weight is largely controlled by hormones. Fixing the hormonal imbalance naturally as mentioned above will go in the long run to maintain healthy body weight.