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Appetite Hormones Assist Natural Weight Loss

October 22, 2010

(Article first published as Control Leptin and Ghrelin to Achieve Natural Weight Loss on Technorati.)

Our body has evolved to use a very efficient pair of hormones which signal the brain when it`s time to eat, or when we’ve had enough food. Leptin and ghrelin are the hormonal messengers responsible for our desire to eat, our craving for certain foods and whether we store excess calories as body fat or use it for energy. To prevent these hormones from becoming resistant and ineffective communicators, we need to follow a natural diet and lifestyle as our evolution prescribes.

Appetite Hormones Control Weight Regain After Dieting

The vast majority of children and adults alike eat and live in a manner which is much different than our Paleolithic ancestors. The large number of calories we consume from processed food sources causes metabolic disruption and impacts fat metabolism before and after weight loss. The results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shows the importance of leptin and ghrelin in the risk for weight regain in people who lose weight by dieting. Specifically, the study demonstrated that hormonal imbalance and leptin resistance were significant factors leading to weight regain.

Controlling Leptin and Ghrelin with Natural Diet and Lifestyle
After years of dietary abuse and poor lifestyle habits, our appetite hormones become resistant to the effects of excess food, and fail to properly transmit signals to the brain. While researchers are still working to unravel the precise mechanism behind leptin and ghrelin, they do know that supplementing in pill form has no effect on weight loss or blood levels of the hormones. You can master your appetite hormones by following a diet rich in foods found in their natural form and observing proper meal timing.
Stop Eating 3 Hours before Bed

Finish your last meal at least 3 hours before retiring for the night to allow digestion to complete. The body performs critical repair functions at night which can only occur on an empty stomach. Further, during the night hours your metabolism releases fat at the direction of your appetite hormones which only takes place when there are no readily available calories from a recent meal.

Eat 3 Properly Spaced Meals Each Day
Plan 3 well balanced meals a day and be sure to allow at least 5 to 6 hours in between. The timing between meals is important as it allow digestion to complete and blood sugar and lipid levels to return to normal. Avoid snacks of any type as this halts the release of stored fat and encourages weight gain.
Restrict Calories at Meals
Plan nutritionally balanced meals of 400 to 500 calories each, depending on your activity level. We haven`t evolved to properly digest large amounts of food at a single sitting, and this leads to malfunction of our appetite signaling mechanism. Eat slowly and chew each bite for 30 seconds to allow leptin to send the satiety signal to your brain.
Eliminate Sugar and Processed Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates and sugar laden foods wreak havoc on your blood sugar causing wild spikes which lead to metabolic dysfunction. Eventually this also disrupts the normal function of leptin and ghrelin as the hormones become less responsive to food intake. This is the beginning of the process which results in fat storage and obesity. Try eliminating all sugar and processed junk food for 2 weeks and find out how much better you`ll feel as you restore normal appetite control.
Leptin and ghrelin have evolved as a highly effective mechanism to keep us from starving to death in times of famine. Poor diet and lifestyle lead to the ultimate failure of this delicate signaling system, making weight loss an impossible task. Master your appetite hormones by following a naturally evolved diet and observe proper meal timing to reap the benefits of restored health and permanent weight loss.
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