-41 year old woman
-Constant yo-yo dieting
-Feels hungry all the time
-Her goal is to lose 6 kg
It is important to understand how hunger and appetite work because strong willpower doesn’t really matter if our body systems do not work well when we are trying to lose some weight.
In short: Hunger is a mechanism in our body that helps to regulate the energy and an appetite is an interaction between digestive system and the brain.
What does it include?
Ghrelin – this hormone is secreted by the empty stomach. Is associated with the secretion of leptin – when its level decreases ghrelin levels increase. Excess of this hormone causes overeating.
Leptin – is mainly secreted by fat cells and stomach. Leptin decreases hunger. Many overweight people have high levels of leptin, but the signals do not reach the brain properly and these people do not feel satisfied after a meal.
Insulin – insulin is one of the most important aspects in the weight loss, is secreted by the pancreas . An excess carbohydrates or protein consumption is one of the main reasons for insulin overproduction.
Also, stress hormones stimulate appetite and impair digestion (stress, lack of sleep, overtraining, and excessive sugar consumption may also affect the secretion of hormones). Lets not forget about the imbalanced bacteria that sends signals to the brain, which affect the secretion of hormones.
The most importantly we need to understand why do we gain weight. Most people believe that the cause of weight gain is too much fat from diet, too much calories in their food or impaired metabolism and that is quite not true.
Ok, so hormones decide about increased hunger and appetite but do hormones decide about weight loss?
Yes, hormones decide if we lose weight. Insulin is the most important hormone in here. When we eat carbohydrates, the body converts it into sugar during digestion. Insulin helps to remove sugar from the blood by converting it into glycogen that is needed for energy or in triglycerides, which are stored in fat cells. So when we eat too much carbohydrates it turns into fat, not energy. When insulin levels are too high, fat cells are unable to release fatty acids into the blood to provide energy. This happens because insulin is like a key that opens avenues, so if we can’t burn our own fat, we burn sugar. For this reason, it is important to lower insulin levels and shift the body from burning sugar to burning fat.
Our body has a collection of mechanisms. We need to understand those mechanism if we want to understand our body and lose some weight. So let’s stop blaming your willpower!