"If hunger is not the problem, eating is not the solution."
Hunger cues, why are they so important?
You know when you feel hungry and you know when you feel full, right? These are your body's hunger cues. Understanding your hunger hormones and how they work is key to maintaining and reaching your health goals.
Ghrelin (think gremlin) is a hormone produced in your stomach when it's empty. It travels through the bloodstream to your brain leading you to feel hungry.
Hello hangry! ;)
Leptin is a hormone made from your body's fat cells. It also travels through the bloodstream to your brain. This hormone leads you to feel full.
When you eat your body fat increases, making your leptin levels rise.
You then eat LESS and burn MORE.
When you don't eat, your body fat goes down, leading your leptin levels to drop.
This means your body will want you to eat MORE and burn LESS.
This mechanism stops you from starving.
When our body goes through extremes of eating too much or too little, something called leptin resistance can come into play. This happens when there is a lot of leptin in your bloodstream but your brain doesn't register it. Leading your brain to want you to eat MORE and move LESS, even though your fat cells are full of leptin!
This is often why diets and restrictive eating do not work. When your body loses a lot of weight, leptin levels decrease leaving the body to think it's starving. Our bodies main job is to keep us alive so it will signal to eat MORE and move LESS.
Not the recipe we are often looking for.
Ever wonder why people who lose a lot of weight quickly often end up gaining some or a lot back? Or have you heard of people "plateauing" in their weight loss journey?
It's because of hunger hormones.
So... what WILL work?
Listening to your body
Reducing processed foods
Increasing protein and complex carbs which will keep you full longer
Sustainable weight loss through healthy habits (if that is the goal)
Consuming a good balance of macro-nutrients (protein/fat/carbs)
Example of a well nourished plate here.
Feel hungry often? Incorporate more protein into your meals to avoid mindless eating.
Don't feel hungry at all? Set a schedule to ensure you are eating enough throughout the day. In some cases, if the amount of food being eaten is high, reduce portions.
Hunger fluctuate throughout the month? Totally normal, just keep listening and questioning your body's signals.
The biggest challenge? Overcoming the restriction and messaging of diet-culture. It isn't easy, but you are allowed to eat the foods you enjoy, embrace your body at every size and love the journey towards whatever goal you are looking to achieve!
Need help? Let's connect! :)