We’ve talked at length in other articles about the effect of certain hormones on the body’s ability to lose weight. Recent research is starting to establish a much more pressing association between hormone control and weight loss. If you can control two metabolism-related hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin, there’s a good possibility your weight will follow suit.
Many dieters struggle after the first month or so to continue the weight loss regimen that they started off so enthusiastically. After showing some initially encouraging gains, weight loss has slowed to a point where the dieter is in limbo, following all of the diet and exercise instructions, and yet not realising the weight loss. You’ve basically hit “The Wall”, just like a long-distance runner. However, all is not lost. According to new research, it appears that the two primary hormones that are linked to weight fluctuation and metabolism change, can be a help. The first is Ghrelin, which causes the body to “feel hungry” and so requires food. The second is Leptin, which we’ve talked about before in previous articles. This chemical makes the body feel “nourished and satisfied”. These two substances work hand in hand and when controlled, can get a dieter over that “Wall Effect”.
We’ll talk here about some of the practices that we can use to help along the dieting process, but bear in mind that some of what we suggest here may contradict what I’ve recommended before. Remember – these are opinions based on factual research and in no way are designed to confuse or deceive. It’s just another way to approach a problem.
Ghrelin is a hormone that’s secreted in the brain and stomach and when released, tells the brain that the body needs food. It generally surfaces in higher levels at 8am, 12pm, 3pm, and 6pm (basically meal times – no surprise there!). Ghrelin cannot be controlled artificially but we can “fool” it. If we can trick it into thinking the body has had its “fill” by consuming high volume foods that are low in calories, that’s half the battle. Lean meats, white fish, and non-fat Greek yoghurt will suppress the Ghrelin effect. Carbohydrate foods such as lentils, sweet potatoes and rolled oats have the same effect. Also, large quantities of water will fill the stomach and reduce those annoying hunger pangs.
Leptin is produced in the fat cells and tells the body that “I’m done”. Usually, the more overweight a person is, the higher the Leptin content, which suggests that the body would require LESS food. That’s not the case according to researchers. Overweight people typically become resistant to Leptin so reducing its “satiating” effect. Frankly, the body needs to have an even balance of Ghrelin and Leptin to reduce weight and provide a curve which leads to consistent results. Here comes a curve-ball. In order to effect this balance, sometimes too much cardio-exercise can cause overproduction of Ghrelin which isn’t what we want, so as always, set your gym schedule in moderation.
The evidence presented here should be somewhat beneficial to those of us struggling to get back on the horse again, and also, those of us having no success reducing belly fat. However, once again, “moderation” needs to be a factor here to make sure that concrete results are obtained without any adverse health effects.
I’d be interested to get any feedback from someone who has tried this hormonal control approach. Tell us in comments about your experience!