Author: Linda Hibbard
Are you hungry all the time? Discover how you can use your body's own hormone, leptin, to keep hunger at bay.
Leptin is a natural hormone produced in our body's fat cells that is secreted after a meal to tell our brain that we are full and no longer hungry. After the meal is digested, our leptin levels fall and our hungry appetite returns.
Use the following 3 keys to ease your rampant hunger and loose your excess fat.
1. Avoid "High-fructose corn syrup" (HFCS), a man made, cheap form of sugar found in soft drinks and many other sweet processed foods. Since The early 1980's intake of HFCS has more than tripled, from around 19 pounds to 60 pounds per person annually. HFCS is not derived from fruit, as one would think. Instead, it is made from corn, and is a highly purified blend of sugars (55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose). Consequently, the body metabolizes this sugar very differently from other sugars. HFCS inhibits leptin secretion so your brain never gets the message that you are full.
Your digestive system has two main hormones that control hunger and appetite. Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach and increases your appetite. When your stomach is empty, it sends ghrelin to the brain requesting food. Leptin tells your brain that you are full. When you eat, your fat cels secrete it so that you stop eating. The problem is that HFCS inhibits leptin secretion, so your brain never gets the message that you are full. And it never shuts off ghrelin, so even though you have food in your stomach, your brain constantly gets the message that you are hungry. When you consider that many American women will often obtain as much as 50 percent of their daily calories from salad dressing (which contains HFCS), you can see why our population is battling with obesity.
2. Eat food low in triglycerides. When triglycerides are elevated in the blood, they prevent leptin from reaching the brain. Avoid dairy fat (such as ice cream and whole milk) which contributes to high triglycerides. Eat more fish and fish oil for lower triglycerides. Activity and exercise lowers triglyceride levels in the blood. A study published in the June 2008 Journal of Nutrition reported that higher intake of HFCS led to increased levels of triglycerides in the blood.
3. Get lots of sleep, at least 8 hours a night. You see, lower levels of sleep contribute to less leptin in the blood. So, lack of sleep can have the same effect as HFCS by causing you to eat more often.
Follow a wholesome diet of fresh, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, low fat meats, fish and poultry, low fat dairy, nuts and legumes with less "processed foods". Make the decision to get added sweetness from whole fruits. Fruit provides a bounty of good nutrients and fiber. When you do this, you will find less hunger cravings and will be using your natural hormone leptin as your ally.
Linda Hibbard holds certificates in Personal Training and Lifestyle/Weight Management. Innovative health and fitness products for men and women are available through her website at http://www.womenspersonalfitness.net