Winning Your Anti Aging Fat Loss Hunger Hormones Challenge

Anti aging fat loss can be totally frustrating when your hunger hormones work against you! Sluggish afternoons with a growling stomach, even though you just had brunch, can pack on the pounds and erode willpower. Your hunger hormone leptin is produced by fat cells and released into the bloodstream as you eat. But, it is not leptin only, you also have the cortisol, estrogen and ghrelin hormones that can trigger a high carb, high fat cravings. So, the big question is, how do you make these hormones work for you and not against you?


Your hunger hormones can make your anti aging weight loss a total wreck if they work against you, because their job is mainly to make you feel hungry. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite and also plays an important role in increasing your body weight. If this appetite hormone acts on your body, can you do anything to control the cravings?



Weight loss can be tough! Stress causes people to overeat. It unleashes the cortisol hormones that can push you towards high fat, sugary comfort foods and overeating. While it can make you have less appetite at first, a long term chronic stress actually boosts your hunger.


Too much leptin swells your appetite, while estrogen hormones make women store fat more in the subcutaneous areas, just under the skin and in the arms and legs, and has a different impact on the deep abdominal fat. An estrogen balance is critical in maintaining and managing your weight.



Manage your stress and always get a good night’s sleep. An increase of your melatonin hormone can protect you against an estrogen dominance. Soy has also a relatively high concentration of some types of estrogen, such as tofu and soy milk.


An extra belly fat may indicate one or more hormonal imbalances, such as high estrogen, low testosterone, low DHEA, high insulin and high cortisol. Hormones play a role in how your metabolism functions, which may include your mood, whether you experience cravings or not, your fat distribution, and your motivation to exercise.


Yes, cravings for more carbs can be terrible for weight loss. Your whole body feels it, and it makes you crazy imagining eating that piece of cake, ice cream or bar of chocolate. What is making these urges and how can you possibly beat it?


Definitely, it can make your appetite control more difficult knowing that it is not just you, but your hunger hormones. The idea of controlling your leptin and ghrelin hormones just made your weight loss efforts a big problem for appetite control and self-discipline.



Here are some reasons you have grown fat

Have you experienced like your stomach may feel full, but you still have that powerful desire to eat more mouthwatering junk foods while watching a movie or TV? Junk foods can muddle the brain’s satiety control mechanism and send your appetite into a hyperdrive.


Sugar and fat can trick the brain into wanting more food. Eating for the sake of pleasure rather than survival is common at this age, especially when you are sitting there and watching TV.


Another reason you have grown bigger is that you eat too much and exercise too little. The difference in the amount of energy you put into your system minus the energy you take out has to be stored somewhere. This constitutes your belly fat! Exercise is relevant, but nowadays, humans are getting better in avoiding physical activity and at not getting enough exercise.


A fulfilling cold soda or softdrinks can make your waist measure more than those who seldom or do not drink at all. A US study found an association between the daily consumption of diet fizzy drinks and expanded waistlines. Daily drinkers had a slight gain in BMI and a greater increase in waist circumference. Does soda make you fat? You can figure it out…


Obesity is an increasing major global concern. If energy intake exceeds energy use, the calories are being stored as fat. Here is the big thing – your leptin levels (appetite suppressor) are higher when you are fat and lower when you are thin.


This the main reason most doctors are encouraging you to be slimmer. Hunger hormones are more difficult to control, especially if you find yourself addicted to sweets and salty processed foods. Beat overeating and take control of your hunger hormones to lose weight fast!



The other major problem is that humans have been known to choose the wrong decisions and don’t always do the things that are good for them. Information about nutrition and healthy living do not always ensure you choose the grilled fish and veggies over the cheeseburger and French fries, right?


The hormone levels surge and recede largely depending on the type of food you eat. To beat overeating, you have to understand which of your hormones is acting out and how to bring it back in line, so you can lose weight and keep it off for life.


The key is not just what you eat and how much you exercise, but understanding which hormone acts out at that moment and dictates your behavior, which includes the growth of your fat cells.


Time is of the essence and you have to get started with your anti aging fat loss diet meal plan now or regret adding more visceral fat in your belly part later. Understand that permanent weight loss requires a long term effort to make sustainable lifestyle changes.



Leptin and ghrelin hormones

Let us review and relate the role of the hormones in controlling the appetite and stimulating hunger. The peptides synthesized and released in the gastrointestinal tract physiologically influences eating behavior.


The ghrelin appears to act as a meal initiator. Ghrelin performs multibiological roles. It stimulates the release of growth hormones and also induces a rise in the concentration of other hormones including the cortisol. Through these multiple mechanisms, it accelerates food intake, and results in a weight gain.


However, ghrelin fluctuates before and after food intake. It increases prior to a meal and then demonstrates a decrease afterwards. The hormone regulates water and fluid intake.


Drinking a glass of water when you are hungry can instantly satisfy and slightly weaken the ghrelin hormones. A glass of water before every meal decreases the amount of food you take by at least 8 ounces.


The best part about this is knowing that drinking water before you eat a meal can efficiently suppress the behavior of the ghrelin hormone. Drinking water at the right time can be good for your weight loss goals. Drink water at least 30 minutes before meal time for maximum benefits.


Listen, I would like to tell you this best ignored information. The more you go on a diet, the hungrier your ghrelin hormone becomes. Diet fails for a lot of reason, but one of the primary ones is simply hunger. The human hunger is exceedingly complicated and finding out ways to deal with hunger while dieting is a huge first step in making diets more effective.



Dieting is like semi-starvation. Semi-starvation triggers the hormone to increase and rise immediately, which has been determined to be one of the reasons many dieters regain weight lost just after a few weeks of living on a diet.


This means, the more you restrict food intake, the hungrier you get. Isn’t this what you have been experiencing now? Start making smart food choices now or stay fat!


How can you lose weight with these little people called hormones acting against your will? By decreasing the inflow of food and reducing caloric intake for as little as a few days, you are able to lessen the cravings.


As your circulating ghrelin adapts to weight loss, your hunger dissipates. Lowered levels of ghrelin not only decrease your appetite, but also help you to develop a leaner body.


As ghrelin diminishes, your growth hormone rises. Can this be the reason slimmer women look younger than the overweight females?


Okay, let us recap in one sentence. An increase of the ghrelin hormones boosts hunger in the long run, but can be gradually satiated by restricting calorie intake.



Controlling ghrelin

Can taking a water break outsmart your hormones? Yes, definitely, you can also outsmart your hormones by drinking water once in a while in a day. This keeps your metabolism humming, balances your hormones, and decreases your appetite.


Be done with diet and eat smartly for life! Get your hormones to work with you instead of against you. Eat on schedule.


Control your environment and stop exposing yourself to fast foods. Keep your home organized and keep unhealthy food out of sight. Try not to put yourself in a situation that can trigger a relapse.


Motivate yourself by creating a positive environment that is conducive for weight loss and can prevent a relapse or poor habits less likely to happen.


Don’t worry about counting your calories if it is too inconvenient for you. Shop healthy foods and eat smartly as best as you can. In short, eat the right amount of foods with balanced nutrients. Eat right to fight hunger and cravings.



Understand your triggers

Getting stressed is a mortal sin. Years ago, scientists discovered the ghrelin as one hormone that has the capability to enhance the appetite.


The hunger hormone is released during a chronic stress, which leaves you predispose to binge eating. Stress is considered as chronic and tends to produce anxiety, depression, and other mental illness.


A palatable food is the key trigger to dieting and stress. Although the signaling systems underlying the human eating behavior are quite complex, the GI signaling systems do play a key physiological function in terms of metabolic control and obesity weight management.



Have you ever caught yourself mindlessly eating, but not hungry and only to realize that a handful of cookies had turned into an entire pack? This is because the energy homeostasis and the motivational aspects of your eating behavior are controlled by the neuronal circuits.


The brain detects alterations in energy stores and triggers metabolic and behavioral responses. The leptin and the ghrelin have a loving relationship with the gut. They influence how the gut communicates with the brain.


The metabolic signals emanating from the gastrointestinal tract, adipose tissue, and other peripheral organs target the brain to regulate feeding and your energy expenditure, which includes the hormones. They do take control over how a person manages the intensity of his eating behavior.



Ghrelin hormones

The only identified hunger driving signal from the gastrointestinal tract is the ghrelin. The peptide hormones communicate information about the current energy balance of the brain, regulate appetite, and regulate energy expenditure.


Binge eating is highly possible when it is evoked by stress and highly palatable food. Remember, fight stress and your stressors. Do not let stress control you or they will overpower you until you get out of shape!


The ghrelin is secreted in anticipation of a regularly scheduled mealtime, referred to as the food anticipatory activity, which depends on your circadian food entrainable oscillators. This may depend on your location and output signals.


Let us make this simpler. In short, the ghrelin depends on your regular scheduled meals. I certainly eat at 7am for breakfast, 11:30 am for lunch, and between 4:30pm to 5:30 pm for dinner.


As a woman, you are at a disadvantage when it comes to getting fat, because women are exquisitely sensitive to the ravages of stress and inflammation. You may have heard about sugar cravings, extra weight hanging around the waist, moodiness, lack of sleep, or perhaps an overwhelmed feeling.


If you have these telltale signs, they are an indication that your hormones start to turn against you, which sets off a vicious cycle of inflammation and likely the type of inflammation that makes any woman overweight.


If you allow these hormones to misfire downwards, it would be difficult to regulate them and at the same time, you will find it harder to try to burn fat, because for sure, you would be left with a broken metabolism!



A highly elevated ghrelin leads to an eating disorder. This is what we call as a flat tire or broken metabolism. The ghrelin is a 28 amino acid hormone and the first described appetite stimulating hormone, which circulates in the blood and sends a message to the brain to stimulate the appetite.


Most of the time, you do not even notice you had a broken metabolism. You are now stuck in the fat storage mode, depositing fat each time you eat, instead of using it as a fuel to energize yourself.


Later in the process, you may develop insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. Reset your hormones and prevent all of this from happening, especially if you are over 40.



Fasting and your ghrelin

Studies revealed that ghrelin concentrations may vary with each individual, but generally rise until a meal is initiated, and then decreased rapidly during the 60 minutes following the feeding and then rise again until the next meal is initiated.


The study suggests that the nutritional state and energy balance are related to ghrelin concentrations, where the method affects the ghrelin differently. Weight loss increases ghrelin concentrations.


The energy balance requires an ability of the brain to detect the status of energy stores and match energy intake with expenditure.


A fall in the blood glucose in the fasted state triggers meal initiation. A rise in glucose terminates feeding.


There is one trick though that can work with your ghrelin – eat more fiber. Leptin resistance is improved by fiber. The reason for this is that fiber adds bulk and volume to your meals without adding calories.


It helps you feel satisfied and stimulates the release of the appetite suppressing hormones adiponectin and cholecystokinin, while lowering insulin and ghrelin levels.


Fiber lowers the glycemic index and glycemic loads of food, which slows the rate at which sugar hits your bloodstream. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are the best sources of fiber.



Fat signals control your brain

The adipose tissue, commonly called as fat, provides the major storage of energy. The body weight and fat are maintained at a constant level inspite of the daily fluctuations in food intake.


The leptin, insulin and the metabolic hormones related to fat stores control the body weight. This is done through feeding and energy expenditure with long term effects or consequences.


The neuronal and hormonal signals from the gastrointestinal tract control and satiety rarely impact the body weight including the adiposity.



How does your body increase ghrelin?

Ghrelin represents a recently discovered gastric hormone that induces hunger and increased fat deposition via central and possibly peripheral mechanisms in response to a negative energy balance.


Ghrelin is a 28 amino acid peptide synthesized mainly in the stomach. Take note that undereating increases your ghrelin and increases it when you are overeating. Your ghrelin levels determine how quickly the hunger comes back after you just eaten food.



Lack of sleep and your ghrelin

Ghrelin levels usually go down 3 hours after a meal. What is the best way to control ghrelin? Get enough sleep.


Sleep deprivation has been associated with an increase of ghrelin and hunger. So, you are now corrected. You thought before that lack of sleep can make you thinner. That is a big no!


The ghrelin levels increase during food deprivation in animals and prior to meals in humans. This can serve as a critical signal to induce hunger during fasting. Food deprivation usually happens during sleep when your body is on a fast mode.


Apart from stimulating food intake and promoting weight gain, the ghrelin has been implicated in glucose metabolism. Ghrelin secreted by the stomach promotes food intake.


A diet high in protein and combined with good carbohydrates, such as whole grains, suppresses the ghrelin more effectively. Compare the diet of the Asians and the Americans. Asians tend to be slimmer than Americans.



Gut hormone’s role in appetite control

The gut hormones function to optimize the digestion process, which includes the absorption of nutrients. Many of the peptides were found to influence the energy intake through the complex neuroendocrine interactions that underlie the energy balance regulation.


These hormones increase satiety and decrease food intake. It is only the ghrelin that acts as the meal initiator. Ghrelin is high before you eat and low after you eat.


Gut hormones send in satiety signals to help you curb your appetite and control your energy intake. The gut brain is known as the enteric nervous system and is made of 500 million nerve cells.


They help control muscular contractions and the secretions of the glands and cells. The gut helps balance hunger and satiety by communicating your hunger and satiety states to the brain.


There is a direct association between food and feeding patterns that can trigger your high eating behavior. Stop eating when you are not hungry anymore and do not start eating if you are not hungry.


Understand that the hormonal circuits from the gut (stomach, small intestine, and pancreas) and fat (adipose tissue) highly affects the sensations of hunger and satiety through your brain.


How do you win your anti aging fat loss challenge? As always, eat when you are hungry and with just enough portions. Remember, energy in = energy out!




Ahima, R. S. & Antwi, D. A. (2008). Brain Regulation of Appetite and Satiety. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 37(4), pp. 811-823.

Isaacs, S. (2012). Beat overeating now: Take control of your hunger hormones to lose weight fast. Fair Winds Press.

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (2013). Ghrelin, a stress induced hormone, prime the brain for PSTD. Science Daily.

Torke, R. C. et al. (2011). The role of the gut/brain axis in modulating food intake. Science Direct.

Wren, A. M. & Bloom, S. R. (2007). Gut hormones and appetite control. Science Direct.



Why you need to control your hunger hormones? For all you know, your lifestyle may be sabotaging the balance and communication of your hormones. Chronic lack of sleep increases ghrelin and make you gain weight. You will know your hormones have gone awry when your body gives you the signal to eat, even though you are not physically hungry. The insulin, cortisol, estrogen, ghrelin, and leptin hormones are important because they way you maintain their balance can impact your anti aging fat loss.

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