“Dear Dr. Kealy…
I struggle with willpower & weight loss, especially when it comes to avoiding my favorite comfort foods. I often overeat and rarely feel satisfied after eating a full meal. Why is this happening, and what can I do to change?”
The Reason for Overeating: Leptin vs. Ghrelin
Don’t despair… It’s not your fault, it’s your hormones! The reason for overeating may be caused not as much by your love of chips, as it is from your hormones. In particular, two brain chemicals – ghrelin and leptin – fight for control over your appetite. The way they fight will largely dictate who comes out victorious in the battle of hunger (ghrelin) versus satiety (leptin). When leptin levels are high you will feel satisfied at or before you are full. When ghrelin levels are high your brain receives 9-1-1 signals to hit the pantry. These hormones largely dictate how much, how well, and how often you eat.
The regulation of leptin and ghrelin happens internally. These hormones respond primarily to the types of foods you choose to consume, as well as how much excess body fat you are storing. Some foods will help leptin levels surge, which turns the hunger (ghrelin) switch off, just as others (typically highly processed foods) flip your hunger switch on.
Boost Your Leptin
The key is to continue to focus on eating more leptin-boosting foods, which will help you maintain satisfaction over the long term. Some examples of leptin promoting foods are dark-green, leafy veggies and low-sugar whole fruits, varieties of lean and clean proteins, and healthy plant and animal fats.
In addition to foods, daily walks and exercise also are good ways to increase leptin levels. Ghrelin levels, on the other hand, should shut down hunger signals when your stomach is almost full or when around 70 calories of fats hit your stomach wall (which is equivalent to a small handful of walnuts). But if your diet consists of too many processed vegetable oils, white flour, sugar, or salt, your brain won’t get the signals to turn off your hunger, nor hear your satiety signal!
Here at Balance 3H Plus® I created the Health 365 Test, the most comprehensive hormone blood panel available today. The test will check your hunger hormone levels, offering critical clues to where your imbalances are and how we can customize a weight loss and nutrition plan that resets them naturally. Ultimately you’ll depend less and less on having iron-strength, willpower and more on the powerful impact of hormone balancing!
Learn more about resetting your hormones from Westchester’s weight-loss experts here.
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