Everyone wants to know about the one magic pill that can stop the cravings and get them into shape. There might not be a magic pill but there is a natural sensor that is present in the body that plays a key role in appetite control and metabolism called Leptin.
Hunger triggers two kinds of hormones that are released in the body one that promotes hunger and other that suppress hunger. Depending on the requirement of the body the hormone that is required dominates the other serving the need of the hour.
The unfortunate part is that if we dont eat healthy and are always overeating our body becomes easily resistant to the hunger suppressing hormone called leptin. Meaning the more we overeat the more leptin’s are required to make us feel fuller. Over-weight people actually have unusually high leptin levels, but are not responsive to it. Therefore if at this point you were to go on a crash diet to lose weight it will only make you feel hungrier and less energetic. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to give your body time to adjust to the new, lowered leptin level, so it sets that as “normal” and you feel full when you’re supposed to.
Thats why most crash/fad diets fail. Low calorie diets might help you lose weight in the short term but since you are not giving enough time for your body to accept the changes the weight comes back as soon as you get off the diet. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to give your body time to adjust to the new, lowered leptin level, so it sets that as “normal” and you feel full when you’re supposed to. Fitho’s weight loss program keeps this point into consideration while preparing the best diet & exercise plan to help you lose weight and keep it off in the longer run.
Here are some simple do’s and don’t to help you manage your cravings:
High fructose and sugar diets can induce leptin resistance. These sugars actually impair the leptin’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the hypothalamus. So even when the leptin levels are high, not enough is reaching the brain to tell the body to stop eating, which causes you to eat more and pack on the pounds.
The only food that is connected to lowering leptin resistance in the body is Omega 3 found in fish, fish oil, walnut and flaxseed. So before you get on a crash diet, which wont get you too far, you can start by adding rich sources of omega 3 in your diet that will help you atleast control your incessant cravings.
The other natural solution that helps restoring leptin levels is sleep, as it naturally increases the leptin levels in the body. Thats also one of the reason why you tend to crave more food when you are underslept. When you go to sleep, your leptin levels naturally rise – after all, you want to be sleeping, not snacking, so your body knows to cut down on your hunger while you’re resting. Ensure you get your 7-8 hours of sleep daily for better health.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo