Two of the main hormones controlling our appetite are ghrelin and leptin. The hormone ghrelin signals for hunger and leptin signals the feeling of fullness. Sometimes these signals can get out of balance. To find out how to control the levels of ghrelin and leptin and restore the balance of hormones in your body, see below.

What is ghrelin and how does it work?

Ghrelin is a hormone that signals the feeling of hunger. It is made from the cells in the stomach and pancreas. It moves inthe blood to the hypothalamus in the brain, where it gives a signal that our energy supplies are running low and we need to eat. The level of ghrelin rises in periods between meals, especially during night timeand falls immediately after a meal.

Leptin – the hormone that tells us to stop eating

The hormone leptin is produced by adipose tissue such as our fat cells. The more fat there is in our body, the more leptin a person will produce. If we have a larger number of fat cells, then there is an increased production of leptin, which suppresses appetite, thus maintaining a constant level of fat reserves.

Why we feel hunger after a meal – impaired function of leptin

The main culprit for violating the basic function of leptin, namely to signal satiety is overproduction of the hormone. It has been observed in people with high levels of fat. These people have a large number of fat cells, all of which produce leptin. Chronic excess of the hormone overloads the receptors in the brain, reducing their sensitivity as a result of which they cease to respond to the signal that they are satiated. This leads to a negative feedback, wherein the decreasing sensitivity to leptin leads to increased appetite, and this in turn leads to increased eating, which in turn leads to accumulation of more fat and increase the production of leptin, ending in a vicious circle.

Restore balance by controlling insulin

Violation of the functions of ghrelin and leptin deplete our ability to intake food in accordance with the real needs of our body. The key player for balancing energy and appetite is the hormone insulin whichcontrols the stockpiling of energy. High levels of insulin signals to the body to begin to store excess calories. Therefore insulin hinders the release of fat energy and facilitates its accumulation in the body.

Insulin performsan indirect role in causing hunger

When we eat something easily digestible, blood sugar levels rise sharply and insulin rushes to push recently consumed sugars to the cells. This dramatically reduces blood sugar levels, as it should, but as a result we often feel hungry again after having eaten. The sharp contrast between a high level of sugar in the blood, followed by a sharp fall, combined with high glycemic index, processed  and easilydigestible carbohydrates isthe main culprit for the accumulation of fat and obesity. More fat cells form in the body and then become resistant to the hormone leptin the brain becomes, and we continue to eat more and more.

Tips to restore the right ratio between ghrelin, leptin and insulin

  • The most appropriate way to achieve the balance of hormones that controls appetite is sticking to a balanced diet. Try and stick to the following tips to return balance to your body:
  • Eat foods rich in fiberto feel full longer (seeds, legumes, root and tuber vegetables).
  • Eat avocados, this helps in detoxification of the liver and is rich in unsaturated fats. It contains a lot of fiber, which helps control hunger.
  • Eat foods rich in nutrients, not calorific or processed foods, but vegetables, fruits, fish . Eating a healthy mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat allows your body to maintain the energy reserves and you will not tortured with attacks of ravenous hunger.

Control the size of your portions.

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