Did you know that certain types of hormones trigger the body to overeat? Just like how leptin triggers fat loss, ghrelin triggers hunger pangs. Ghrelin is a hormone produced in the stomach, small intestines, and the pancreas. It serves several functions but is mostly known to trigger hunger. That’s why it’s also called the “hunger hormone.”
Ghrelin works by stimulating the appetite and promoting fat storage. In human beings, an influx of ghrelin hormone increases food consumption by up to 30%. Now, imagine being unable to control the level of ghrelin in the body. You will end up taking in more calories than you should. This inevitably leads to weight gain. To keep your weight in check, you need to know how to control this hormone. And you can do that by adjusting your diet. In today’s post, we are listing down ways to minimize ghrelin production in the body and suppress the appetite:
Never Skip Meals
Don’t wait until you are extremely hungry before you eat. If you do, you will take in more calories. To illustrate, say you missed eating breakfast. When this happens, the energy level of the body dips while the ghrelin level skyrockets. By the time lunch time comes around, you’d be so hungry; you end up eating more than you normally would. And when you habitually skip meals, you eat more. Eventually, you gain weight.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber is an excellent appetite suppressant. It expands in the stomach, making you feel fuller for longer. When the stomach is full, the level of ghrelin in the body remains stable. This keeps hunger at bay! So boost your consumption of high-fiber foods. We recommend eating fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lentils and legumes. These foods also contain more water, prolonging the feeling of fullness.
Are you prone to snacking? Snacking on chips, sweet treats, and junk food is one of the most common causes of weight gain! If you cannot part with your favorite snacks, you don’t have to give up this habit. Instead of avoiding snacking, nosh on healthier snacks instead. For example, if you love potato chips, why not make your own kale chips instead? Kale is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber! Kale chips are very easy to prepare and are so filling too! When you nosh on healthy snacks, you don’t feel as hungry. And this helps keep your figure trim!
Usually, appetizers and starters are fattening. However, if you prepare the starters yourself using wholesome ingredients, you won’t gain weight. Even better, you’ll be able to prolong the feeling of fullness. Instead of going straight to the main course, start your meal with a low-calorie soup or a green salad. Do not use ranch dressing or mayo-based seasonings for the salad. Stick to vinaigrette or balsamic vinegar as dressing. Adding a little extra to your meals can keep hunger at bay for longer. And when you don’t feel hungry, you make better food choices.
Turn to Low-Fat Dairy
Dairy products are packed with protein, an appetite suppressant. Milk and cheese also contain whey and casein. These compounds also keep hunger at bay. However, full fat milk and cheeses are high in calories and cholesterol so they are not diet-friendly at all. If you must have dairy, make it low-fat. Low-fat milk and skim milk contain fewer calories so they are less fattening. The same thing goes for low-fat cheese.