Do you ever wonder why you’re hungry all the time? Why you can’t seem to satisfy the need to eat? There are a number of reasons for this, but it might be because your body is very good at tricking you into “hunger!”
Social Media can Affect Cravings
One way your body does this is by imagery. If you’re scrolling on Facebook or Instagram, constantly looking at delicious, mouth-watering food… chances are it’s making you think you’re hungry when you’re not! The mind is a powerful thing, and seeing images of food can easily make you want to eat. Be mindful when looking at images of food on social media or in magazines! It might feel fun, but may lead you to eating more than your body actually needs.
Studies have shown that watching TV while you eat is another way your body tricks you into consuming more than you need. Your brain isn’t paying attention to hunger cues when it’s focusing on what you’re watching. It’s harder to tell when you’re actually full! That makes it easy to just keep on eating. Try hitting pause while you eat and take a break from the show or movie! Let your body tell you when it’s ready to stop!
Alcohol is also very effective at fooling your body into thinking it’s hungry. Studies have shown that drinking alcohol leads to the desire to snack! Ever heard of someone having a case of the munchies?? Alcohol will do it to you. This is because alcohol affects the level of leptin in your body. The Leptin hormone lets you know you are satisfied… that you can stop eating. This is why it’s often called the “satiety hormone.” Cut back on the alcohol and stop food cravings!
Sleep and Cravings
As I’ve mentioned before, a lack of sleep can also increase hunger. That doesn’t mean your body actually NEEDS more food, it just makes you FEEL like you do. Tricky, tricky! Get a good night’s sleep to ensure your metabolism is working properly. Also, did you know that being sleep deprived can actually make food look more appetizing? We tend to go for larger portions after inadequate sleep… probably unhealthier ones, too. So, make sure you get your rest and stop those food cravings. Don’t let your body fool you on this one!
Finally, let’s get back to sugar… one of the major ways our body gets tricked. When you eat too much sugar, it creates a hormonal imbalance in your gut. Gut health is important, and we can talk in more detail about that later, but I want to touch on it here. Eating excess sugar slows your body’s production of leptin. Yes, the same hormone affected by alcohol! Since leptin suppresses appetite, when it’s being produced more slowly, your body tells your brain it needs food for a longer period of time than it actually does. Kind of crazy, right?? Who knew sugar could spark a chain reaction!
The Leptin hormone and weight gain go hand in hand. If you want to lose weight, it’s worth learning about how leptin works in the body. Research has shown that leptin resistance, when the body doesn’t respond to the leptin hormone, is a leading factor in weight gain. While that isn’t always something you can control, if your leptin typically functions normally, you CAN make sure you aren’t inhibiting its job by eating too much sugar or drinking too much alcohol!
Leptin hormone is produced by your body’s fat cells. The more fat cells in your body, the more leptin gets produced to slow your appetite. When you have more fat, you need less appetite. That’s what the leptin hormone does—it suppresses appetite. When leptin levels are high, your brain gets the message to the body to start burning more calories, too! So not only does leptin stop you from eating when you don’t need to, it tells your body when to start using the energy stored in your fat cells. The reverse also happens… when your leptin level is low (fewer fat cells), your brain knows to let hunger kick in. You need to feel hungry so you’ll eat and gain energy. Less calories are burned, too. This ensures you don’t starve. When you have enough fat cells to provide your body with energy, you feel satisfied. Some fat is necessary… leptin just helps us get to that right amount! Not too much, not too little.
As you can see, leptin is an important part of the body, and when it’s not working properly, we can feel like we need to overeat! By paying attention to the tips here, I hope you’ll find that your body will guide you in the right direction… to weight loss and good health!
Don’t let your body fool you into eating when you don’t need more fuel! Treat it well and be rewarded in return by stopping those food cravings! When you’re ready to burn more calories with some strength and cardio exercise, check out Lauren Fox on Demand for my online workouts!
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