Eating all the right things, yet still struggling with cravings? It’s time to reset your hunger signals.
- Why you’re eating more than you need
- How to stop cravings for the wrong foods
- How to control your appetite – don’t let it control you
- How to fit into your skinny jeans
We all love health and foodie blogs, collecting tips and recipes to help us reach our goals. But what happens when it seems we’re doing all the right things but progress just isn’t happening? It’s time to dig a bit deeper. There’s a hidden diet-wrecking factor in your life, that’s making you feel hungrier and messing up your ability to feel full and it’s all to do with imbalanced hormones.
Read on to discover the 3 things that mess up your hunger signals >>
When we are wound up and feel stressed every day (which is the case for most of us), we over-produce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These make changes in our bodies to help us protect ourselves from danger and injury. One of the things they do is to make energy easy to access – i.e. preparing us to deal with a threat. Stress hormones tell our bodies to release sugars into the blood stream, and to store fat around our central organs – this equates to the dreaded weight around the middle!
This process makes us crave foods that give us a lot of easy-access energy – meaning sweet foods and refined carbohydrates. So you can see how too much stress makes it incredibly difficult to lose body fat.
"Stress hormones make us crave sweet food and tell our bodies to store fat around our organs."
ACT NOW – take some small steps to combat stress:
- Can you make your commute to work more enjoyable by listening to music or reading a book rather than the stress-filled papers?
- Can you have an open conversation with your boss?
- Can you say no to people or tasks that wind you up?
- Try breathing exercises or take up yoga.
- Take Organic Burst Maca powder to help you power through your day – it naturally improves hormonal balance, energy and endurance.
- Do more things you enjoy in your life!
LACK OF SLEEP
You might think that if you’re awake longer, being active and burning more calories, rather than lying in bed asleep, then you’ll lose weight. Not so! A short night’s sleep directly affects your hunger hormones – ghrelin and leptin – making you feel hungrier and less able to feel full and satisfied.
Ghrelin is an internal gremlin that stimulates your appetite and it gets over-produced when you’ve had too little sleep. Leptin counteracts ghrelin because it increases your sense of fullness and suppresses appetite, but you produce much less when you haven’t slept. So a bad night’s sleep results in a double whammy of hormone messages leading you to make rubbish food choices.
"Lack of sleep increases your hunger hormone ghrelin, whilst reducing your fullness hormone leptin!"
ACT NOW – Prioritize your sleep and it will get easy to make good food choices:
- Aim for at least 7-8 hours sleep per night – this is your body’s chance to repair, rejuvenate, and rebalance hormones so it’s time well-spent!
- Get to bed by 10pm and aim to be asleep by 10.30pm – earlier if you have an early start the following day.
- Make the bedroom a quiet haven – no phones, TVs or music, and use an eye mask or blackout blinds to stop light waking you up.
- Check out our previous article on improving sleep for more tips.
You may already know that eating too much sugar affects your hormonal balance and hunger messages but you may not know why. Most sugary foods like sweets, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, fizzy drinks are unbelievably lacking in nutrients, plus they give you an immediate, but short-lived buzz of energy, meaning they never satisfy your nutritional needs and leave you wanting more.
When it comes to our hormones, sugar is probably the most disruptive food we can eat, because it causes a lot of insulin to be produced (the hormone that escorts sugar from the blood into the muscles, liver and fat cells), at the expense of all our other hormones, including the lovely leptin (who we met above) that stops us overeating. Unfortunately a lot of foods we think of as healthy are also packed with sugar, so even when you’re trying to eat well, you still disrupt your hormones – don’t let it happen to you!
"Sugar gives you a buzz of energy, but never satisfies your nutritional needs, making you want more."
ACT NOW – Keep your sugar intake in check to balance hunger hormones.
- Watch out for sugar at breakfast - dried fruit in your muesli, supposedly ‘healthy cereals’ that are low fat but full of processed carbohydrate and added sugar. Reduce intake of tropical fruits like pineapple, banana, mango as these are very high in sugar and will spike your insulin.
- Snack on protein foods like nuts, a hardboiled egg, natural yoghurt, spirulina truffle balls instead of something too sweet like chocolate chip cookies with your cuppa!
- Go for water, herbal tea or coconut water instead of fruit juice or sports drinks.
- Energy bars – even healthy, natural brands usually have dates as the first ingredient, these are intensely sweet and, yes you guessed it – they raise your insulin levels.
- Spirulina is an excellent anti-sugar warrior that fights the sugar cravings! Take Organic Burst Spirulina after meals to block dessert cravings, mix 1 teaspoon in a glass of water with the juice of ½ a lemon or take 4 tablets.
Grab back control over your appetite and finally lose stubborn excess weight by resetting your hunger hormones. Make the changes you need to start stressing less, sleeping more and banishing sugar! We hope you’re up for the challenge, comment below and let us know the changes you are making and how you are feeling!