The Hunger Hormones

I hear a lot lately how it’s not your fault that you’re fat. I don’t want to enable addictions, but if you’re going to blame somebody else, then you can blame the food in industry.  Here’s why.



Leptin and ghrelin are 2 more hormones that need to be manipulated to control weight. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone and was first discovered in 1996 and reported in 1999. Ghrelin increases until you eat with the highest increase just before you eat. It is primarily created in the stomach and stops releasing after the stomach gets stretched. The best thing to eat to keep ghrelin levels down is protein.


The easiest way to manipulate ghrelin for weight loss is by having a glass of water before each meal. The good news about ghrelin is, it’s also the thirst hormone and you may have heard that if you feel hungry you might just be thirsty. That’s a little behind the scenes as to why water might work to cease your food cravings. If you’re going to have that glass of water before a meal, which I have to add, has solely shown to decrease the amount eaten in a meal significantly, but I say why stop at just that when there is much more you can do… why not take some fibre with that?



Fibre is such an important and profound pre-meal weight loss technique, with so many other benefits, but you need to take it with at least one glass of water. You don’t want to find out what happens if you don’t take it with water, but take it from me, it’s painful. The benefits of fibre are too vast to explain here, but here’s a quick list: absorbs calories, improves motility, increases good gut flora, makes you feel full, reduces inflammation, reduces disease, and helps cure what ails you. This whole list contributes to health and weight loss. 


There’s nothing bad to say about fibre except we don’t get enough in our diet and if you follow paleo, I have to mention they had about 10 times the fibre most people get these days. Take the fibre! Dr. Mark Hyman recommends Glucomannan fibre from Konjac root. For more weight loss tips see my article on how to cheat a cheat day.



Ghrelin is the less complicated out of the two. Leptin is more difficult to conquer. Leptin was reported in 1994 and was the first fat cell releasing hormone discovered. The word leptin comes from the Greek word leptos meaning thin.


Leptin’s primary function is to tell the body not to eat more due to the sufficient fat storage. Leptin is primarily created in fat cells, and the more fat cells you have, the more circulating leptin you have. And this is where the food industry becomes the enemy…


leptin resistance

In the same way you can become insulin resistant, as seen in type 2 diabetes, you can also become leptin resistant. Incidentally, the two problems are often seen together due to a lot of the same causes. Leptin resistance is found in obese people. High leptin levels are noted but the receptors aren’t functioning properly to tell the body to stop eating.


The causes of leptin resistance and type 2 diabetes are a diet of highly palatable, high calorie foods. Fructose should be mentioned here, but more importantly, fructose without the fibre from the fruit. Fructose is an extremely sweet tasting sugar and that’s why the food industry uses it to increase the addictive properties of food. Fructose gets modified along with other extra high glycemic sugars which is seen in most packaged foods. Some examples of these sugars are high fructose corn syrup, maltose, and maltodextrin.


Other things that cause leptin resistance are the same things that cause many epidemic diseases of today and are covered pretty well in my article on Leaky Gut Syndrome. However, another quick list is, sugar and sweeteners, gluten, dairy, grains, prescription and nonprescription drugs, lectin, GMO foods, chlorine and fluoride, yeast, preservatives and flavorings, processed foods, mercury, pesticides, BPA from plastics, and infections. I know that’s a big list but it should be obvious why obesity and diabetes is an epidemic in north America. Needless to say, the food industry is my enemy in my fight to contribute to a healthy, happy, and fit society.


The way to beat leptin resistance/diabetes/Leaky Gut Syndrome/depression and everything that ails you, is to cut back on the above mentioned causes as much as you can, and to eat a healthy diet of vegetables, healthy fats, and meats/seafood coupled with proper exercise. I recommend the 10 Day Detox Diet by Dr. Mark Hyman.


For more on how to implement a healthy diet and exercise routine contact me. It is important to note that when you start losing weight your body will start producing less leptin and more ghrelin, but it will level off and you will become more responsive to insulin and leptin.


Another factor in initial weight loss is a decrease in thyroid hormone, sympathetic tone, and energy expending along with increases in parasympathetic tone. This means your metabolism will slow down and you’ll have a decrease in energy.  This isn’t permanent. Care needs to be taken to increase thyroid hormone and reduce cortisol. There are methods to that madness and you can read my article on thyroid hormone and the best way to control cortisol is to implement stress management techniques. Don’t hesitate to contact me for more information on any of this. I will be happy to help you out.


I hope you liked the article. If you did, share it with friends.These are the types of issues I deal with daily with my clients in order to accomplish their fitness goals. I believe in a coach like approach and I help guide my clients to do the things they deem relevant for them and they are seeing really great results. For me the reward is the happiness it creates and seeing the new found confidence in people. WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO PERSONALLY SHOW YOU HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS …FOR FREE?



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On a scale of 1-10 how committed are you with 1 being you just want to sit on the couch eating bon bons and 10 being you would eat broccoli and chicken all day if that’s what it takes.


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