In the past nutrition post with talked about leptin and how this hormone is one of the reasons why is hard for you to lose fat and stay lean because you are not satisfied and you feel hungry. In today’s post will talk about another important hormone that works together with leptin, this hormone is called ghrelin.
Ghrelin is the hormone that increases appetite, it tells us when we´re hungry and we need to eat which is the contrary of what leptin does. To keep it simple ghrelin is the hormone that makes us eat. This hormone can also be triggered by several factors and if we triggered it the wrong way it will cause so many problems and make it harder for us to lose weight and stay lean.
Some of our unhealthy habits are triggering this hormone the wrong way and one of them is lack of sleep or poor quality sleep which increases ghrelin and this increases our appetite throughout the day and make us feel hungry.
Studies show that when we follow a weight loss program and reduce calories, ghrelin increases as a response of our body to protect us from starvation, the lower we go in calories the high this hormone goes and the longer we stay with the diet the higher this hormone goes.
So if ghrelin increases and leptin decreases it´s the best way to gain weight and it´s so hard to lose weight and stay lean, we need to keep ghrelin low and leptin high so that our brain gets the right message. We don´t feel hungry all day long and we know when it´s enough at every meal. There are some steps we can take to make this happens which are:
1.- Get enough good quality sleep every night, at least 6 hours per night and make those 6 hours of good quality.
2.- Follow a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate nutrition program at least for a period of time to improve insulin and which also helps to keep appetite more in control.
3.- Follow some type of intermittent fasting having 2 meals per day which also helps lower insulin which helps us lose fat and keep hormones more balanced.
As we´ve seen there are several things that come into play when we talk about getting in amazing shape and sustain it, it´s more about hormones, macronutrients and how everything works together. It´s not only about following a very extreme and restrictive diet low in calories, and just to lose weight fast which will cause more harm to our body, it´s about understanding how things work and doing the right things to be able to sustain our results.
Our body is a complex machine there are different systems and hormone working together and they need to work in harmony to the same goal not only to make our fat loss journey easier but for health reasons.
As we´ve seen, leptin and ghrelin are 2 important hormones that need to be working the right way if we want to lose fat and stay lean and one of the most important fitness principles that trigger them is sleep. If we don´t get high quality sleep every night this 2 hormones won´t be working properly and we have the recipe for weight gain. This is why it´s important to develop good healthy habits for the 5 principles of fitness not only to lose fat and maintain a great physique but for health reasons.
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