Manage Your Appetite Hormones with These Tips
Researchers have identified a number of appetite hormones that play a role in appetite regulation. Some names that you may or may not have heard of include: Amylin, CCK, Dopamine, Ghrelin, GIP, GLP-1, Glucagon, Insulin, Leptin, NPY, OXM, PP, PYY, Seotonin. Each hormone plays a specific role in appetite regulation, and in some cases, the appetite hormones work synergistically to respond to hunger cues. Studies suggest that cravings and hunger can occur when levels of some of these hormones are either too high or too low.
Use the following tips to help manage hunger, especially if you’re trying to lose weight:
- Eat at regular, scheduled times daily so you avoid sudden overwhelming hunger or blood sugar suddenly dropping too low (which can instigate cravings or ravenous hunger).
- Eat protein for breakfast which will help to keep you satiated for several hours. Eggs, Greek yogurt, turkey or soy “meats,” nut butters and oily fish like salmon are some good choices.
- Use snacks as a “bridge between meals,” and include a small serving of a whole grain, a protein and a healthy fat.
- Make sure you eat nutrient dense meals that are filling by including fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and legumes in your meals.
- Hydrate throughout the day so you don’t confuse thirst with hunger.
- Have sugarless chewing gum handy so you can occupy your mouth if hunger hits too soon. Clear hot broth or tea can also help to calm you down if you have cravings associated with emotional cues.
- Compile a list of actions and keep the list handy so you can do something rather than turn to food when you’re not hungry. Stepping outside to gather your thoughts or taking a bath or shower if you’re home, can also help.