Smart weight loss is about knowledge, not willpower
What makes you want to eat? However complex your motivations may seem, the hunger game is essentially a game of hormones. Don’t turn it into a power struggle — you can learn how to trigger or suppress the hormones involved in the desire to eat, and stay in control of your appetite.
These hormones were forged during the evolution of our species. Evolution is about survival. That’s why, when you reduce your food intake, you automatically trigger a cascade of hormones whose mission it is to break your will and force you to eat, in order to prevent starvation. It’s not you; it’s your biology.
Of all the hormones involved in making you hungry, none is more potent than ghrelin. That is why it is often called the “hunger hormone”.
Ghrelin is a peptide, secreted principally in the stomach, that stimulates appetite by acting as a hunger signal. It targets the hypothalamus region of the brain and the vagus nerve to stimulate the desire to eat. The vagus nerve is a direct line of communication between gut and brain.
Sooner or later you will succumb. That’s the whole idea. When you eventually and inevitably give up on the diet, you find you overeat to compensate, and regain more weight. It’s a phenomenon somewhat charmingly called “fat overshooting”.
The good news is that high ghrelin secretion is not a given. It is very much influenced by factors that are within your control: what and when you eat. If your goal is to take a healthy, long-term approach to weight loss, you need to plan ahead.
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