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Are you always hungry? There’s hope.

September 6th, 2018 | no comments

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When you eat a meal, the expectation is to feel satisfied and for hunger pangs to disappear.

  • But what if that doesn’t happen?
  • What if you never feel full?
  • What if you feel the urge to snack all day long?

Setting out on a journey to healthier eating is a beautiful thing, but often the motivation to continue fizzles out. And it’s not because you stopped caring about yourself, but rather, your body feels hungry and your cravings are out of control.

When I was suffering from binge eating disorder, I never felt full. And I mean never. It didn’t matter how much I ate, my body always wanted to keep on eating. This was a foreign feeling to me, one I couldn’t wrap my head around.

 

Then I learned about a little hormone produced by our fat cells called leptin.

 

It’s a pretty powerful hormone too, one that controls appetite by regulating your brain cells that tell you how much to eat. It also plays a role in weight control.

In a nutshell, lots of leptin tells the brain that we have plenty of fat stored, which sends the signal to stop eating. Low levels of leptin tell the brain we are at risk of starvation and hunger and cravings kick in.

Where this whole system goes a bit haywire is when leptin is being produced in ample amounts, but the brain doesn’t “see” it, creating a condition called leptin resistance.

So what does this really mean?

The brain mistakenly thinks it’s starving and therefore turns on the signal to eat more and expend less, creating the perfect environment for weight gain and making it nearly impossible to shed body fat. What’s worse, the very process of losing weight reduces leptin, so your brain attempts to hold on to body fat by increasing appetite and hunger, while decreasing metabolism. How frustrating!

This invisible, vicious cycle is likely why we blame ourselves for lacking willpower. Only, it has nothing to do with willpower, it’s your body biologically calling out for food.

If what you just read sounds like a carbon copy of your struggles with weight loss and food cravings, please know it’s not your fault.

Diets high in sugar (particularly fructose) and processed foods promote surges of leptin, which overtime, can create leptin resistance. These diets also compromise the integrity of the gut, leading to an overgrowth of bad bacteria.

To regulate leptin, getting back to the basics is in order

This means doing the following on a daily (yes, DAILY!) basis:

  1. Fill your plate with Earthfoods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, avocados.
  2. Eat plenty of healthy fats like coconut and olive oil.
  3. Include a moderate amount of healthy protein, such as beans, lentils, tempeh, organic free-range eggs, wild salmon, organic free-range chicken, and grass-fed beef.
  4. Get a daily dose of probiotic-rich foods and supplements to keep the good bugs growing and the bad ones at bay. 

Remember, what you feed your body most, it will crave!

You deserve to have the craving needle move in a favorable direction, so stop counting calories and start putting the good, whole foods in and before you know it you’ll be begging for broccoli over burgers. Really.

PS: A good way to begin can be found in this week’s recipe pick of Easy Grilled Salmon (over greens & sprouts) drizzled with Primal Kitchen Dressings (see below). 

 

Mel’s weekly food pick:
Primal Kitchen Dressings & Marinades

I’m a big fan of simple dressings and marinades. Give me a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a few cranks of Himalayan sea salt and pepper and I’m a happy girl. 

Sometimes it’s nice to give the tastebuds something different to sing about. I tend to stay clear away from the salad dressing aisle because most of the household-brand dressings (you know what I’m talking about) are filled with vegetable oils, added sugar, and even preservatives. 

Note: You should NOT be using vegetable/seed oils like canola, soybean, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils for dressing your salads or marinating meats or fish (or really for anything!) because they are pro-inflammatory, meaning they induce inflammation in the body.  

Primal Kitchen Salad Dressings and Marinades have it going on! Made with avocado oil, organic herbs and spices, and free of added sugar and preservatives, you are sure to find a flavor you will adore. Check out all of their varieties HERE!

 

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Easy Grilled Salmon (over greens & sprouts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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