Eating healthy but not easily losing weight?
Marjorie Nolan Cohn, National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says balancing two key hormones, ghrelin and leptin, is key. (1)
In an interview with talk show host Katie Couric, Cohn explains that ” . . . hormones are the signalers in our body . . . they are the control center.” (1) They play a role in weight gain as well as the inability to lose weight once a person is at an obese or overweight stage.
In a nutshell, ghrelin is the hormone that makes a person feel hungry. It typically kicks in at 8:00 am, noon, 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, times which Cohn points out coincide with the usual times people tend to eat meals and snacks. Leptin is the hormone that signals when a person is full. It’s important that the two are balanced so that one does not become leptin-resistant.
How to balance the hormones that can help speed up weight loss
Cohn advises drinking plenty of water since ” . . . thirst and hunger are easily confused,” and eating diets rich in lentils and beans, rolled oats, sweet potatoes and plain Greek yogurt. (1) She explains that such foods have the ability to slow digestion down and keep people feeling full longer.
Sweet potatoes, for example, are high in both fiber and water content, making them an ideal food to stave off hunger (2). Furthermore, they help regulate blood sugar levels which keeps stomach fat at bay (2).
Rolled oats are also an ideal way to fight hunger pangs since they are a low-fat, low-calorie and high-fiber food. (3)
Brazil nuts, avocados, and olives are also foods that can help balance these hormones. (4)
Furthermore, it’s advised to eat as close to the above-mentioned times as possible so as to stay on ghrelin’s schedule and not confuse the body.
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