What is Hunger and Understanding It...

What is Hunger and Understanding It...

Hunger is our bodies' way of driving us to find food and eat to stay alive. It is a very powerful human instinct which can compel us to extremes of behavior.

Hunger is our bodies' response to having eaten less than normal. It is caused by the brain reading changes in the levels of hormones and nutrients in the blood.

It is our reaction to this feeling that can make us overeat or eat the wrong things. So if we understand our hunger, can we control it better?

Why Do I not feel Full?

How full we feel is strongly influenced by what we eat. If we do not feel full our brains want to keep searching for food.  This is why it is so important to incorporate the right foods into our regular meal plans.  The balloon can help achieve a feeling of fullness, making us eat less however it is important to learn about the right choices and why we may choose certain foods over others.

Different types of food we eat affect the brain in various ways. For example, fatty foods trick the brain into believing that you have eaten fewer calories than you actually have, causing you to overeat. This is because fatty foods such as butter and fried foods contain a lot of densely packed energy.

However, other foods give a lasting sense of fullness. Fiber triggers the release of gut hormones that make you feel full. A low fiber diet though, with little or no wholemeal produce or fruit and vegetables, may leave you open to feelings of hunger which can lead to over eating and craving the wrong foods.

Foods with a low GI (glycaemic index) such as nuts, vegetables and beans release energy more slowly than high GI food such as white bread and sugar. Eating more low GI foods will suppress your hunger by increasing levels of gut hormones that help you feel fuller for longer, thus eating more satisfying foods, eating less, eating better, and losing weight.

Am I eating the Right Foods?

The type of food you eat can make a great deal of difference to how hungry you feel and for how long you feel full.

That’s why you may always hear…. “incorporate more whole grains, fiber, fruits, and veggies into your regular eating habits.”  These categories are critical to losing and maintaining weight loss.

Is Your Body Make Up to Blame?

Two major Hormones which tip the balance between hunger and fullness are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin ( Good Guy)is released from the body's long term fat stores, which we all have, and suppresses hunger while Ghrelin ( the bad guy) causes stomach rumblings as a physical reminder to eat.

Obese people have often have built up a resistance to the effects of leptin.  Which is why they tend to over eat and choose more of a fatty food diet ect. This is because over a long period their bodies have got used to such high levels diminishing its effect. For an overweight person trying to diet the drop in leptin that accompanies any fall in body fat stores can feel like starving as the reduced leptin levels feel too low.

Am I a Comfort Eater?

We are also effected by hormones which influence our appetites.  Ever here someone say I eat like crazy when I am stressed?  Yes your body is releasing hormones when you are stressed and your body is influenced causing a reaction of overeating or reaching for comfort food.  Some hormones affect others differently and you may be influenced to have no appetite at all.

One of those hormones is serotonin which makes you feel happy after eating. Sugary foods produce a quick boost of energy which can elevate mood temporarily.

Food is like a drug, and the same areas of the brain are activated by food as by drug addiction. Food can be strongly linked to social situations such as going out for a meal with friends, so it can be difficult to eat less as this would impact on your social life.

Emotional eating can also be a response to stress. The stress hormone cortisol triggers a craving for foods that give you a fast release of energy – including sugary and fatty food. Stress hormones encourage fat cells to form which gives the body more space to store fat.

Some people overeat when they are stressed or depressed, but others overeat when they are happy. However, there are huge individual differences, and seasonal changes – most people eat more in winter.  Finding the right balance is critical to losing weight, and keeping it off!

Good and Bad Habits

Hunger is caused by a number of factors. The feeling of hunger itself is the result of interactions between the brain and digestive system. But there are ways we can control it.

The context in which you eat is important and habit forming. Eating at regular times can help reduce irresistible feelings of hunger.

Quick diets won't make you feel less hungry, but changing habits can help reduce hunger. Make small, long-lasting changes to diet and exercise. Stick to a list when shopping and don't shop when stressed or hungry.

Eating smaller portions from smaller plates can also help you eat less while not feeling hungry any quicker. However, breaking bad habits can be psychologically difficult and can trigger a return to poor eating or a worsening of diet.  The balloon can assist in helping you eat smaller portions and result in a feeling of fullness faster and staying full longer.  This can also help control the hormones like the Leptin and Ghrelin

If you are looking to better understand yourself, your eating habits, and want to finally lose weight and keep it off, please reach out to us today.  We would be happy to answer your questions and talk with you about how you want to change your life,  change the way you feel about yourself ,and how you eat.

Jump6 is the leading provider in Canada and the U.S for Bariatric services and pride ourselves in being the first gastric balloon provider in Canada.

Call 1-866-375-2452 or 647-667-7473 and a patient coordinator will talk with you today.