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Wholesome and Nutritious Foods

Friday, July 28, 2023 12:48 PM

Photo by Brooke Lark on unsplash.com 
You have often heard that to be healthy you need to eat wholesome and nutritious foods. And that sugar along with foods like bread and pasta are not good your you. 
Well, there is another reason to want to eat wholesome and nutritious foods. It is a question of well-being and feeling content. 
Read the article below for more information. 
*** The source of this article has been lost, but was found online years ago. I hope you find it interesting. 
Balance your Hormones and burn your fat.
If you are constantly hungry and craving the wrong foods, fat loss will always remain a distant dream.
But the great news is that you can easily control your hunger and put a stop to out-of-control cravings - even while maintaining a caloric deficit.
There is true physical hunger... the gnawing and grumbling you feel when your body has a real need for nutrients and caloric energy.
There is also nutritional hunger - your body's innate need for nourishment. Even though you may have consumed more than enough calories, if your body is still starving for nutrients, the result will be a subconscious and nearly constant desire to eat.
Today, we'll cover the most insidious form of hunger and the one that is most responsible for irresistible cravings, binges, and unhealthy emotional eating. We call this hormonal hunger...
Your body utilizes an entire fleet of hormones and neurotransmitters to regulate your metabolism. These chemical messengers control whether you burn fat... or store it. They can also send your brain the "I'm full" feeling... or they can stoke your appetite like an out-of-control wildfire.
Hormonal hunger has little to do with a real need for food. It is primarily caused by eating too much sugar, grains and starchy foods that put your hormones and blood sugar levels on a roller coaster.
Besides the life-threatening risks of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, this can also cause you to overeat, decrease your metabolic rate, and prevent you from burning body fat efficiently.
For the purposes of this message, we'll focus on the three most important hormones when it comes to hunger and the storage and metabolism of fat:
• Insulin
• Glucagon
• Leptin
By controlling these three hormones, you can control your entire hormonal chain of command.
Feeding Your Cells... the Right Way
Blood sugar is the most basic form of "energy" for your cells. And one of the jobs of insulin is to escort this blood sugar into your cells. Without it, the nourishment your cells need would never arrive.
But hormones can be "double-edged swords." Too much or too little can both cause problems.
When you repeatedly eat high-glycemic foods (bread and bagels, pasta, cereal, chips, sweets and candy, sodas, fruit juices, etc.) your body repeatedly sends more insulin into your bloodstream.
Over time, however, your body becomes less responsive to insulin. You must secrete more and more to get the same job done - a condition known as insulin resistance.
If this continues, you will become fat, tired and headed for chronic disease...
The rapid release of insulin can also cause your blood sugar to crash - just as quickly as it spiked. This sudden drop of blood sugar causes powerful cravings for the same foods that spiked your blood sugar in the first place.
If your body becomes accustomed to burning sugar for energy, it will start screaming for it just as soon as it is shuttled out of the bloodstream. You may become edgy, depressed, and weak until those cravings are fed.
Hormonal hunger perpetuates a vicious cycle: you frequently crave foods that raise your blood sugar... which stimulates insulin... which generates more cravings... and the roller coaster continues.
By eating foods that keep your insulin levels low and steady, you help regulate your appetite and control cravings. But you should also know that insulin is balanced by a hormone called glucagon.
The Insulin Balancing Act
• Insulin is a fat-storage and blocking hormone - Insulin lowers your blood sugar by transporting glucose into the muscles and liver. When too much glucose is present, insulin blocks your body from burning fat for energy. It also turns excess glucose into fat.
• Glucagon is a fat-burning and unlocking hormone - Glucagon can raise your blood sugar by converting compounds in your fat cells into glucose. Glucagon tells the body to release stored fat to be used as fuel.
There have been many research studies which illustrate the effects of these two opposing hormones. One of the simplest was featured in the “Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology”. In that study, researchers injected one group of rats with insulin and another group of rats with glucagon.
The rats that received the insulin injections gained body fat and ate more. The rats that received the glucagon injections lost body fat.
The important thing to remember is that insulin promotes fat storage and it keeps you fat by blocking access to your fat reserves. Glucagon, on the other hand, is essential for breaking down body fat and burning it for energy.
So How Do You Stimulate More Glucagon?
Insulin and glucagon are like a seesaw. When insulin is high, glucagon goes down. You can stimulate the production of glucagon by reducing carbohydrates in the diet.
But there is something else that strongly stimulates the production of glucagon - protein! A protein-rich diet promotes glucagon production. This signals to your body that the “hunting is good" and that it is safe to shed excess fat. Of course, protein also provides a long-lasting feeling of fullness.
By eating a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, your body becomes much more efficient at using body fat and dietary fat for energy. Your hormonal state becomes that of a "fat burner" and the food you eat is less likely to be stored as fat.
But there is one more hormone that plays a powerful role in your feelings of hunger... in fact, it has even been called "the hunger hormone."
Leptin - Your Hunger Hormone
Leptin was discovered in 1994 by researchers who were studying a genetic line of mice that continually consumed food until they became morbidly obese.
The scientists discovered that these mice were missing a particular hormone. When the researchers injected this hormone into the animals, it curbed their appetite, stimulated their fat-burning metabolism, and restored them to a normal body weight.
They called the hormone leptin, derived from the Greek word for "thin."
We have now come to understand that leptin is a powerful messenger that performs countless functions (several of which are extremely beneficial when it comes to hunger and body fat):
• Leptin is the primary messenger to your brain that you are full. This shuts down your hunger mechanism.
• Leptin tells your brain how much energy you have and how to use it. When your energy is low, leptin tells your brain to increase your appetite, so you'll start eating. When you have enough energy, leptin tells your brain to stop eating and start burning fat.
• Leptin can even alter the ability of your taste buds to taste sweets. When you have too much leptin in your system, your sensitivity to sweetness goes down and you may tend to overeat sweet foods.
When all of these signals are working properly, you stay feeling full for longer. You don't have uncontrollable cravings for sweets. And your fat is burned for fuel, helping you to stay slim. But just like your body can become resistant to insulin, the same thing can happen with leptin.
Are You Resistant To Leptin?
Leptin is produced in your fat cells. So, the more fat cells you have, the higher your levels of leptin. This helps suppress your appetite and stimulates your metabolism to burn fat. The result should be a return to healthy weight.
But when too many fat cells build up, a protein called CRP sticks to the leptin stifling your ability to burn fat. The end result is leptin resistance, which can prevent your brain from getting the "I'm full" signal. Leptin resistance is also highly correlated with obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Here are four things you can do to improve the ability of leptin to function properly:
• Avoid large, gluttonous meals.
• Reduce your consumption of carbohydrates.
• Never go to bed on a full stomach.
• Eat protein with breakfast.
Restore Your Hormonal Balance
Fortunately, there are some very simple ways to restore your hormonal balance.
As long as you continue to eat a high-carbohydrate, high-sugar diet, your body will continue burning sugar and storing fat. You will require your sugar-fix and you will remain leptin resistant and stay hungry.
To break the cycle, you must retrain the brain to instruct the cells to burn fat as the body's primary fuel. Do this by avoiding foods with a high glycemic load (particularly sugar, starch, and grains) and by using healthy fats and protein as the base for most meals.
Outside of your diet, the most important thing you can do is to exercise at a high level of intensity several times per week. You don't have to exercise for long periods of time. It is the intensity that is most important. This type of exertion is a very powerful way to become more sensitive to insulin and leptin and to master your hormonal chain of command.
Your Personal Hunger Solution
Your permanent plan for lasting weight loss does not require you to eat less, to suffer deprivation, or to muster up super-human willpower. In fact, if you are hungry all the time when you are trying to lose weight, you're probably doing something wrong.
The key is to eat foods that give your body the "I'm full" signal. Instead of focusing on eating less, focus on eating more organic, nutrient-dense foods... more healthy fats... more protein... and more high-fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrates.
These foods are highly satiating and keep you feeling satisfied for hours. They also enhance your metabolism, help to promote a perpetual fat-burning hormonal state, and turn off your hormonal cravings.
And, finally, by choosing nutrient-dense foods and augmenting your diet with nutritional supplements, your body will have the nutrition it requires and won't issue a constant calling for "more food."
As a result, you eat less. Not because you have beaten your appetite into submission with willpower, but because your hunger mechanism is finely tuned and only calls for food when you truly need it.