Do you crave certain foods? Are you always hungry between meals? Does your energy fluctuate depending on the foods you eat? Are you gaining weight? More than 60% of Canadians have insulin resistance, a root cause of obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. With insulin resistance, normal amounts of insulin are inadequate to produce a normal response from fat, muscle and liver cells. Individuals with insulin resistance have poor control over blood sugar levels and appetite. Regions of the brain responsible for appetite regulation, like the satiety centre situated behind the ears, respond to after-meal elevations in insulin by increasing glucose uptake, resulting in a decrease in appetite and sense of satiety. Think of the appetite control centre having an “off” button that only responds to insulin and fat. With insulin resistance, the appetite never shuts down.
With the obesity rates reaching epidemic proportions in the last decade, a lot of research has been done in this field.
Researchers have discovered that the satiety centre (situated in the part of the brain behind the air) responds positively to good fats and appropriate blood glucose control.
Here are 8 easy-to-do ways to normalize you appetite naturally:
1. Control food portions.
This is one easy way to monitor you food intake:
Draw a circle as a plate, divide it in half, then again divide one half in 2 halves. Use this model when eating in or out: one half of your plate should be occupied by vegetables- raw is ideal, the other half should be divided about equally between proteins and carbohydrates.
2. Take your time when eating.
Breakdown and assimilation work best in parasympathetic mode (relaxed)
3. Plan your meals ahead of time.
Your impulse to choose the wrong foods will decrease when presented with the opportunity to consume something healthy all ready to go.
4. Drink the necessary amount of water, but don’t mix your foods with liquid. Water needs are calculated according to your weight and activity levels and should be fulfilled between meals.
5. Increase you intake of dietary fibre and protein throughout the day.
Protein deficiency is associated with sugar cravings. A good fibre supplement usually normalizes the blood sugar keeping it constant for a longer time, therefore minimizing the hunger (low blood sugar) sensation.
6.Take a daily multi-vitamin with chromium.
Chromium is an essential nutrient for the health of the pancreas, the organ responsible for making insulin and therefore for glucose metabolism.
7. Engage in a regular exercise program.
Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise has a balancing effect on the insulin metabolism.
These simple strategies usually work well on 90 % of people interested in regulating their appetite.
For the rest, it should be taken as a sign of another underlining condition worth investigation by a health care professional who will help you address the underlining imbalance towards regaining your appetite control