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Hungry Again? The Science Behind Getting Hungry

Do you feel hungry all the time no matter how many meals you eat in a day? And eating too much is also having an effect on your body? Do you want to change this but just cannot control yourself? The answer to all these questions is two words: your hormones.

Our brain mediates everything we think, act and feel. Our brain and body have an ongoing relationship. Our body is in a state of flux all the time and how we feel is affected by how our brain makes us interpret these processes.

Hunger is controlled by hypothalamus, a special part of the brain. It is the part that interprets your hunger signals and tells you when you need to eat. Ghrelin and leptin are the major hormones that regulate hunger. While they are secreted in other parts of the body, they have an effect on the hypothalamus. While there are other hormones as well that affect your hunger, these are the main two. Let’s discuss about them in detail.

Leptin

If you get hungry time and again, it is probably because your adipose tissues are not secreting the right amount of leptin. Leptin sends the signal to your hypothalamus that you have had enough food and there is enough fat in your body and thus you should stop eating or eat less. It sometimes become less effective in communicating the message to the brain or the hypothalamus may have become resistant to the signals sent by leptin, as is the case in obese people.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin is the main reasons you have hunger pangs. It is a hormone secreted from the lining of an empty stomach and travels to the hypothalamus creating feelings of hunger. It also stimulates our appetite. Thus, the more ghrelin released from your stomach, the more likely you are to feel hungry.

Insulin

You may also feel hungry, low and weak if your sugar levels have dropped low. If you are experiencing a shaky feeling because you haven’t eaten the entire day, it is your body asking for some sugar. On the other hand, when there is a high level of sugar in your blood, sugar level is controlled through the release of insulin and it guides sugar to where it is needed. Insulin suppresses your hunger.

The Final Word

Our hormones have a strong control on how our body feels and reacts to the changes taking place in it. In addition to hormones, there are other factors such as lack of sleep, stress and eating too much processed foods that can also affect our appetite and either curb your hunger or increase it. It is important to note that while these changes are taking place in our body all the time, we are not slaves to them. It is you yourself who needs to decide how you react to these feelings and how much control you give them over your mind and body.