Leptin and ghrelin are our hunger hormones and they affect our metabolism.
If your hormone levels are out of whack then so too is your metabolism. As your leptin levels increase so too does your metabolic rate. Leptin is the hunger hormone responsible for making us feel full while ghrelin tells us we are hungry and it’s time to eat.
If you are not sure “What are Hunger Hormones” then follow the link to my article about Leptin and Ghrelin – that will give you a good understanding of what we are talking about here.
The more fat you have in your body, the more leptin is secreted, as the fat cells are responsible for secreting leptin. Your body knows there is enough fat to survive and your leptin is letting your brain know!
Unfortunately, obese people can develop a resistance to leptin over time, which can be problematic, especially for balancing your metabolism. In a properly functioning system, leptin signals to the thyroid that there is adequate fat in the body so you can work on burning it off as opposed to storing it in excess.
Those people who suffer from leptin resistance may feel as though they are ravenous and starving more often than not. This commonly happens when you are following a diet that is excessively restrictive and you are not eating enough to adequately satisfy yourself.
Once this cycle starts, fewer calories are burned and fat storage is increased. Since you do not feel satisfied your appetite will increase and this is where overeating occurs. It may start to get harder and harder to shed the excess weight.
This is why you hear people say my metabolism is slow, or my thyroid makes me fat.
On the other hand we have another hormone that affects your metabolism which has been affectionately nicknamed the “Ghrelin Gremlin” as it is the hormone that makes us feel hungry and causes our appetite to increase. This hormone is produced in your stomach and signals the brain to drink and eat when your tummy is empty.
Interestingly enough, studies show that your ghrelin levels become elevated when you are sleep deprived which is why after a few sleepless nights, you often feel hungrier.
Time to Increase Your Metabolism
If you have been overweight for a while it is definitely time to begin with some positive self-control. Increasing your physical activity levels will help stabilize your hormones as well as help you burn off excess calories. It may require some huge lifestyle changes to bring you to this new level of healthy, balanced hormones, but soon enough, these changes will manifest into your “norm.”
Lifestyle changes such as eating more healthy foods on a consistent basis is the best thing you can do to increase your metabolism.
How Leptin and Ghrelin Affect Your Metabolism
Studies have been conducted that confirm when you skip breakfast, rich, high-calorie foods are more appealing due to the powers of ghrelin. There is also a psychological effect happening where we often feel we “deserve a treat” and it will “be okay to eat something even though it is fattening” due to the fact that we have not consumed any calories for quite some time on account of skipping meals.
This is a danger zone since our metabolism can become severely disrupted when we regularly go into “fasting” states brought on by eating irregularly. Our body believes that it might not receive calories any time soon, therefore it stores fat and is hesitant on burning calories. Over time, this causes our metabolism to become sluggish and slow down altogether.
It may seem paradoxical to eat more and weigh less. However, if you are eating nutritious, protein-rich foods, on a frequent basis, you will kick-start your metabolism into high gear, be able to successfully burn calories, have more energy overall and see positive results.
So now is the time to get active and eat healthy so your metabolism is able to understand what your hunger hormones are telling it!