-Juliana Mazzeo, MS, CDN, Director
Nutrition Wellness Center of Nassau County
Addressing the causes of hunger, weight loss resistance, weight gain and the solutions to an easier way of achieving weight loss and keeping the weight off!
Meet Leptin and Ghrelin, these are the two main hormones that regulate appetite and hunger and are key players in your weight loss goals.
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells. Leptin signals to the body to stop eating when it is full. However, there is a condition called leptin resistance, which like Insulin resistance has become a very common problem for many. If someone is leptin resistant, the body produces leptin, but the brain is not getting the signal out, and the person remains hungry and continues to eat. The body thinks it is going into starvation mode and tries to increase fat stores to avoid being hungry. If you have used diet and exercise to achieve weight loss, without success, most likely you are leptin resistant.
There are many factors contributing to leptin resistance. The major contributor to leptin resistance comes from the eating foods high in fructose, such as commercial fruit juices and sodas or foods containing high fructose corn syrup HFC, which could be anything from Ketchup to cereals and juices etc.
Ghrelin is a hormone produced in the stomach and secreted when the stomach is empty. It enters the bloodstream and affects a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The Hypothalamus is the first in command to regulate our hormones and appetite. Ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” plays a key role because, in addition to its several other important functions, Ghrelin is in charge of telling the body when it needs to eat. During sleep, ghrelin levels decrease; but sleep deprivation results in too much ghrelin in the system leading to increased hunger. This is one main reason that staying up too late, or missing too much sleep, works against weight loss. During sleep the brain gets a cleaning via the Glymphatic system. Ghrelin levels, and thus hunger also increase under stress, this affects mood and that explains emotional eating and excessive consumption of food during periods of stress.
In a 2020 study on people with Type II Diabetes it was found that an increase in Ghrelin levels caused a significant increase in appetite, therefore, making it difficult to lose weight. In addition, regardless of your weight, Ghrelin levels increase and make you hungry when you start a diet to try to lose weight. This is a natural response by your body, which tries to protect you from starvation. Ghrelin may sound like a mean, diet-wrecking hormone. However, throughout history during food shortages, Ghrelin played a key role in survival by helping people maintain a moderate level of body fat which was essential for survival.
Insulin Resistance occurs because there is an overall excessive consumption of carbohydrates/starches. Because ALL carbohydrates, once digested, turn into sugar/glucose, the pancreas has to work really hard to produce insulin to “push” the glucose into the cells. Insulin Resistance is akin to parking spots. Every cell in the body has “parking spots” for insulin. If those “parking spots” are blocked or taken by other cars, the insulin “cannot park in that spot” to get the glucose into the cells. Once this happens, the levels of glucose start to rise in the blood above healthy levels that the body requires. As people continue to consume more and more carbohydrates, the pancreas responds by make excessive insulin which leads to: Insulin Resistance, Insulin Wastage, weight gain, fat around the belly, and eventually, if not handled, will lead to type II diabetes, kidney damage, circulation problems, cardiovascular disease and dementia which is now known as Diabetes Type III, to name a few.
Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are triggered by the same so called “food/drinks”: a diet high in fructose, in the form of high fructose corn syrup [HFC]. High intake of carbohydrates from starches and fructose is the main cause of non-alcoholic a fatty liver, elevated triglycerides and insulin resistance.
One of the main reasons for weight regain is due to our appetite and weight-regulating hormones, which encourage our bodies to maintain and even regain fat
Now that we addressed the metabolic causes of weight gain. We will address the solutions to getting the weight off and keeping it off, decreasing body fat, restoring and achieving metabolic health, and improving health and vitality.
How they work and the solutions to these metabolic challenges.
In our office, we of course always start with diet. However, diet and calorie restriction alone are not the answer to successful long term weight loss. As discussed, dieting is challenging, stressful and hard to maintain. There is hunger that goes with dieting, there is the metabolic production of hormones that work AGAINST dieting and weight loss, and there is the unrealistic long-term avoidance of carbohydrates which is important in every weight loss program.
We address all these problems with specific key supplements* to address all these areas. The three main products to address these areas are:
• Address hunger during a weight loss program and help the body burn fat, instead of storing it*
• Maintain healthy Leptin levels, which will make it easier to comfortably stay on a weight loss program*
• Use supplement to help stop the absorption of carbohydrates* so they are not stored as fat*
• Address any other issue or complaint such as chronic constipation, poor sleep, sluggish liver etc.*
Hunger when restricting calories or any type of dieting.
A Thermogenic Weight Management Product* for reliable weight loss and appetite control when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program. * This product assists in decreasing hunger and helps the body use fat for energy instead of storing it into fat cells. This will result in weight loss, a decrease in body fat and more energy. This exclusive, clinical-grade combination is only available in this product and is not found in any other dietary supplement*. This product does not contain caffeine or any other stimulants.
A decrease of Leptin and increase of Ghrelin levels during a weight loss program, dieting and restriction of calories.
Restricting food intake during a weight loss program, causes an increase in appetite, and levels of the “fullness hormone” Leptin go down. The metabolism also decreases when restricting calories.
We address this problem with a specific product* that is hormone-free, stimulant-free and made with hypoallergenic, vegetarian ingredients. This product helps maintain healthy Leptin levels*. As discussed at the beginning of this article, Leptin is a hormone that normally decreases during dieting. The decrease of Leptin makes dieting and calorie restriction very difficult and challenging. When the body senses Leptin levels decreasing when dieting, it responds by holding on to its calories because it “thinks” it is going to starve. By maintaining healthy Leptin levels dieting can be much easier so the person can stay on the diet to achieve their weight loss goals.
Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite and hunger. So, when Ghrelin levels are balanced, there is less hunger and appetite when food intake is being restricted, thus once again, making dieting much more comfortable.
While it is very important to reduce carbohydrate consumption because most people consume way more that their bodies can handle, eliminating carbohydrates too fast and for too long can cause fatigue, irritability, mood and sleep disturbances.
A Carbohydrate Blocker that neutralizes starch and helps balance blood sugar and satiety*. Research shows that this bean extract can help block the absorption of carbohydrates (from starch). When this enzyme is blocked, the starch/carbohydrate that is eaten cannot be converted to fat. * This formula also helps to support satiety and balance blood sugar levels within a healthy range*. This is very important because the excess intake of carbohydrates that people eat, keep the blood sugar artificially elevated giving the body a constant supply of blood sugar at all times which people mistake for “energy”. They have no idea how much stress all that consumption of carbohydrates has on their body, especially their pancreas. During a weight loss program, carbohydrates are reduced for many reasons, and specifically to achieve weight loss. The reduction of these carbohydrates can cause fatigue and irritability. Hence the use of this Carbo Block diminishes the unpleasant “side effects” of dieting.
In addition, long term restrictions of carbohydrates can be unrealistic, and a certain amount of carbohydrates are given to each patient according to their particular metabolic makeup and health condition. So, when they do consume some carbohydrates, they don’t have to worry about their body absorbing the carbohydrates and interfering with their blood sugar levels and weight loss program.
In our Weight Loss Programs, these three supplements form the foundation for successful dieting.
Due to individual variations and Metabolic Makeup, some patients may need additional supplements to address any other issues which is specific for them. A good example would be a patient with chronic constipation. A toxic colon is toxic to the body and the brain and works against weight loss. After implementing dietary recommendation to address the constipation, supplements would be used to address the root cause of the constipation, so the body is able to eliminate on its own.
This makes our Weigh Loss Programs customized and tailored for the patient’s specific needs and health concerns so they can reach their weight loss and health goals.