The science behind hunger is about more than just our stomachs. Our brains play a huge role in influencing our hunger and eating habits.
Once you understand the nuances and science behind what causes hunger, you’ll have better control over your health, nutritional intake, and mind. If you’re trying to lose weight, you will be able to curb cravings and ensure that you are eating only when your body needs fuel.
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Why We Get Hungry
The science behind food intake is mainly due to two factors: hunger and appetite. Although they both relate to our interaction with food, they are different.
Hunger is physiological. Our body tells us that it needs fuel, which it gets primarily from food and calorie-containing beverages. Following a meal, food is digested, and following a complex interaction between muscle, hormones and neurons, our brains receive a “hunger” signal prompting us to eat again.
Biologically speaking, two hormones play a significant role in our hunger: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells us that we need to eat to get more energy, triggering the feeling we know as hunger. Leptin tells us that we’re full and completely refilled. Both are crucial in helping us regulate and manage our hunger needs.
Ideally, these hormones would guide us to eat only when our bodies genuinely needed food. But, of course, we have all eaten at times when we weren’t really hungry. It is at the point when our body is already adequately fueled, yet we still have the desire to eat, that hunger turns into appetite.
Unlike hunger, appetite is psychological. It is the brain telling us it wants food, even if our bodies don’t actually need food.
When we see delicious foods on TV or some of our favorite snacks while shopping, we feel the sudden urge to eat. That is due to our association of food with pleasure. We may eat particular foods because they taste good or remind us of a positive experience. So, when we see foods we think are appealing and taste good, we may be inclined to eat them because we want to relish the taste again. In essence, appetite is what causes us to eat purely for pleasure and enjoyment, not for fuel.
The body knows how much food it needs to refuel, but the brain needs more guidance. That’s why appetite is more of a psychological than a physical phenomenon. In addition, our brains are more susceptible to outside influences such as smell, food commercials, and social settings. So, for example, when we’re at a BBQ, we may eat or drink more than we usually would because we see food that we like or because our friends are eating, and we don’t want to feel left out.
To sum it up, hunger comes from internal factors, while appetite comes from external factors. One is the need to eat, while the other is the desire to eat.
Ways to Manage Appetite
Having a healthy appetite is a good thing. It’s natural and shows you have unique preferences and tastes.
Appetite only becomes a problem when it gets out of control, causing you to eat far more than necessary on a regular basis.
The good news is that there are different ways to deal with your appetite. You can choose to suppress your appetite, or you can rewire your brain to control your eating habits.
One way of managing your appetite is by practicing mindful eating. In the same realm of mindfulness, mindful eating encourages people to be more aware and conscientious of the experience that comes with food. For example, you can focus on the food’s texture and consistency as you eat.
Mindful eating is about savoring the flavor with every bite. This lets you fully digest and experience the sensations of food. It’s a great practice that trains your mind to think differently about food. It influences you to see food not only as an entity meant to be consumed but as an experience.
Exercising regularly is always great for your health. It helps keep your body active, and you burn calories. In addition, it’s a great stress reliever and mood booster. So, there’s no wonder why you feel great after a workout. But there’s another benefit to exercising: appetite suppression.
Studies have discovered a molecule that has “anti-hunger” effects called Lac-Phe. This molecule is formed during exercise when lactate and phenylalanine are combined, and it has been shown to reduce food intake.
So, if you’re looking for a way to crack down on your eating habits and suppress your appetite, look no further than exercise. The next time you feel an urge for an afternoon snack, go for a walk, play basketball, or do some light jogging. After a few minutes, you’ll likely find that your hunger has subsided and you have regained control of your appetite.
Take exogenous ketones
When our body is low on glucose, it turns to ketones, which are a convenient source of energy created in the liver from fatty acids and can lead to a state of ketosis.
One way to achieve ketosis is through short-term or prolonged fasting. But we can also increase blood ketone levels by ingesting exogenous ketones through drinks like Tecton.
Exogenous ketones, especially ketone esters, help us to get ketones into our system without having to fast or change our diet. Studies have shown that ketone esters can also reduce food intake. The increase in blood ketone levels lowers ghrelin levels, which decreases our appetite. At the same time, our Tecton esters don’t affect blood glucose or insulin levels. So, if you are intermittent fasting, you can safely drink Tecton without interfering with the results of your fast.
Understanding the science behind hunger and appetite can transform your approach to food. It puts you in control of your eating habits instead of the other way around. When you have the power to manage your diet food intake, you can achieve your nutritional goals to perform and Be Great.