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Turn Off Cravings and Turn On Your Appetite

Turn Off Cravings and Turn On Your Appetite

The Hunger Games series dished up a movie annually from 2012 to 2015 to satisfy its fans’ craving for yet another dystopian story of girl power (Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen). But Lawrence seems to know when enough is enough—she’s declared time off for a year (at least).

If you have a hard time knowing when enough is enough—and always crave just one more bite—you know tapping down your hunger is no game. But there’s good news. New research might help you stop overeating.

We’ve talked about how being obese interferes with the proper functioning of your appetite-regulating gastrointestinal hormones leptin (“I’m satisfied”) and ghrelin (“Feed me!”). Well, researchers have identified why another appetite-regulating, gastro-hormone, uroguanylin, stops doing its job. Turns out it’s not obesity but overeating (especially carbs and bad fats) that keeps the hormone from telling you it’s time to stop taking in calories.  

The good news: Uroguanylin production cranks back up when you stop overeating—even before you lose weight! So:

  1. Eliminate processed carbs, bad fats, and added sugars and syrups from your diet. Drink plenty of water—it helps control hunger. Stick with lean proteins from skinless poultry and fish.
  2. Eat all the vegetables and salad (easy on the dressing) you want. Toss greens with walnuts, ¼ an avocado, carrots, celery, bell peppers and artichoke hearts (in water)!
  3. Start a walking routine (headed for 10,000 steps a day). And sleep 6.5-8 hours nightly; your gut hormones like that a lot!

Medically reviewed in July 2018.

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