EVEN A PERFECT DIET

EVEN A PERFECT DIET AND EXERCISE PLAN CAN BE FOILED BY COMMON FOOD AND LIFESTYLE MISTAKES THAT ACTIVATE APPETITE AND FAT STORAGE HORMONES. STEEL YOUR BODY WITH A BALANCE OF FOOD AND REST.

Eating has become closely aligned with willpower – and weight loss reduced to the discipline to resist what your body says it needs. Yet what many self-flagellating failed dieters don’t realise is that many common (and unremarkable) lifestyle mistakes can stimulate hunger and motivation to eat beyond the body’s survival needs.

Appetite has a cast which includes scores of hormones, neuropeptides and neurotransmitters, says GP and author of Good Health in the21st CenturyDr Carole Hungerford. Food volume and viscosity are far less influential than chemicals released by ingestion of certain foods.

There are physical messengers as well. When we are hungry, the sight and smell of food is pleasing. Our gastric juices flow audibly. If we are full, exposure to food is a matter for indifference, or even nausea Dr Hungerford says. This information is conveyed to the conscious and unconscious brain in what’s known as the neurohumoral loop.

Appetite-regulating chemical messengers have also been found in other parts of the body. Harvard University endocrinologists detected the chemicals in the mouth, liver, stomach and in the intestines.

The relationship between these chemicals is complex and interdependent.

Some of these couriers act rapidly, from meal to meal, controlling appetite and satiety for any single dining experience says Jennifer Ackerman, author of Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream – A day in the Life of Your Body. Others exert their effect over the long term, keeping track of the body’s fat supplies and telling the brain when they’re running low so that it can step up appetite

In other words, while you’re losing body fat, your body’s gathering a task force to get you to restore homeostasis – which is one reason diets don’t work long term.

The long-term signals may spur the production of short-term I’m hungry’ messages or quash them Ackerman says. You’re probably unaware of these chemical fluctuations, but they direct your behaviour, either driving you toward that lunch buffet or letting you get on with your work

Hormone cycles can further complicate how hard it is to resist a second helping; women eat around 12 per cent more in weeks three and four of their menstrual cycle than in the first week, when rising oestrogen acts as a mild appetite suppressant according to Tufts University research.

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