Leptin vs. Ghrelin – Hormones Explained and How to Reduce Your Appetite

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Leptin vs. Ghrelin

Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that play a role in weight loss, energy levels, and hunger levels. But what’s the difference between leptin and ghrelin, and what should you do to increase or decrease each of these hormones to reduce your appetite?

Leptin vs. Ghrelin – The Two Hormones Explained

Leptin Explained

Leptin is a hormone that is released from your fat cells after you eat. Leptin tells your body to stop feeling hungry and to start burning calories.

But here’s where things get complicated (and confusing!!). As you gain weight (and get fatter), your body becomes leptin resistant. This is bad! So your goal should be to reduce lectin in your diet. You don’t want to become resistant to leptin.

Ghrelin Explained

Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite. It’s called “the hunger hormone,” and your goal should be to reduce ghrelin levels to lose weight!

How to Optimize Leptin Levels

Your goal should be to optimize leptin levels. Dr. Gundry has a whole book on why you should follow a lectin-free diet. You don’t need to cut out leptin completely, but you should aim to optimize your leptin levels. Here’s how.

Things to Do

  1. Have Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Sources include fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, olive oil, eggs, and flaxseed.
  2. Eat foods with EPTA (a type of omega 3 fatty acids). Foods to eat include wild salmon (not farm-raised!), mackerel, sardines, and herring.
  3. Have protein. Good sources of protein include turkey burgers, wild-caught salmon, eggs, and yogurt.
  4. Have zinc. Have a calcium, magnesium, zinc daily. Foods (“acceptable” according to Dr. Gundry include pasture-raised eggs, pasture-raised meats, and sweet potatoes).

Things to Avoid

  1. A huge dinner. Don’t starve yourself throughout the day!
  2. Alcohol. Limit to 1 glass of wine per day.
  3. Fructose. Avoid soda and candy with high-fructose corn syrup.
  4. Saturated and trans fat.

Ghrelin – How to Decrease Levels to Lose Weight

Here’s what to do to reduce ghrelin levels.

Things to Do

  1. Eat on a schedule. Eating on schedule prevents spikes in ghrelin levels.
  2. Eat high-volume, low-calorie foods. Think lettuce, cucumbers, and spinach.
  3. Have protein. Protein suppresses ghrelin.

Things to Avoid

  1. Alcohol. Alcoholics have higher levels of ghrelin.
  2. A Midnight Snack. Night eating raises ghrelin levels. Try to avoid snacking after 9pm.
  3. Fructose. Check labels for high-fructose corn syrup. Avoid it!
  4. Walking by a bakery. Any high-sugar, high-calorie food that temps you triggers the release of ghrelin in anticipation of sugar.

Have Health Questions?

Have any health-related or fitness questions? Write a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Chrissy from The Jeans Fit (a girl passionate about healthy eating, nutrition, and fitness)

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