Visceral fat lies in close proximity to internal organs in the body, such as the liver and intestines. This precarious positioning means it can interfere with various processes in the body. Some of the most damaging include hampering insulin production – a precursor to type 2 diabetes – and raising your risk of heart disease. Lifestyle habits are known to directly impact certain hormones in the body which make belly fat loss more difficult. With this in mind, what are four ways you can reduce hunger hormones to help shred belly fat?
In order for belly fat loss to occur one needs to be aware of the mechanisms involved in fat loss including storage and hunger hormones.
Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced and released mainly by the stomach with small amounts also released by the small intestine, pancreas and brain.
Ghrelin is termed the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage.
Its levels increase during a diet and intensify hunger, making it hard to lose weight.
Therefore, in order to burn belly fat, ghrelin needs to be reduced with these four methods proving to help.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, postprandial thermogenesis in high-protein, low-fat diets compared to high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets were further investigated.
The study noted: “The recent literature suggests that high-protein, low-fat diets promote a greater degree of weight loss compared to high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets, but the mechanism of this enhanced weight loss is unclear.
“This study compared the acute, energy-cost of meal-induced thermogenesis on a high-protein, low-fat diet versus a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.”
The study involved 10 healthy, normal weight female participants aged 19 to 22 years and consumed a diet of either high-protein or high-carbohydrate diets one for each day.
The study found that postprandial thermogenesis at 2.5 hours post-meal averaged about twofold higher on the high protein diet versus the high carbohydrate diet, and differences were significant after the breakfast and the dinner meals.
Postprandial thermogenesis is crucial when it comes to abdominal obesity and helping to burn more belly fat.
The results concluded that added energy-cost associated with high-protein, low-fat diets and may help explain the efficacy of such diets for belly fat loss.
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In a study published in the National Library of Health, short sleep duration and its association with ghrelin and leptin hormones on body mass index was investigated.
The study involved 1,024 participants from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, a population-based longitudinal study of sleep disorders.
Participants underwent nocturnal polysomnography and reported on their sleep habits through questionnaires and sleep diaries.
The study found that participants who reported sleeping less than eight hours had an increased BMI with short sleep association linked with low leptin and higher ghrelin.
These differences in leptin and ghrelin are likely to increase appetite, possibly explaining the increased BMI observed with short sleep duration, noted the study.
It concluded: “In Western societies, where chronic sleep restriction is common and food is widely available, changes in appetite regulatory hormones with sleep curtailment may contribute to obesity.”
Eat every four hours
One study which was published in the National Library of Health looked at meal timing and its compositing influence on ghrelin levels, appetite and weight loss.
The study noted: “Although dietary restriction often results in initial weight loss, the majority of obese dieters fail to maintain their reduced weight.
“Diet-induced weight loss results in compensatory increase of hunger, craving and decreased ghrelin suppression that encourage weight regain.
“A high protein and carbohydrate breakfast may overcome these compensatory changes and prevent obesity relapse.”
The study found that ghrelin levels were reduced after breakfast by 45.2 percent with satiety being significantly improved and hunger and craving significantly reduced.
Drink more water
Without water, the body cannot properly metabolise stored fat.
The process of metabolising fat is called lipolysis with the first step of this process being hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.
Drinking enough water is essential for burning off belly fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat.
Numerous studies have found that increased water intake led to increased lipolysis and a loss of belly fat.