Your body uses many indicators and signals to determine when and how much you should eat. These include blood sugar levels, activity level, time since your last meal, and hormone signaling. One of these hormones — ghrelin aka the hunger hormone — is released when your stomach and digestive system become empty and inactive and is stopped when your stomach is full of food.
Unfortunately, the amount of food required to stop hunger signals varies. Some people require substantially more food to feel full! This can lead to cases where more food is consumed than needed, resulting in an increase of energy stored in fats.
Your DNA also plays a role.
The GHRL gene codes for the ‘hunger hormone’ (ghrelin), a stimulant for appetite and hunger. It signals when you should eat and when you feel full. Certain variants of GHRL may increase how often hunger signals are sent and require more food to feel full. This can cause an increased risk of obesity and higher BMI.
If your variant of the GHRL gene puts you at risk for overeating, you might want to consider the following:
- Contrast how much you eat versus your activity levels. Normally, your hunger and food consumption should increase with activity.
- Choosing foods high in fiber, but low in energy can help you feel full quickly without the risk of overeating.
- High fiber fruits include apples, bananas, raspberries, strawberries, and citrus fruits like oranges.
- High fiber vegetables include beans, peas, and other legumes.
- When in doubt, check the color. Darker fruits and vegetables are usually higher in fiber.
- Staying hydrated ensures that your stomach is full while promoting an active metabolism.
Athletigen can tell you which variant of the GHRL gene you have and how your DNA affects your food intake. Get the Nutrition Report and find out what your nutritional needs are!