'Tis the New Year and the resolution to lose weight is hovering out there. 

Managing your weight can be broken down into these three basic elements:

Hunger

Satiety 

Caloric Content

Let’s talk about hunger.  When your stomach is empty it releases Growth Hormone Releasing Initiator – Ghrelin for short.  As a matter of fact, the part of the stomach that produces Ghrelin is removed during a gastric sleeve – stopping this hunger signal.  Ghrelin gets into the brain and generates the FEED signal, which is one of the four powerful “F”s that control our behavior (FIGHT, FLIGHT , FEED, and ...).   Triggering the “FEED” response gets your intestines ready to digest food, increases alertness, increases resting muscle tone because large amounts of human growth hormone (HGH) start circulating.  The HGH stimulates your metabolism and motivates you to hunting for food.  When you find food HGH mixes with the Insulin released when blood sugar rises and fat cells grow, making sure there is plenty of space to store the calories you find. 

Now let’s talk about satiety.  When fat cells get full, they produce Leptin, the satiety hormone.   Leptin gets into the brain and blocks Ghrelin’s “Feed” signal and you feel satisfied.  If leptin doesn’t get into your brain you won’t stop eating.  Constantly ravenous is not a good feeling.

Finally, let’s talk about the caloric content of your food. The caloric content your food determines how much Leptin gets into the brain.  The higher the caloric content, the less Leptin gets into your brain.  High starch and sugar foods have the most caloric content and effectively block Leptin.  Ghrelin then shoots directly into your brain every time your stomach is empty, and you just keep on eating – “Bet you can’t eat just one!”  This sets HGH and Insulin into action and fat cells divide like crazy. 

Intermittent fasting is a good way to get the benefits of HGH without the fat production caused by the insulin.  If your body mass index is over 30 consider using Metformin to decrease insulin production on the non-fasting days.  Metformin is a prescription medicine that helps you use Insulin more effectively so you don’t need as much Insulin for the same caloric intake.  It prevents you from forming new fat cells, calorie for calorie, because less Insulin is produced and Human Growth Hormone won’t make new fat cells without Insulin.

Dr. T

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