How to Naturally Control Hunger: Beat Cravings, Control Hunger Hormones (GLP-1), and Achieve Healthy Weight Loss

Hunger deeply impacts your mood to decision making. You already know how grocery shopping when hungry results in more processed foods in your cart. Fortunately, scientists have discovered how to naturally control hunger. And it’s easier than you may think. This guide to naturally controlling hunger will help you learn about your hunger hormones, including the infamous GLP-1. Plus, science-backed, natural ways to beat cravings and achieve healthy weightloss.


Hunger, Obesity, & GLP-1

There’s been a two-fold increase in obesity in the last 30 years, driving researchers to find answers. Advancements in the scientific understanding of our hunger hormones, particularly GLP-1, have propelled a skyrocking increase in GLP-1 medication use.

Also known as semaglutide, popular GLP-1 medications include Ozempic and Wegovy. GLP-1 medications mimic a hunger hormone that helps you feel full. However, this drug has undesirable side effects, including GI distress and muscle loss.

Are there ways to naturally control hunger and cravings? Yes, research shows you can naturally increase GLP-1 levels and control hunger with some simple holistic lifestyle habits.


4 Ways to Naturally Control Hunger & Cravings

To naturally control hunger and cravings, science suggests these holistic lifestyle habits may help:


  1. Move Your Body: Head on outside for a short walk – exercise naturally controls cravings, says research. Even a small bout of exercise suppresses the hunger hormone, ghrelin, while increasing the guts’ production of hormones that make you feel satiated (such as GLP-1).
  1. Limit Stress: The stress hormone, cortisol, is linked with the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Reducing stress, and normalizing cortisol and ghrelin levels could be a way to naturally control cravings.
  1. Eat Healthy, Fiber-Rich Foods: Every time you eat fiber, you trigger the natural production of the appetite-suppressing GLP-1 hormones. Microbes in your intestine break down fiber into smaller molecules, called short-chain fatty acids. These short-chain fatty acids then stimulate the release of GLP-1 and peptide PYY that decrease your appetite. 
  1. Eat Adequate Quality Protein: Protein is the most satiating nutrient. Eat protein for a longer suppression of your hunger hormone, ghrelin, according to research. In a study, adult men who ate eggs instead of a bagel for breakfast had lowered ghrelin levels and ate fewer calories for the rest of the day. 
  1. Get Enough Sleep: Hunger hormones are tied to your day’s cycle of light and darkness, called the circadian rhythms. A lack of sleep increases your hunger hormone, ghrelin, while suppressing leptin – the spike in hunger makes junk food cravings (sweets and fatty foods) very tempting.


Understanding Your Hunger Hormones: From Cravings to Appetite Suppression

We all know how our decisions can be profoundly influenced by hunger. The part of the brain crucial for decision-making is surprisingly sensitive to hunger hormones. The hormone ghrelin increases hunger, while leptin and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) medications suppress appetite.

  1. Ghrelin

Called the hunger hormone, ghrelin is produced in your gut. Its effect is hunger. Scientists found this hormone increases activity in the part of the hippocampus in the brain that helps guide our behaviour. The hunger hormone triggers our brains to make us want to eat more.

  1. Leptin

In contrast, leptin suppresses appetite. Stored in adipose tissue (body fat), leptin signals to the brain that you’re full. The amount of leptin in your blood is proportional to the amount of body fat. Thus, obesity leads to a lack of sensitivity to leptin, making weight loss more challenging.

  1. GLP-1

Another appetite-suppressing hormone is GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1). GLP-1 medications, are drugs that mimic a hormone your bodies naturally make when you’re eating. GLP-1 tells your body to start absorbing the food and signals to your brain to suppress appetite. You feel full and satiated, causing you to eat less. Hence, GLP-1 medications have become extremely popular for rapid weight loss. However, these medications also have negative side effects, including gastrointestinal discomfort and muscle loss.

How to Naturally Increase GLP-1

Many macronutrients and phytochemicals are capable of naturally increasing GLP-1. 

Macronutrients: Fiber, protein, and healthy fats can naturally increase GLP-1, according to studies. 

Phytochemicals: Berberine, cinnamon, curcumin, EGCG, gardenia, and resveratrol. 


Natural Alternatives to GLP-1: Foods and Nutrients that Help Control Hunger

Research shows some natural compounds influence GLP-1 release, including:

  • Berberine
  • Cinnamon
  • Curcumin
  • Fiber
  • Gardenia (Gardeniae fructus)
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Protein
  • Resveratrol
  • Soybean
  • Tea (EGCG)
  • Wheat

Learn more about
Holistic Nutrition at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.





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