Not everyone gets supersized on a fast food diet. Why do some people get fat while others don’t? Researchers are trying to figure out how our hormones and brains urge us to eat more than we should. It turns out that some people’s hormones may actually be signaling their brains to send messages like “Eat a lot now,” and “Go for the fat and sugar.”
The hormones leptin and insulin inhibit the development of obesity when consumption of fat and calories increases. Some people respond very well to these hormones and they don’t gain weight during bouts of overeating. But others are less responsive to leptin and insulin, which makes them more at risk to become obese.
Why does this happen to some of us? It appears that the brain can be programmed to accept a higher body weight by early-life factors. In places where food is scarce, the brain may encourage higher consumption, especially of high fat and sugary foods, even when the food supply becomes more abundant. That’s an adaptive response that helps the body weather periods of food shortages. But the brain may also respond to stress in the same way, encouraging the intake of high fat and sugary foods?comfort foods?that can result in obesity that is nearly impossible to reverse.
We know that exercise is important when it comes to keeping our weight under control, but WHEN is the best time to exercise? And doesn’t exercise make us even hungrier? We used to be told it was dangerous to go swimming right after eating, but now we know that isn’t true?in fact, the BEST time to exercise is after a meal.
BBC News reports that this is because exercising after meals boosts the hormones that suppress our appetites, so we’re actually LESS hungry after a workout.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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