How to Reprogram Your Appetite to Crave Healthy Foods

Starving? This might be why

You’re not logging enough z’s: Skimping on sleep can make you put on pounds. “Research shows that sleep deprivation reduces leptin and increases ghrelin levels,” says Dr. Aronne. How much sleep is enough? Per Stanford University research, people who slept five hours a night saw their hunger hormones go haywire, compared with folks who slept eight.

You’re beyond frazzled: When your brain is in chronic panic mode, it craves fat-or sugar-filled foods. You would have needed them back in caveman times to replenish after, say, fighting off wild animals, explains Dr. Peeke. Alas, today’s pressures tend to suck your emotional rather than physical energy—so when you polish off a box of doughnut holes, the food just turns to fat.

You’re taking certain meds: Some SSRI antidepressants have been linked to weight gain. Same goes for the migraine meds Depakote and Depakene, as well as certain sleeping pills and blood pressure drugs, says Dr. Lazarus, who is also secretary of the Obesity Medicine Association. If you notice increased hunger or weight gain, tell your doc. She may be able to prescribe an alternative.

 

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