"Hunger Hormones" Are a Thing, and Yes, You Can Control Them


Abercrombie & Fitch

Kelly LeVeque is a celebrity nutritionist, wellness expert, and health coach based in Los Angeles, California. Before starting her consulting business, Be Well by Kelly, she worked in the medical field for Fortune 500 companies, eventually moving into personalized medicine, offering tumor gene mapping and molecular subtyping to oncologists. Kelly’s client list includes Jessica Alba, Chelsea Handler, Kate Walsh, and Emmy Rossum. Guided by a practical and always optimistic approach, Kelly helps clients improve their health, achieve their goals, and develop sustainable habits to live a healthy and balanced life. We're thrilled to have her as a contributor for THE/THIRTY! This month, she schools us on "hunger hormones" and how to deal with them.

Hunger is caused by a complicated chemistry of numerous hormones that have the ability to override our “willpower” and drive us to eat. Below is a condensed, high-level summary of a very complicated interplay of how the body strives to keep itself fed and balanced, whether it is given food or not. Normally, these hormones work harmoniously, balance each other, and maintain blood sugar balance, so we never feel too hungry and eat more than is necessary for proper functioning.

Understanding how to eat complex meals to manage your hunger hormones instead of fighting to not eat is the premise of my book, Body Love, and the way my clients learn to eat. They learn to become aware of their hunger, stress, and reward hormones, and diligently shut them down with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead of snacking, they naturally ditch the diet mentality and easily fast four to six hours between meals in a balanced blood-sugar state.

Eating the right mixture of clean, nutrient-dense protein, fat, fiber, and greens helps you eat to satiety; I call them the Fab Four. You’ll be satisfied, full, and easily able to last four to six hours without crashing, craving, or thinking about food. One of the most empowering, liberating things about the Fab Four (which is detailed in my new book, Body Love) is that, together, they naturally balance your various hunger-related hormones—and not just for an hour.

Below, I’ve summarized how the Fab Four specifically help to regulate your body’s hunger-related hormones.