There’s a crybaby in your gut. It’s called ghrelin, otherwise known as the “I’m hungry” hormone. When your stomach is empty — or thinks it is — it secretes ghrelin, which causes hunger by sending signals to the brain, urging it on to a search-and-destroy mission aimed at any nearby bags of Doritos.
Your belly’s babysitter: Leptin, an appetite suppressor that signals to your brain when you’re full and tells it to stop eating. But just as we can develop an insensitivity to another food-related hormone, insulin, so too can we become inured to the power of leptin, researchers say. The result: your hunger doesn’t shut off naturally, and you continue to eat even when you’re full.
The same factors that lead in insulin resistance — high-sugar, high-calorie foods lacking in protein and fiber — can also cause our brain’s appetite-suppression mechanisms to go awry. But fortunately, some foods have the opposite effect, improving our hunger management not just in the short-term, but over the long haul as well. To whittle your middle down to Zero Belly, eat more of these 9 foods that turn off the appetite tap fast, and keep it off for hours.