(n.) - Understand the vital interplay of our hunger hormones and how they greatly impact our daily food choices (and cravings) in order to navigate them successfully.

Understanding the reciprocity between insulin – hormone released from your pancreas after you consume carbohydrates, ghrelin – hormone that makes you feel hungry, leptin – hormone that tells your brain your full and satiated and to stop eating and glucagon – your ‘fat burning’ hormone that is released to bring blood sugar back up is paramount to you achieving your health and wellbeing goals.


What are our 9 hunger hormones? How can we do our part to keep them happy? Where does THRIVE fit in? 



What: Storage hormone – takes in glucose (blood sugar), prevents access to fat stores. This is your fat storage hormone.

How: Reduce intake of processed and starchy carbohydrates (these break down into fast sugars) & fructose (sugar from fruits). Increase exercise to make room for more glucose.

Thrive: High fibre foods and low net carbs, omega 3 fatty acids (fish), low glycemic foods, non-starchy vegetables such as dark leafy greens.



What: Hunger hormone – (think gremlin) relies on stretch receptors in the stomach to feel full. As the stomach empties, the release of ghrelin increases. As soon as the stomach is filled, it decreases.

How: Avoid simple carbohydrates, fast carbs such as white flours and sugar, which increase hunger.

Thrive: High fibre foods that tell your stomach stretch receptors to signal to your brain you are full. Ensure you are getting enough protein during your day and eat to satiety.


No. 3 – LEPTIN

What: I’m satiated hormone – produced by fat cells tells the hypothalamus (brain) it is full of stored fat and you no longer feel hungry.

How: Avoid foods that cause inflammation such as sugar and industrialised processed vegetable, seed and soy oils eg: Canola, corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, palm, peanut, vegetable, margarine & anything with the words “hydrogenated” on the ingredient label.

Thrive: Avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed ghee (clarified butter), (know your smoke points for cooking!), all of the anti-inflammatory 5 that make you thrive foods.



What: I’m satiated hormone – produced by cells in the GI tract and nervous system, slows gastric emptying (excellent for blood sugar balancing) and energy metabolism. Signals satiety.

How: Clean protein sources, healthy fats and fibre have been shown to increase CCK.

Thrive:  Fibre rich foods such as non-starchy vegetables, dark leafy greens, chia and ground flax have been shown to double the production of CCK. Protein has also been linked to CCK’s hunger suppressive effects.


No. 5 – GLUCAGON + (GLP-1)

What: I’m full hormone – When food enters intestines it tells the hypothalamus (brain) it is full. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a peptide hormone with important functions in glucose metabolism. This is your fat burning hormone.

How: Avoid foods that cause inflammation such as sugar and industrialised processed vegetable, seed and soy oils eg: Canola, corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, palm, peanut, vegetable, margarine & anything with the words “hydrogenated” on the ingredient label.

Thrive: Intermittent fasting increases glucagon. Protein, leafy greens and anti-inflammatory 5 that make you thrive foods also increase Glucagon.



What: Stimulate hormone – a peptide chemical messenger secreted by the hypothalamus in your brain, controls hunger and thirst, stimulates carbohydrate appetite.

How: Avoid stress, which increases production of NPY and often results in overeating.

Thrive: Intermittent fasting, eat to satiety, protein decreases, or prevents release of NPY.



What: I’m full hormone – produced in the GI tract, released in response to food in the gut, reduces appetite.

How: PYY production is impaired with consistent elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Eating for balanced blood sugar increases PYY production.

Thrive: Consuming the 5 that make you thrive, eating low net carbs (as opposed to simple, fast carbs) with high fibre. Protein has also been shown to increase PYY.



What:  Stress hormone – produced by adrenal glands as a response to stress and inhibits insulin from doing its job correctly.

How: High levels of cortisol results in overeating and subsequent weight gain, especially subcutaneous adipose tissue (belly fat) in women.

Thrive: Exercise has been shown to effectively reduce stress. Sleep is paramount in stress management as cortisol inhibits insulin. Meditation can help reduce stress levels. Eating to satiety on the THRIVE program three times per day.



What: Reward hormone – released when we eat food (especially sugar), same hormone released with any drug addiction.

How: Avoid processed foods, sugar and quickly to break down carbohydrates. Just like any drug our brain will require more of these foods for more of a dopamine hit.

Thrive: My Thrive smoothie (formally known as my Cell Satiating Smoothie, or #CSS) and consuming the 5 that make you thrive keeps you feeling balanced without the mood swings.


Hormone happiness key takeaway:

Managing your 9 hunger hormones can make or break your health, wellness and weight loss (or maintaining) goals. This is why diets and deprivation do NOT work! You simply cannot use willpower to outsmart your biology! It might work for a short period of time, but you and I both know it’s just not sustainable and makes us feel like crap!

Every cell in your body naturally wants to THRIVE and be well. Consuming the 5 that make you thrive along with my THRIVE smoothie each day helps to ensure you have happy hormones, that are balanced and calm. Feeling imbalanced and fighting hormonal hunger along with crazy cravings is what my program mitigates. That’s because you are using the science to feed your body what it needs to THRIVE and have educated yourself. As a result, your body will be properly nourished and you will know how to self-correct if you get off track – how awesome is that?

Phew! That was quite a bit of science! Now you can understand how you can manage your hunger hormones which most women sadly have no idea even exist! Many women who crash and crave stay in that cycle, which prevents them from losing weight or reaching their health goals. When your hormones are all out of whack, so are you! Stick with me now, as we venture into the ‘R’ Real food nutrition for the THRIVE kickstart program.