There are least six body chemicals that have a profound effect on your life— and your weight. Their names are strange, and there’s no reason to memorize them. But as weight loss research continues, it’s likely that you’ll see these chemicals mentioned again and again.
- Neuropeptide Y
At the moment, there are no adequate explanations about how each of these affects your weight individually. What researchers do know, however, is that these substances relay messages to your fat cells, blood, brain, and intestines. They play a role in regulating body weight, appetite, eating behaviors, and even the way we think about food.
This is not to say that we are automatons programmed by chemicals. Our eating is also affected by other factors, from psyche to circumstances. Since the whole issue of eating is so complex, no researcher can tell you with absolute certainty why someone can resist the temptation of the bread basket one day but lust helplessly after chocolate cake the next day.
While it’s nearly impossible to know the reasons why you need to eat a particular food at a particular time, it’s very important to be in touch with that desire. You can’t understand all the ways in which chemicals work, but you must listen when they talk to you.
Most dieters have not learned to do this. The urge to eat is a need that must be filled.
If we don’t respond to that urge, the need-to-eat feelings— call them hunger, appetite, or anything else—will get the upper hand. And here’s the irony: as a result of trying not to respond to the need to eat, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to lose weight or maintain weight loss.