How Ghrelin Levels Can Wreck Your Weight Loss Plan

Woman Eating at Night in Bed

Ghrelin is a little known hormone that can have an outsized impact on your weight loss goals. If you are sticking to a healthy diet and exercising regularly but still have a hard time losing weight, chances are that high ghrelin levels in your bloodstream are at least partly to blame.

What is Ghrelin?

Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your body it is hungry. It is also responsible to regulating and distributing energy throughout your body. Unfortunately, this hormone also activates reward centers in your brain when you eat fatty junk foods.

The Dangers of Eating Before Bed

While there is nothing wrong with an occasional unhealthy treat, eating junk food before bed is one of the worst things you can do if you want to lose weight. Any food you eat at night is almost always stored as fat because your body does not have time to burn it off before you go to sleep.

If you are in the habit of grabbing a late night snack, stock up on healthy, non-fattening foods such as fruit, vegetables with a low-fat dip, low fat yogurt and grilled chicken breast. Better yet, avoid the urge to grab a bite to eat and just go to bed. Studies have shown that getting a good night's sleep lowers your ghrelin levels, thus helping you feel satisfied when you eat during the day.

It's never a good idea to starve yourself in order to lose weight, as this slows your metabolism and makes it easy for you to gain weight in the future. At the same time, you need to maintain a healthy diet if you want to shed pounds and keep them off. Eat a healthy dinner and either avoid bedtime snacks or grab something that won't be turned into fat when you go to bed at night.


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MRC of Vancouver started me going in my attempt to loose 30 years of weight gain!! I have been using their program for about 18 months and have actually lost 30 pounds. I have changed the way I eat. I've learned what foods are best for ME. By analyzing my DNA and hormones, they helped me learn to eat what was right for me. I have "tweeked" my purchases and preparation of food to make eating healthy and still fun for me. I eat lots of veggies and salads and include a healthy diet of protein. These are very satisfying. Do I "cheat" now and then? Yes, but I don't like how I feel after eating sugar and lots of carbs so I return to my good foods quickly and continue to see my weight drop. I walk my little dog four times a day and have a part-time job that allows me a lot of movement. I feel so healthy and wonderful. It's easy to continue to eat and live a more healthy lifestyle! When I confessed about eating the wrong "foods", the gals simply encouraged me and gave me fresh ideas to satisfy my taste buds. I always felt I could be honest during my consultations with no fear of being lectured! I plan to continue until I reach my desired weight. I expect to reach my goal by 2017. After I reach my weight goal, I plan to remain in good health with my new found healthy way of eating the calories I need to maintain my proper weight. My Dr. is very pleased at my progress. She wondered how I have lost 30 pounds.

— Diane P. Heesch Nims-Smith

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