Ghrelin -- The Hunger Hormone


Man Eating Ice Cream in Front of Refrigerator Door

Have you ever felt like your body was fighting against your efforts to lose weight? Often times this is the truth. Despite the best efforts of eating right and getting enough exercise, some people find it extremely difficult to burn fat and lose weight. Some find they hit plateaus in their weight loss program with the scale becoming stagnant and refusing to budge.

Don't Let Late Night Snacks Work Against You

One of the hormones in your body which may be working against you is ghrelin, better known as "the Hunger Hormone." Ghrelin plays a part in regulating appetite as well as a significant role in regulating the rate and distribution of energy throughout your body. Ghrelin works directly within the hunger centers of your brain, activating the reward response to highly addictive, fatty and sweet foods. These cravings typically happen at night, after dinner and before bed, the worst possible time to gorge on unhealthy snacks. With 6 to 8 hours of sleep ahead of you, any food eaten late at night doesn't have a chance to burn efficiently and is typically stored as fat.

Sleep Can Lower Ghrelin Levels

The best thing you can do naturally to lower your ghrelin levels and feel more satisfied is to get a good night's sleep. Studies have shown that even a little bit of sleep deprivation can increase your ghrelin levels which leads to over-eating and fat-storage.

If you are having difficulty fighting cravings before bed and must snack on something, choose a healthy vegetable or high-protein snack to satisfy your hunger. Celery with peanut butter may be a good solution, as can leftover grilled chicken breast from dinner. The key here is to try to avoid the sweet stuff. Nighttime is not the right time for cake and ice cream. Always wait until the next day to enjoy sweet snacks that way your body can burn them off throughout the day.

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