How to Manage the Hunger Hormone

Woman Eating in Kitchen Late Night

If you’ve been working hard to lose weight, you may find yourself feeling like your body is fighting all your hard work. Sometimes this is true! Even though you exercise and eat right, it’s often tough to lose weight. In fact, it’s common to hit weight loss plateaus where the scale just doesn’t seem to budget at all.

So what’s causing the problem? It could be your hormones. While several different hormones control your appetite and weight loss, ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” and helps regulate energy distribution and appetite. 

When Late Night Cravings Hit

Do you often deal with late night cravings? If so, ghrelin is probably the culprit. It often works on the brain, activating a reward response when you eat sweet, fatty foods. Usually these cravings occur in the evening, which is the worst time to start eating unhealthy snacks. When you fill up on food late at night, your body can’t burn it off efficiently and this food often ends up stored as fat.

Surprisingly Sleep is an Answer

What can you do to beat the hunger hormone and get past your weight loss plateau? Sleep is actually the best answer. Sleep deprivation has the ability to raise ghrelin levels, resulting in more cravings. Even if you’re just a little sleep deprived, ghrelin levels can increase and you may end up overeating at night. Make sure you’re getting your 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Healthy Snacking to Curb Cravings

Sometimes it’s tough to fight off those cravings, so if you do need to snack at night, make sure you go with a healthy snack. Go with something that is high in protein or some healthy veggies. Grilled chicken or celery and peanut butter are both a great choice. Just make sure you avoid processed and high sugar foods at night.


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