I’m about to reveal to you a secret that you may not have ever heard of, but may be the exact reason why you’re not losing weight no matter how hard you workout.
- Ever want to raid the fridge right after dinner?
- Ever find yourself wanting a snack shortly after you’ve eaten lunch or breakfast?
- Do you just find yourself always wanting to eat and never feel satisfied?
You may have high ghrelin levels.
Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
A Nerd Explanation of Ghrelin
A variety of hormones are secreted in the body to control the metabolic process and the signaling system within the body. Emotions, the feeling of hunger, satiety or the feeling of sleepiness are all controlled by hormones. Ghrelin is one such peptide hormone secreted by the P/D1 cells found in the lining of the stomach and by the epsilon cells of pancreas.
Ghrelin also known as appetite regulating hormone is secreted at higher amounts when the stomach is empty and its levels drop after having the meals.
How Does Increased Ghrelin Levels Make You Gain Weight?
After a short note on Ghrelin, let’s examine the role of Ghrelin in gaining weight. If you wait a long time in between meals, then Ghrelin levels shoot up, sends hunger signals to the brain and thus, forcing you to have food. The Ghrelin levels drop down only after the stomach walls have stretched out, or the stomach is full.
I often see people literally try to starve themselves. Then they complain and come to me and ask, “Why Am I Not Losing Weight?” I don’t eat much.
The truth is when they do, they eat huge portions, high calorie foods, and a bunch of sugar and salt. Total recipe for disaster.
So, the food you eat should be filling but low calorie and healthy to bring down Ghrelin levels and ultimately the appetite levels. If you’re eating high calorie foods then Ghrelin levels do not subside, you continue eating high amounts of food and this will result in weight gain and accumulation of fat in the abdominal region.
- Stress increases in Ghrelin levels: Studies show that Ghrelin levels rise when a person is subject to a lot of stress. It continues to remain high until the symptoms of stress start to subside. In a nutshell, stress has profound effect on Ghrelin levels.
- Deprived sleep and increased Ghrelin level: Reduced sleep results in increased levels of Ghrelin. Increase in numbers of sleep hours is associated with reduced Ghrelin levels and thus, reduced appetite.
How To Decrease Ghrelin Levels?
If you’re gaining weight uncontrollably then you should think of a strategy to bring down Ghrelin levels. Not sure, how to decrease Ghrelin levels? Just take simple measures to keep triggers of Ghrelin secretion under control.
- Eat fiber rich foods like vegetable soups and salads for a feeling of fullness faster. Once the stomach is full, cells lining the stomach stop secreting the appetite inducing hormone.
- Ghrelin production cycle starts once in every four hours. Hence, to keep Ghrelin secretion under control it is recommended to eat little amount of food once in every 3-4 hours.
- Sleep for at least seven hours a day as lack of sleep triggers Ghrelin production.
- Take hard to digest proteins like animal protein. These proteins stay in the stomach for a long time keeping the stomach full and thus, inhibit Ghrelin secretion.
- Stay away from stress as increased stress stimulates Ghrelin production and binge eating.
With this understanding of Ghrelin, its role in weight gain, and an understanding that you must formulate a strategy to keep it under control, makes it easier to lose weight and improve your health.
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