Understanding Ghrelin…an Appetite Hormone

ghrelinHormones are the chemical messengers that give instructions to cells, tissues, and organs. When a message needs delivering to a certain body part, hormones are secreted into the bloodstreams where they are transported to the to the specific hormone’s receptors wherever they may be situated.

Researchers have recently discovered a hormone called ghrelin that kicks our appetite into top gear when out tummies are empty. Ghrelin prompts us to eat and it is believed that ghrelin is one of the means used by the body to protect is body fat stores when it senses a food shortage.

When hormones arrive at their destination they ‘fit’ into the receptor just like a key in a lock. A specific chain of events is triggered by the hormone as it does is job and in the case of hunger hormones an empty stomach leads you to feeling hungry and needing to eat. This is one of the roles that ghrelin plays as a messenger that moves directly from the stomach to the brain.

At one point in history…back in the days of feasts or famines that our ancient ancestors endured this would have been beneficial. It was nature’s way of driving us to eat large amounts on the occasions when food was abundant. This way our bodies could stock up on our fat stores in preparation for the next famine.

Research has shown that when you begin dieting, regardless of what you weigh, ghrelin levels rise as the body attempts to battle against what it perceives as health-threatening weight loss. Scientists who specialize in the food industry theorize it is the rise of the levels in this hormone, and the increased appetites that it creates that makes permanent weight loss so difficult to achieve.

When our calories intake drops too low, our action triggers ghrelin to jump in and force us to neat. When this appetite increasing hormone is present and active throughout our body, we are tormented with cravings and urges to not overeat.

Although scientists have yet to fully understand the role ghrelin plays in regulating food intake as it is just one of many that regulate our appetite control system, research has confirmed that it is a food intake initiator as its level rises just before eating and drops immediately after.

It’s obvious that if we want to lose weight and keep it off, we need to be able to keep ghrelin under control.

You can outsmart your hunger with ‘clean’ eating (avoiding chemicals and processed food) and controlling insulin (the fat storing hormone) and other hunger hormones like ghrelin.  The goal is achieved by eating the correct balance of complex carbohydrates and through an increase in the amount of quality protein calories you take in.

The secret is to keep your tummy partially full throughout the day and to avoid at all costs getting excessively hungry. To regulate your appetite and lost body fat we do this by eating 5-7 small meals each day, each one nutritionally balanced. Eating this way knocks the hunger hormone ghrelin right out of the picture and enables you to stay satisfied and energized.

If you are looking for help to stop the “yo-yo” dieting syndrome check out “Rebound Free Weight Loss”

You can succeed at taking weight off and keeping it off…you just need the right help and education.

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