Ghrelin is a hormone that tells us when we are hungry. The lowest level of ghrelin, which we have after the diet, is higher than the highest we had before the diet. Sounds scary? Read further 🙂

Did you know that 80% of obese people, who through restrictive diets lose a larger number of kilos, all of it back within a year? One of two-thirds of this number returned even more weight than they initially had. We’ve all heard of yo-yo dieting, but do you know what is the explanation that lies behind it? No, lack of willpower is not the answer, so you’re free to stop hazing yourself (or others) for failures in losing weight.

Once again we will try to tell this complex story in a simple way. Yes, a good part of the answer lies in hormones, and this time they are leptin and ghrelin.

In the previous article we have tried to bring the story of leptin and the role that it has in the body and weight loss process. Its main effect is a feeling of satiety, but irregular “work” of this hormone (primarily resistance), is directly connected with overweight

As the main task of leptin is to bring a sense of satiety, so ghrelin is responsible for stimulation of appetite and hunger.

The hormone ghrelin is primarily a stimulator of hunger.


Ghrelin is producing primarily in the stomach and pancreas. It is a major hunger hormone because it increases appetite, food intake, and fat storage. As if all this were not enough, it turned out that also have an impact on the part of the brain that is associated with the reward system, i.e. the amygdala (the amygdala is responsible for the expression and experience of emotion). You know it’s when you eat to be calm or when we are sad? Now, that’s the Gremlin!

How much ghrelin will your stomach secrete depends on the age, sex, BMI, blood glucose, insulin levels, leptin levels, growth hormones and other factors.


How ghrelin is functioning?

In contrast to leptin, which regulates body weight in long term, ghrelin has a current effect. As we said – it is produced in the stomach, but when we are hungry. Its concentration in the blood then is the maximum and through the blood comes a message to the brain: “It’s time to eat!”. Only when we eat, the concentration of ghrelin decreases.

What happens to all of us from time to time is getting too hungry. We have too many commitments during the day, unplanned situations, lack of time … in those moments, ghrelin levels is quite high, and the consequence is quite known – uncontrolled hunger and, in most cases, when we get to the food – overeating.

And what happens when we intentionally ignore these signals of hunger? We decided that was enough with all the surpluses, turned new sheet, as of today only to eat grass, and for brunch we’re going to meditate and repeat affirmations like: “I’m not hungry, I’m not hungry … “. Perhaps in the first two days we get used to the feeling of hunger, but the end result is definitely constantly increased concentration of ghrelin in the blood. Frequent consequence of dieting is a constant feeling of hunger, regardless of the frequency and amount of food that was intake. This is just one of the facts that support the uselessness, popular, restrictive diets. So that the plan, “I’m going to drop dead of starvation a few months, and then I’m going to keep,” falls into the water.

The lowest level of ghrelin, which we have after the diet, is higher than the highest we had before the diet. Think about it …

Ghrelin and growth hormone

Before you become terribly angry at ghrelin, let’s say something in its defense. To begin with, it would not be good if is not there – hunger is a natural and physiological needs, without it we would… die. The body is however smarter than we are and it does not care too much if is currently fashionable to be thin and mild to moderate anorexic. Second, there are people who really are so carried away with work and responsibilities that without these signals would forgot to eat. And third, ghrelin stimulates growth hormone (GH). GH is responsible for growth, reproduction of cells and tissue regeneration. And this is, you will agree, a pretty important …

Here are a few interesting facts about ghrelin:

• Waiting for food contributes significantly to the growth of ghrelin in the blood – as long as you sit and watch the food, it will be stronger secreted;
• Ghrelin is inversely proportional to the intake of food (more food, less ghrelin);
• The most significant reduction of this hormone is recorded after a meal rich in carbohydrates; after a meal rich in fat decline is smaller, but the longer-term, while the researches after protein meal showed contradictory results (some even argue that there is no reduction at all);
• It has been shown that obese people have the lowest, and anorexic have the highest concentration of ghrelin in the blood;
• Chronic stress and lack of sleep are factors that greatly contribute to the rise of ghrelin.

It is increasingly evident that weight loss is not an easy process and it is not enough to endure this diet. There are much more efficient and smarter ways to achieve what we have planned. We may not get it the next day, but again – the less likely you’ll return the kilos. Look again at the advice of the previous text and get to work. Good luck!

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