For those of you that remember the movie Gremlins may recognize this cute little guy pictured above, cute at first sight but piss him off and beware. Similarly the hunger hormone Ghrelin can wreak havoc on the body and your ability to control the amount of food you end up stuffing yourself with. I heard about this hormone while listening to the audio book: YOU Being Beautiful by Joel Harper and Dr. Roizen, the book provides insightful facts for the lay person, and the authors add in some sarcastic comedy to keep your attention. I was intrigued to learn more about the hormone and share with all of you. In the last few years scientists have been busy researching this crazy little guy and its activity in the body and have high hopes to find a "vaccine" for obesity that's a whole other post)?! Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced in the stomach and is responsible for sending "feed me" signals to the brain along with that it also provides signals in the accumulation of visceral fat so basically it tells the brain to eat and the body to make more fat! Ghrelin is influenced by genetics, diet, weight, and lifestyle. Those that are overweight have lower levels of this hormone however as they begin to lose the weight the hormone level elevate triggering the yo-yo effect, this is why people that go on a "diet" to lose weight end up gaining it back. Hence why many people who go on fad diets or yo- yo diets end up gaining weight back. The other interesting fact about ghrelin is that it is elevated during night time hours, especially in thinner people. The hormone levels have been found to be correlated with sleep. Think of the last time you were sleep deprived, did you have an increased urge to eat? I have experienced this myself and now it makes sense, the hunger hormone is elevated causing the desire to eat however satiety is not reached because the body really needs sleep to restore hormone levels. Over time this can lead to excess visceral fat and a whole gamut of other issues associated with sleep deprivation. The more I study hormones the more I realize how hard wired the body is and skimping on any one factor can throw off the whole system! Every hormone has a counter hormone in the case of Ghrelin the counter hormone is Leptin which is responsible for triggering satiety. More on leptin next week!
On a side note my cleanse is finally over and I am enjoying proteins again! The light headedness was a nice reminder about how important Protein is. Have an awesome weekend!