What is ghrelin?
Ghrelin is a hormone that is secreted, mainly by the stomach, with smaller amounts coming from the small intestine, pancreas, and brain.
It’s known to make you crave food, and is therefore known as the “hunger hormone”.
Ghrelin has numerous functions. It stimulates appetite to increase food intake and promote fat storage in the body. This fat storage is essential to keep the body alive in tough physical conditions.
But the benefits of ghrelin aren’t just limited to appetite stimulation. Other functions of ghrelin include the following:
Leptin vs. Ghrelin
Leptin is the satiety hormone that makes you feel full after eating a meal.
The ghrelin and leptin hormones work together in harmony to keep your body weight under control. Both are equally important for your body.
One of the simplest ways of keeping leptin and ghrelin levels balanced is by doing intermittent fasting. Finding the most suitable fasting plan is essential for you to turn this nutrition system into a sustainable lifestyle habit.
As your body gets used to fasting, you secrete leptin faster and ghrelin levels decrease.
This way, you feel fuller with smaller portions. As a natural consequence, losing weight and keeping it at a healthy level gets easier.
What causes ghrelin to rise?
The levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, rise when your stomach is empty. This is your body’s signal that it is running out of fuel and that you need to top it up again with food.
Ghrelin continues to be secreted for 20-30 minutes after you start eating. That’s why we often feel full late and eat more food until we feel satiated.
Eating as slowly as possible and taking a break before having your second plate will help you feel full with less food.
After you eat a meal, your ghrelin level starts to go down and the level of leptin (the satiety hormone) starts to rise, making your stomach feel full.
To reduce ghrelin hormone levels and thus decrease that hunger feeling, here are our essential tips:
- Increase your muscle mass by exercising.
- Eat more protein, legumes and high-fiber foods.
- Since the signals of hunger and thirst can sometimes be mixed, drink some water first when you feel hungry, instead of eating immediately.
- Adopt a sustainable diet to control your weight.
Yo-yo diets are the worst enemy of healthy leptin and ghrelin levels. A sustainable diet such as intermittent fasting can be really helpful to keep these levels in balance without making things difficult mentally.
Are there any ghrelin blocker supplements?
The ghrelin hormone can’t be directly affected by any kind of medication or supplement.
But some companies still advertise pills as ghrelin blockers or ghrelin-suppressing supplements. These pills don’t contain the actual hormone. But they do contain some compounds that can help your body to balance your leptin and ghrelin levels.
Although these supplements should not be the first choice for losing weight, research shows they can sometimes be used as a supplementary method for reducing hunger (3) under the supervision of a medical professional.
To sum up
We know that the balance of leptin and ghrelin hormones is vital for appetite and weight control.
Ghrelin levels can increase when doing typical weight-loss diets, which can make it a real challenge to control your appetite, both physically and mentally.
If you’d like to prevent late-night cravings and feel full with smaller portions, give intermittent fasting a try. And if forming a new habit is difficult for you, Kompanion is just waiting to accompany you on your journey.
Last Updated on June 26, 2023