The hunger hormone ghrelin is the number one driving factor behind our powerful cravings and hunger that cause us to give up on our best laid diet plans.
In this article you will discover exactly how to block ghrelin to suppress your appetite using 9 different science backed strategies.
How to Block Ghrelin - Explained
Exercise and diets can be hard but nothing compares to those powerful food cravings and hunger that will drive anyone to threw away their best laid eating plans. We all know about the ravenous hunger pangs that we experience when trying to follow a diet.
The culprit behind those hunger pangs is a hormone called ghrelin. It is literally the hormone the drives and causes hunger forcing us to seek out food and eat as much as possible.
Ghrelin is so powerful that it is able to create phantom smells and tastes. This means that some people will get cravings so strong, that they actually smell and taste the food that they are craving. This feeling doesn’t go away until they go out and consume the food they are craving.
Ghrelin even stimulates memories of the happy times when you last ate the food you are craving. It will do anything to get you to go out and break your diet promises.
If you are like most of the people that struggle to lose weight by following a diet, you will know exactly what I am talking about.
The good news is that ghrelin can be beaten. There are several scientifically proven methods to decrease the powers of ghrelin and stay on track with your weight loss plan.
Ghrelin, The Hunger Hormone
Ghrelin is a hormone produced in your stomach. It is often termed the hunger hormone and is responsible for stimulating appetite and driving hunger.
It is released when your stomach is empty and it travels through your blood and to your brain, where it instructs your brain to become hungry and seek out food.
Ghrelin's main function is to increase appetite. It makes you consume more food, take in more calories and instructs your body to store fat.
Ghrelin also affects your sleep cycle and carbohydrate metabolism causing weight gain
This hormone is produced in your stomach and secreted when your stomach is empty. It signals a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which controls your hormones and appetite.
Ghrelin levels continue to increase until you eat and your stomach is full. When full, your stomach stops producing ghrelin.
Factors That Cause Ghrelin to Rise
Ghrelin levels typically rise before a meal, when your stomach is empty. Then they decrease shortly after, when your stomach is full.
Some people that struggle with weight loss, especially those who get uncontrollable hunger and cravings, are just highly sensitive to the effects of ghrelin. This has been proven by a few studies. This means it only takes a small increase in ghrelin for them to go out and consume food.
Another factor that affects ghrelin levels is dieting. Dieting causes several other hormones including ghrelin to go into overdrive.
One study in humans found a 24% increase in ghrelin levels on a 6-month diet.This explains why it is so difficult to stay on a diet for extended periods of time.
How to Block Ghrelin, 9 Strategies to Suppress Appetite
1. How to Block Ghrelin Using Sleep
Many studies have shown that poor sleep increases your appetite, especially for high carbohydrate and high sugar containing foods.
A study on sleep deprivation in young men at the University of Chicago, showed that sleep deprivation can cause up to a 28% increase in ghrelin levels.
This means that, if you get a bad night of sleep you can be guaranteed that you will get serious hunger and cravings for junk food the next day.
It must also be noted that this increase in ghrelin can be initiated by as little as an hour less of sleep a night. Keep your sleep patterns consistent to curb those crazy cravings and appetite.
2. How to Block Ghrelin using Resistance Training and Muscle Mass
It is well documented that resistance training helps you grow muscle and decrease your fat levels, and this is a key driver behind decreasing your ghrelin levels and making you less sensitive to the hunger and appetite stimulating effects of ghrelin.
Many studies have shown that higher amounts of fat-free mass or muscle are associated with lower levels ghrelin. In particular a Danish Endocrinology study showed that lean participants had a 33% lower basal level of ghrelin than obese participants. This means that people with more muscle mass have lower levels of ghrelin to start with.
Muscle also plays a huge role in insulin sensitivity. More muscle and free fat mass boosts the power of insulin and insulin released after a meal is known to have on effect on central ghrelin suppression.
Include some body weight training like squats or push ups into your exercise plan to decrease ghrelin levels.
3. How to Block Ghrelin by Increasing Protein Intake
When it comes to nutrition, it is has been proven that meals high in protein cause a massive decrease in ghrelin. Ghrelin levels immediately drop when protein enters your stomach. The protein l-glutamine has the most profound effect on decreasing ghrelin levels.
A study published in the American Society of Clinical Nutrition showed that a high protein breakfast reduces ghrelin levels by up to 45% more than a high carbohydrate breakfast. The ability of protein to decrease ghrelin levels and suppress appetite is undeniable.
4. How to Block - Stop Yo-Yo Dieting!
Starting and stopping diets causes major damage to your hormonal system. It confuses your body and results in many hormones being thrown off balance.
Researchers at the University of Washington showed how ghrelin levels significantly increase after yo-yo dieting. The researchers also showed that yo-yo dieting has an effect on various androgen hormones, proving how detrimental stopping and starting diets can be towards your hormonal balance.
In order to decrease ghrelin levels we must be consistent with our diets and nutrition. Pick a well-balanced plan and try to stay with it to rebalance your hormones and keep ghrelin in check.
5. How to Block Ghrelin using a Cheat Day
Adding a cheat day into your weight loss plan is a great way to shock your hormonal system and prevent ghrelin levels from increasing due to up-regulation.
A study from the Oxford Centre for Diabetes showed that periods of high calorie intake like a cheat day can reduce ghrelin by up to 18%.
Cheat days are also effective at preventing your fat burning hormones from down regulating. Most importantly cheat days just help you keep your sanity while dieting and losing weight so make sure you give your self a little treat at least once a week.
6. How to Block Ghrelin using High Fibre Bulk Foods
Bulk foods are high in volume but low in calorie content. These are usually foods like broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens and other foods high in fibre.
These foods especially foods high in fibre tend to increase in volume when they entered your stomach. They usually absorb any water that is around them and increase in size.
This causes a dramatic decrease in ghrelin levels and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Make sure you add at least some bulky high fibre foods to every meal. Drinking a glass of water with every meal has the same effect. It increases the volume in your stomach and decreases ghrelin almost immediately.
7. How to Block Ghrelin by Slowing Down Gastric Emptying
The rate at which your stomach pushes food into your small intestine is very important when it comes to ghrelin levels. Foods that move quickly into your small intestine result in ghrelin levels increasing.
Foods that stay longer in your stomach help keep ghrelin levels down. Foods high in protein and fibre help slow gastric emptying.
Colder foods also stay in your stomach longer and the same can be said for spicy foods.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are high in thylakoids, a compound that is known to have an effect on cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 which are responsible for gastric emptying. By affecting these hormones, thylakoids are able to decrease ghrelin levels and suppress appetite.
8. How to Block Ghrelin with Caralluma Fimbriata
Caralluma fimbriate is a natural extract from the cactus plant found mostly in India.
It has been proven to clinically reduce Ghrelin when taking 1000mg a day. The exact mechanism of action has not been established but it has been proven to help obese people prevent hyperphagia (binge eating) episodes.
You can find it in many supplements at affordable prices.
9. How to Block Ghrelin with White Kidney Bean Extract
White Kidney Bean extract prevents the absorption of carbohydrates from the gut into the blood. This effect has numerous knock on effects that decrease the release of ghrelin. This supplement is especially effective in people who are susceptible to carbohydrate cravings.
Incorporate these strategies into your weight loss and fitness plans to help you curb your appetite, make better food choices and ultimately decrease your caloric intake to boost weight loss results.