There are two proteins that play an active role in determining whether you feel hungry or not. These are Ghrelin and Peptide YY often abbreviated as PYY.
The ghrelin hormone sends signals to your brain to induce hunger while the PYY has the exact opposite effect.
Therefore, whenever you feel hungry, that is ghrelin at work – it is aptly named The Hunger Hormone.
If you want to conquer hunger and lose weight fast, you must keep your ghrelin levels low most of the time. Here are 12 things you can do to keep it low.
How to Lower Ghrelin Levels to Lose Weight
1. Eat every 4 hours
Ghrelin is highest before a meal and lowest after a meal. This cycle happens every four hours. If you schedule your meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner) within four hours of each other, they will be aligned to the natural production to ghrelin. This way, the ghrelin levels will remain low most of the time.
The worst thing about ghrelin is, there is no appeasing it once it starts rising, unless you give in and eat. The more you stay hungry the higher the levels.
If you eat when ghrelin levels are too high, you will find yourself eating more. It is hard to make healthy food decisions when you are ravenously hungry.
2. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night
Your ghrelin levels drop as you sleep. Your body needs much less energy as you sleep than it does when you are awake. So basically, ghrelin has no business signaling your brain to bring around the hunger pangs.
When you are awake, however, it is business as usual. The four-hour cycle continues and that inspires a rise in ghrelin levels. This might result in you eating into the night which, as a rule of thumb, is never a good idea unless you know exactly what to eat.
The other result might be waking up very hungry and have you eating a larger than necessary breakfast.
3. Pack on the proteins
Proteins reduce ghrelin and increase peptide YY. In other words, they keep you full more and make you hungry less.
This research gave participants a high-protein breakfast and another group a high-carb breakfast. The researchers found that ghrelin concentrations were much lower in the group that had a high-protein breakfast than the high-carb one.
You might want to not just include small portions of proteins in your meals, but make them your main source of calories for the day.
4. Reduce stress
Ghrelin increases when you are stressed, no wonder most people resort to comfort food when they are stressed.
This study suggests that the increase in ghrelin is your body’s coping mechanism meant to counter depression and anxiety.
Also, most people do not eat initially when they are stressed. This pseudo-fast increases the levels of ghrelin and when you start eating, it can get hard to stop.
5. Keep off crash diets
Ghrelin increases when you fast. Most crash diets require you to go for long without food. In this period, you ignore all the hunger signals and cause ghrelin levels to rise. When you finally do it, it can be disastrous and can undo all the good you did while crash dieting.
6. Reduce your sugar intake
Inflammatory foods like sugar increase the amount of ghrelin in the body. Not only should you check your sugar intake, but also keep an eye on highly processed, low-nutrient, high–calorie foods.
7. Use honey instead of sugar
The ills of sugar are endless, but ditching it for honey gives much better results. Honey has been found to delay the ghrelin response after a meal. This means, after taking honey, you will get hungrier much slower thereafter. This is not an excuse to eat too much honey, however.
8. Avoid Low-Calorie Diets
Every weight loss expert agrees that maintaining a calorie deficit is essential for weight loss, however, an extremely low-calorie diet raises ghrelin levels.
This is why most people who lose weight find it hard keeping it off because, after a low-calorie diet, the ghrelin levels go through the roof.
9. Eat more high-fiber foods
High-fiber foods fill you up faster, and ghrelin is suppressed when you are full. Eating high-fiber, low-calorie foods will keep ghrelin levels low besides improving your gut health. Whole grains, leafy greens, and artichokes are good sources of fiber.
10. Do High-Intensity Interval Training
Research has found that ghrelin concentration drops significantly after a HIIT session. The participants’ levels of ghrelin were much lower than they had been before the workout, and this lasted up to thirty minutes later.
Taking part in HIIT two to three times a week will not only bring you closer to your weight loss goals, but will help you keep the ghrelin levels low so that you do not overeat after an intense workout session.
Take advantage of these 28 stunningly simple HIIT workouts.
11. Do not overeat
There are some circumstances that demand us to overeat, like when you are invited to parties and food is aplenty. You have to check yourself so you do not get used to overeating.
Overeating throws ghrelin and other appetite hormones out of sync, such that your body does not effectively know when to feel hungry, when to stop eating and when to store fat. Use these tricks to avoid overeating:
Use a smaller plate
Chew slowly and intentionally
Do not eat when doing other activity
Eat healthy food that you enjoy
12. Eat when you are hungry
Even if you don’t have time to cook a meal, if you are hungry find something healthy to eat so you can prevent the ghrelin levels from increasing.
Ghrelin is one of the hardest hormones to control because basically there is no stopping it once it starts.
Your best control measure is to not allow its levels to rise in the first place by eating healthy portions and exercising to supplement your diet efforts.
Other than keeping your ghrelin levels low, you should also follow this step-by-step system to lose weight.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]