The Truth About The 'Hunger Hormone'

Are you feeling hungry? Sometimes, a big appetite is indicative of a fast metabolism (via Everlywell). According to Healthline, a fast metabolism causes your body to burn the calories you consume quickly. While many biological factors affect metabolism, you can ensure you have a healthy metabolism by sleeping well, drinking water, lifting weights, and eating protein

In addition to understanding your metabolism, you can recognize how levels of ghrelin impact your diet and body. The naturally occurring chemical is also known as the "hunger hormone."

According to Healthline, a group of individuals who had high levels of this hormone after weight loss reduced their chances of developing metabolic diseases. These individuals were on the green Mediterranean diet, which is more plant-based than the original Mediterranean diet and does not include any red meat (via HealthCentral).

But what exactly is ghrelin, how does it affect your hunger, and how can a healthy balance of the hormone be maintained?

How to stabilize your ghrelin levels

According to EndocrineWeb, the function of the "hunger hormone" ghrelin is to tell your stomach that your body is hungry. Therefore, when your ghrelin levels are at their highest, usually before a meal, your stomach will emit a growl.

Though there is some genetic component in deciding one's ghrelin levels, you can maintain healthy ghrelin levels by eating a balanced diet at regular intervals throughout the day, according to Health. People might have different ghrelin levels than normal after following a diet plan, which can be taken into account when trying to stay in balance.

You can reduce levels of the hormone by eating healthy fats, according to CentreSpringMD. This will lead your body to feel satiated, causing ghrelin levels to dip. The same can be said about eating lots of lean protein and whole grains, which will keep you full for a longer period of time (via EndocrineWeb).

Also, when people are sleep-deprived, they tend to be more hungry. Alaska Sleep Clinic states that this is due to unbalanced levels of ghrelin. Therefore, getting adequate sleep will cause your levels to remain stable.