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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Rockford

Why do you want to eat?

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

Mainly, the main reason is in malnutrition - hormones and genetics are not main contributors to your hunger. The second reason - rapid changes in the diet - 1 day of dieting to lose weight, the next day - eating everything you see. 

The third reason - hormones. But stop yelling: “I’ve told it!”. Try to fix the first two problems before. 

By the way, let’s talk about ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of the peptide hormones, produced in the gastro-enteric tract and regulates appetite. 

There is a direct correlation between the ghrelin level and body mass. Increase of the ghrelin level cause a) appetite increase b) lowering of body fat utilization. From the fitness viewing angle - it’s a completely useless hormone. But we will not claim it useless, because all hormones are needed. Let’s think about the situations boosting ghrelin level, instead. 

Everything said below is based on the data from «Lifestyle factors and ghrelin: critical review and implications for weight loss maintenance» article and you can read it on your own 😃

Ghrelin correlates with the stress level (physical and mental) and cortisol. Stress causes a rise in cortisol production, and cortisol boosts the ghrelin synthesis. The reverse order is also warking - an increase of ghrelin increases cortisol level. 

Naturally, ghrelin increases during the hunger, which means constant hunger (low-calorie diet) leads to the constantly high ghrelin level and cortisol level respectfully. The situation above causes water retention and slow down of body fat usage.

Surely, the calorie deficit will burn everything, but the price for it would be your health and life quality.

Conclusion 1 - Don’t starve yourself.

Mental stress increases cortisol level, which boosts the level of ghrelin in our bodies. Every time you swear like a lumberjack, you became a bit fatter.  

Don’t take it literally - there is a tiny chance to gain 2 kilos in the supermarket queue. Ghrelin cannot create fats from the air - you need to eat before. But the chronic stress will lead to weight gain according to the processes described above. 

Conclusion 2 - Find your zen. 

Physiological stress also increases cortisol level and ghrelin level respectfully. According to recent research, adequate training load (individual thing) lowers the ghrelin level, which is beneficial for us.

But non-adequate physical load increases cortisol level. Ghrelin level raises - body mass goes up too, Thus, 5 and more workouts per week is not the best idea for your health. 

Conclusion 3 - 3 intensive workouts with 4 - 5 exercises per week are better than 6 times per week “beast mode” workouts. 

Just in case, I will repeat it in simple language - all mentioned above wouldn’t change your life. You need to perform strength training. And it’s almost impossible to avoid stress. But try to minimize it! More sleep, good food and sex, of course, and weight loss process will be easier.

Sex and cortisol in the separate post – coming soon! 😃

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