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Ghrelin : Your Hunger Hormone

It is understood that a large percentage of patients that have a great weightloss tend to regain that weight. According to an article published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 33.5% of adults who have experienced substantial weightloss have regained some of it back just after a year of ending their diet program. If a statistic is this large, it must be due to factors beyond just discipline. First, it is important to understand that the human body is designed to gain weight. It is natural for those who have lost weight to regain some weight back. When people follow a certain dietary protocol, their diet is much more restrictive than what is commonly available in a largely obesogenic environment. Their exercise routine is far more intensive than normal as well. What really results in this weight gain is the body’s mechanisms and hormones.

The hormone ghrelin, sometimes knows as lenomorelin, is released to signal that you are hungry and need to eat. The primary organ that releases this hormone is your stomach. When on a calorie restrictive diet, the levels of this hormone significantly increase. Your body feels hungrier. And as a result of this hormone release, your metabolism decreases along with your body’s ability to burn fat. Therefore, when people lose weight, they tend to eat less restrictively and are further encouraged by this hormone to indulge in foods. This causes the body to gain some weight back. This is simply only one of the many factors that increase ghrelin levels in the body. Ghrelin can also be released by the pancreas, the small intestine, and/or the brain.

The difference between gaining some of the weight back and all of it back is an important one. When going on a program, it is important to make sure it is livable. Although your life after a program may not be as restrictive, it should not revert back to the old one that put you at a high weight in the first place. Approaching weightloss methods as habits to introduce into your lifestyle rather than temporary solutions for a long-term healthy body will decrease the chance of regaining weight after substantial weight-loss.


Mawer, R. (2016, June 24). Ghrelin: The "Hunger Hormone" Explained. Retrieved from

Weiss, E. C., Galuska, D. A., Khan, L. K., Gillespie, C., & Serdula, M. K. (2007). Weight Regain in U.S. Adults Who Experienced Substantial Weight Loss, 1999–2002. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(1), 34–40. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2007.02.040

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