Ghreiln: The body's second-biggest asshole


Your body produces a hormone called Ghrelin. Ghrelin is related to your circadian cycle and you experience its release as a feeling of hunger. It’s a hormone that tells you it’s time to eat.

Your body learns to release it at particular times. If you always eat at a specific time of day, your body will notice and start releasing Ghrelin at that time every day. That’s how your body reminds you that it’s time to eat.

Note that Ghrelin being released has nothing to do with whether you’re actually hungry or not. It gets released at the same time every day whether your stomach is empty or full. Have you ever gone out for a gut-bending all-you-can-eat dinner, and woken up the next morning inexplicably hungry for breakfast? You can thank Ghrelin.

What an asshole! It’s like your very own internal stereotypical Italian grandma, always trying to get you to eat more even when that’s the last thing you should be doing.

I’m rarely hungry in the mornings, and it turns out this is why. My Ghrelin release just doesn’t happen until the late morning. But during the times when I eat breakfast regularly, I do start to feel hungry in the mornings. Ghrelin learns my habits and starts to adapt.

Do you want to be a slave to your hormones? Me neither. You can tweak and change your Ghrelin release by simply ignoring the feeling of hunger. Pay more attention to whether you’re full than to whether you’re “hungry”.