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Weight Loss Hormones: Ghrelin and Leptin

Updated on October 30, 2012

Ghrelin and leptin are hormones in the body that you should know a little something about if you're interested in the topic of weight loss. Basically, ghrelin and leptin are hormones that we all have but we each have different levels of them. These hormones are related to weight loss as well as to our sleep patterns and in some ways form the link between our internal urges to sleep and to eat. Understanding how ghrelin and leptin work in the body can help us to understand and moderate these urges so we can engage in proper healthy weight loss.

Ghrelin and leptin are both produced in the body. It has been found that thinner people have higher levels of ghrelin production during certain nighttime hours which is lacking in people who suffer from obesity. People who fail to sleep properly over-stimulate their ghrelin production which increases the desire for food. Simultaneously, lack of sleep reduces the production of leptin which is the body's appetite suppressant. So in short, if you don't get enough sleep, the hormones in your body get all out of whack and you think that you're hungry when really you don't need that food. Caving in to such hunger will lead to excess weight gain.

Knowledge about this has led weight loss experts and scientists to work on harnessing the information to assist people in losing weight. This has been realized in the form of an anti-obesity vaccine which reduces the production of ghrelin and therefore reduces weight gain. Although you can use drugs such as these, what you really need to do to start balancing out your ghrelin and leptin hormones is to make sure that you're getting the proper amount of sleep that you need. Why take supplements and vaccines when you can just treat yourself well and naturally lose weight?

Getting the right amount of sleep can be the first step to making sure that you're getting the ghrelin / leptin balance that your body needs to naturally maintain a healthy weight. You should also be getting sleep at the right times, not going to bed excessively late and not sleeping only a little bit one day and then a lot the next to make up for it. As much as possible, you should try to get between 6-8 hours of sleep per night if you want to naturally balance out your ghrelin and leptin levels.

Some people have found that there are different diets that can also help people improve sleep, probably for reasons very similar to those discussed above. People who have naturally healthy diets are more likely to have better sleep habits and so they get the correct balance of ghrelin and leptin which leads to a healthy cycle of sleeping and eating. As a general rule, people who maintain healthy diets as well as healthy sleep patterns are going to have an easier time with weight loss because of the benefits of this kind of a cycle. So, you just need to sleep and eat right; who knew?!


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  • profile image

    Tava Tea Diet 7 years ago

    this is very useful !!

  • profile image

    Healthy Weight Loss with Faey 7 years ago

    A natural healthy diet is the best way to keep the weight off longterm.

    Interesting article you got here. Thanks for the information.

  • wademcmaster profile image

    wademcmaster 7 years ago from Australia

    That's fascinating! I had always just thought of getting your 8-10 hours as more of a recovery rule, but like always there is more than meets the eye with any health practise. Will definetly link to this hub with my next article!

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    Lindsey 8 years ago

    Gina Kolata wrote a great book about this topic called "Rethinking Thin". It's very insightful about the whole Leptin thing.

  • profile image

    DietWebReport 8 years ago

    Excellent hub! I wasn't aware of all the facts before.

  • alfasentari profile image

    alfasentari 8 years ago

    Very interesting Hub. Thanks for the information.

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    stedac 8 years ago

    This is really good. Ok to me, I think it would have been very good if we all used what God has given to us. Acai berry is a natural suppliment that is available naturally and is a good one for weight loss. Try it out

  • my-success-guru profile image

    my-success-guru 9 years ago from Upstate NY

    Hi Kathryn,

    Very insightful information about how hormones effect our weight loss and how we can influence them! Join my fan club and let everyone know about your great Hubs! If you are looking for more insightful tips check out my Hubs on Health, Wealth and Happiness.

    TakeCare,                   PS Soon you will be stepping over mountains!


  • lazlow profile image

    lazlow 9 years ago from NY

    Nice hub! Check this is out! Might help for people who are looking to lose weight

  • profile image

    Tea 9 years ago

    Nice hub!