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Whenever we start to lose weight, or whenever we start to make a change for the healthier lifestyles that we’re after, we have to face the fact that we end up getting really hungry. We end up just getting bombarded with these hormones that make us crave all kinds of foods. It’s like this constant battle that we’re dealing with. We try to get healthy, but then the cravings come back with a vengeance so it’s easy to put that weight back on or easy to get unhealthy again. Hey, I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo, we’re going to break down cravings, your hunger hormones, and the ketogenic diet.
What is the CCK Hormone?
The first hormone that we want to look at is one known as CCK, also known as cholecystokinin. Cholecystokinin is the satiety hormone, it’s produced by the epithelial cells within your small intestine that basically tell your brain that you’re full. They start the process of producing digestive enzymes so that you can break down that food. Now, the interesting thing is we also have what is called the enteric nervous system. This is a nervous system that exists in your gut. Maybe you’ve heard of the gut-brain axis or your second brain before. Well, we have nerve endings that are in our gut and these nerve endings within our gut produce this cholecystokinin, as well.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Study
Cholecystokinin communicates with the hypothalamic cells within the brain to tell us that we’re full and this kick starts the entire process of digestion. But, what the heck does that have to do with the ketogenic diet? Well, there was a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and it took a look at this entire thing because normally when we start to reduce calories or we start to lose weight, we have a pretty big decrease in cholecystokinin. What happens is that we lose weight and end up having a decrease in the hormone that tells our brain that we’re full. This is a problem. What the study took a look at was test subjects that were eating and then given a CCK injection. The subjects that were given a CCK injection, immediately stopped eating. So, we know that CCK plays a big role in our cravings, and how we eat, and how hungry we are. When we start looking at the study a little bit deeper, we find that the ketogenic diet kind of comes to the rescue.
You see, what they did within the same study is for eight weeks they had the participants lose weight. They had them go on a diet where they lost weight, and of course, they saw their CCK levels decreased. But then what they did was they had them go on the ketogenic diet for just one week after that. For just one week on the ketogenic diet, they saw an increase of the CCK levels come back to where it was at baseline before they ever started dieting. What this could potentially mean is that you could be losing weight and then be able to switch to a ketogenic diet or lose weight with a ketogenic diet in the first place and not have to deal with the hunger hormones nearly as much. Meaning it’s significantly easier to keep the weight off and not fall victim to cravings, especially when we’re talking around the holiday time.
What is the Ghrelin Hormone?
Now I have another hormone we want to look at, this is one that you may have heard of before. It’s called ghrelin. Ghrelin is literally known as the hunger hormone. Ghrelin is produced within the GI tract, and it produces, yet again, a neuropeptide that communicates with the hypothalamic cells once again, to tell our body that we’re hungry this time. So basically, once the stomach empties and is overall empty and your craving food, ghrelin secretes, tells the brain to go ahead and start the whole process of making you hungry so that you eat again. What ends up happening is as you lose weight, your ghrelin levels typically increase because you’re reducing your calories, you’re reducing your overall intake of food, then your ghrelin levels are going to go up to tell your body to eat more. Again, combine that with CCK, you’ve got kind of a recipe for disaster, it makes it really hard to keep the weight off. But where does the ketogenic diet come into place?
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition Study
Well, in this particular case, we’re looking at a study that was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study took a look at 39 non-diabetic, overweight and obese patients and it had them go on a ketogenic diet for eight weeks, followed by two weeks of a re-feeding diet, basically going off keto. What they found is that when they lost weight on the ketogenic diet, they had a pretty significant decrease in their ghrelin levels. Remember what I said earlier? Normally, when you lose weight you see an increase in ghrelin. On the keto diet, they saw subsequent decrease in ghrelin. So, they lost weight and their ghrelin levels decreased. Then when they put them on the two-week re-feed diet and they added carbs back into the mix, they found the ghrelin levels rose significantly. Evidently the production of ketones by the body seem to keep ghrelin levels at bay. But once those ketones were out of the equation, the ghrelin levels rose, and they got hungry again.
Results of these studies are not the end all be all, but what we can link from this is that ketones play a pretty big role in keeping the hunger hormones controlled. They increase CCK and they decrease ghrelin which can make it a heck of a lot easier for you. So, it sort of debunks the whole keto isn’t sustainable myth. Keto is very sustainable, and it makes it so that you can keep the weight of significantly easier. You just want to make sure that you’re doing it right, and that’s exactly where Keto-Mojo comes in. You see, the root of all this comes down to the ketones. If we have ketones in our blood, then everything is happy. So, you want to use the Keto-Mojo Meter to test your blood ketone levels. Make sure that you’re in the optimal range to be able to reap the benefits of the ketogenic diet. So, as always, make sure you’re leaving the guess work out of the equation and leaving the true measuring to the Keto-Mojo Meter. I will see you in the next Keto-Mojo video.