« survival of the most in demand | Main | increasing noise levels in bars as the night wears on »

Friday, 07 October 2005


There's apparently a hormone, ghrelin, that has been identified as a big player in hunger. The stomach produces ghrelin which in turn produces feelings of hunger. (That's too simplistic but it gets the point across.) The hormone comes in cycles, often peaking near the end of meals. Fatty foods seem to stimulate more ghrelin production than starchy and high protein foods. But even without the food stimulus, ghrelin production will occur, which is one reason we eat in cycles. It's sort of like a hunger alarm. So one possible explanation for why you stop feeling hungry after a certain period of fasting is that your ghrelin production cycle has peaked. Eventually, however, if you wait long enough, the hunger will return.

That's interesting... I think I've learned about that before, but then I always forget again. Another interesting thing is that I think bodies adapt to hunger as well... and it's probably linked to something in our brains too. Nothing makes me hungrier than going on a diet, but I don't really get as hungry when I fast because I attach the feeling to something else (I use it as a trigger to think about something that I want to think about for a while). We're built strangely and complicatedly... especially when you start to think about craving a certain kind of food, and how that is influenced by what foods we like, our understanding of what's healthy, and what's possible and not too expensive. Our brains should in theory explode whenever we have to decide what we want to eat.

On an average day, take a pint of water and try and drink it as fast as you can.

Try the same thing just after a 5 mile run.

You're so dehydrated you crave the drink and it really goes down quickly. But if you haven't been running, one pint is a bit of a struggle. I always find that interesting.

I did enough not-eating in high school that I can go for long periods of time without feeling hungry and that I really don't want to do it voluntarily again. I think it sucked the most 24 hours after my last meal because I was in the cafeteria with everybody else and they all had food.

The comments to this entry are closed.