If you have been in an epic battle with weight loss– losing the weight and then quickly gaining it back, you are not alone. One thing many people engaged in this struggle have in common is that they have an issue with Leptin.
What’s Leptin? Leptin is a hormone in your body that helps control feelings of hunger. This master hormone determines whether you feel full or hungry and affects your metabolism, telling you how much to eat.
Leptin signals to your brain when to burn energy while promoting the functioning of the sympathetic nervous system.
People that struggle with weight loss and obesity are often found to have a Leptin resistance. Research has found that although obese people have a sufficient amount of Leptin floating around, their body seems immune to its effects.
This means the person suffering from a Leptin resistance does not utilize energy from fatty tissue, never feels full and has an impaired metabolism.
Leptin and Weight Loss
Leptin is made of fat cells. People that are overweight tend to have more fat cells and therefore, have higher levels of Leptin. Despite having such high levels of Leptin, the brain still does not get the message that they are full and should stop eating.
Somehow, their body just does not respond to the Leptin at all. This creates a problem, because the body is stuck in starvation mode. The person will continue to eat and will never feel satiated.
This problem can ultimately lead to obesity. This problem has potential to get worse– the more obese one gets, the more fat cells they produce and therefore the more Leptin they have building up in their body.
Having large amounts of Leptin building up in the body is tied to a number of healthy issues, such as obesity, high blood pressure, issues with blood sugar, stroke, and heart disease.
What Causes Leptin Resistance?
Currently, it is unclear what exactly causes a Leptin resistance. However, there are factors that can aggravate the condition:
- Not getting enough sleep
- Having a high stress level
- Eating a diet high in fructose
- Consuming lots of simple carbohydrates
- Consuming too many grains
- Exercising too much which can further impair damaged hormones
How To Treat Leptin Resistance
Leptin resistance is a complex problem without a straight forward solution. Currently, there are Leptin supplements on the market but this does not address the problem.
People that are Leptin resistant don’t have a problem producing Leptin– in fact, they might have too much Leptin as it is. The problem lies with the body’s inability to respond to it.
Although you cannot magically make your body respond to Leptin, there are steps you can take to help get your hunger levels on track and to help prevent obesity and its resulting problems.
- Start your day with a healthy, filling breakfast. Oatmeal is a great option because it is filling and tends to satisfy hunger. Peanut butter is another great option because it is loaded with protein and will prevent the brain from signaling to your body that it needs more food.
- Resist snacking. When you are constantly eating, your liver goes into overdrive producing hormones. Herbal teas and water are great substitutes if you need have something.
- Don’t eat four hours before bedtime.
- Incorporate more Omega-3s into your diet. Foods rich in Omega-3s are chia seeds, eggs, peanut butter, salmon, tuna, and grass-fed meat.
- Avoid foods high in Omega-6. Foods high in Omega-6 are vegetable oils, grains, and poultry.
- Avoid foods that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and simple starches.
- When getting your Leptin resistance under control, don’t jump right into an exercise routine. This will cause your body to produce more hormones and can cause further damage. Your best bet is to first get your diet on track, give your body time to heal and then slowly incorporate a healthy exercise routine.