Most people under estimate the power hormones have on our diets, behaviour and ability to lose weight.
One of these hormones known as leptin has an unbelievable effect on our appetite, fat metabolism and weight loss.
Leptin is a hormone that is produced by fat cells in our bodies. Fat cells secrete this hormone into our blood and this has various effects in our body, however the target area for leptin is our hypothalamus. This is the region of the brain that controls the hormones that regulate our appetite, metabolism and body weight.
Leptin has one role and that is to tell our hypothalamus that we have enough fat stored and we should start decreasing our appetite and burning more calories to lose some weight. That is the main function of leptin. It tells us like it is that we are getting fat and we should do something about it.
Our hypothalamus responds to this message from leptin and starts releasing hormones that decrease our appetite and burn more energy.
Leptin plays this role to maintain a long term healthy energy balance.
As you get fatter, your fat cells produce more leptin and stronger signals get sent to your hypothalamus. It’s a simple signalling process to maintain weight.
The entire leptin system should stop everyone from being fat but years of poor nutrition and unhealthiness, disrupt and damage the entire system.
This process of damage is now considered to be one of the main causes and drivers of obesity. It is known as leptin resistance.
Obese people have much higher levels of leptin because of their higher amount of fat cells. Their hypothalamus gets bombarded with leptin trying to tell it that the body is getting too fat and something has to be done to burn more calories and decrease appetite.
However, when we continue to eat excessively, our hypothalamus gets tired of the huge amount of leptin signals and starts ignoring them. When this happens we enter vicious cycle that ends up with uncontrollable weight.
It has also been discovered that many people who struggle with weight gain are genetically predisposed to leptin resistance.
Yo-yo dieting and quick results diets also mess up leptin signalling. When suddenly leptin goes down following a quick diet, your hypothalamus sees this as a signal to increase hunger, increase appetite and reduce the amount of calories burned at rest .
The goods news is….
that leptin resistance can be reversed and weight loss can be reignited.
Reversing Leptin Resistance
If you have a significant amount of fat around your waist you are leptin resistant or on your way to becoming leptin resistant.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reverse leptin resistance and improve the sensitivity of leptin which will decrease your appetite and increase your metabolism for weight loss.
Exercise to Reverse Leptin Resistance
Physical activity and especially resistance exercise has been proven to reverse leptin resistance. Muscle cells also release hormones and this seems to have an effect on reversing leptin resistance.
The main correlation maybe in the ability of muscle to reverse abdominal fat. Include heavy body weight exercises like squats and push ups into your exercise regime.
Sleep to Reverse Leptin Resistance
Poor quality sleep has been implicated in problems with leptin resistance. People who don’t get enough sleep are usually overweight because of the disrupting effect that poor sleep has on all our hormones.
Good sleep should form the cornerstone of any every weight loss plan as it works wonder in helping to reset all the hormone imbalances, especially leptin.
Lower your triglycerides to Reverse Leptin Resistance
Poor butrition that includes the unhealthy triglyceride fats have been pinpointed as a cause of leptin resistance. These high blood triglycerides levels prevent the transport of leptin from the blood to the hypothalamus.
There are many ways to lower triglycerides however the best results are seen with omega-3 supplementation and cutting out refined carbohydrates.
Eat Protein to Reverse Leptin Resistance
This study has proven that protein intake can help increase leptin sensitivity. Add healthy proteins to your diet at every meal. There are various other weight loss effects of protein that you will also benefit from.
Whole Foods to Reverse Leptin Resistance
Whole unprocessed foods have been associated with lowered leptin levels. The same is true for foods high in fibre. Ensure you include plenty of these foods into your nutrition plan to start reversing your leptin resistance.