- Diet & Weight Loss
How to Increase Leptin - The Leptin Hormone and Weight Loss
Leptin - The "Satiety Hormone"
The Leptin hormone is relatively speaking a baby in terms of research and science. The hormone was really only discovered in the late 1990s but since then researchers have begun to furiously research this hormone - and with good reason too. It turns out that this little hormone controls your ability to lose weight.
In fact, you could be doing everything right in terms of what you eat and how much exercise you get and if this little chappy isn't happy, you will still not lose any weight. So it is important to learn about Leptin and how you can control and increase Leptin to aid weight loss and also to improve overall health and well-being.
The good news is that Leptin is quite easy to control and there are a few really simple things you can do to ensure that your Leptin levels work for you instead of against your weight loss efforts.
What does Leptin Do?
Leptin's main function is to suppress your appetite.
Leptin levels are at their highest in the middle of the night - which makes sense because you don't want the body waking you up to eat when you are sleeping. In fact, sleeping is linked to healthy Leptin function and that is why sleep, and a good night's rest plays an important role in the regulation of Leptin levels.
Leptin Regulates the Fat Storage or Fat Burning Ability
Leptin decides whether the body should store fat or burn fat for energy. This is really important for weight loss. The following description is for explanation purposes only - so that you get a basic idea of how Leptin functions. Medically it gets a lot more complicated.
Essentially Leptin is like the starvation police of the body. Leptin determines how much fat your have and then makes a note of that level as being "good" or "healthy". When you lose weight quickly - the Leptin police notice that there is a lot less fat around the body. The Leptin police then tell the body to stop burning fat and to store fat instead - just in case there is a famine or something.
This is why super quick weight loss often results in a sudden weight loss plateau followed by gaining the weight you lost - and in most cases gaining more than you started with.
One of the techniques that allow you to control Leptin is to lose weight slowly and steadily so that you don't alert the "weight police"
Sleep and Leptin
Have you noticed that when you are tired, you are more hungry?
Factors that Affect Leptin
So now that you understand the role of Leptin in weight loss, let's take a look at some of the factors that affect Leptin levels and what we can do to control Leptin levels to aid our weight loss goals:
- Stress - Stress can severely impact Leptin levels and how much weight you lose.
Stress releases a hormone called cortisol into the body and this hormone negatively affects the Leptin levels in the body. The more stressed you are the less weight you will lose. Stress causes the body to go into a system of fight or flight. In fight or flight the body is expecting to have to fight to survive. In survival mode, the body says, "Store all the fat we can because we are going to need it for the fight." So you lose less weight and almost anything you eat in a state of stress gets turned into fat for energy for when the fight or flight happens.
- Sleep - Leptin levels are influenced by sleep
Sleep is another important factor that affects Leptin levels and weight loss. Leptin increases while we sleep and reaches a peak sometime in the middle of the night so that we don't wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry. Interrupting these Leptin levels can play havoc on your diet and your ability to lose weight. In one study reasechers found that women who slept five hours or less per night had 32% higher chance of gaining weight and being obese than those who slept seven hours a night.
Amazingly enough, Intermittent fasting can help to normalize Leptin levels. Intermittent fasting is a technique of not eating for a period of 12 to 14 hours a day. So if you eat dinner at 8 then you shouldn't eat anything until 8 the following morning. Preferably 10am.
Factors Affecting Leptin LevelsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Ways to Increase Leptin to Increase Weight Loss
So now we know about some of the factors that affect Leptin levels and how important Leptin is to weight loss, what can we do about increasing Leptin to improve weight loss?
- Get a good night's sleep - 7 hours or more.
- Learn to deal with your stress - take course on mindfulness or other stress relief courses that will teach you to reduce stress - this will increase weight loss
- Add foods that promote the production of Leptin to you diet
- Don't go on fad diets that cause sudden weight loss - the Leptin police will get you!
There are a number of foods that promote the production of Leptin, but it is important to realize that consistent slow weight loss is the kind of weight loss that will allow you to maintain your goal weight when you get there. So finding a diet you love that you can stick to essentially for the rest of your life is one of the keys to long term weight loss and the key to health and well-being. And by diet, I don't mean something crazy like the cabbage soup diet or something.
If you want to join me for group coaching, we spend two weeks of the coaching creating a balanced diet from the foods that you love eating. Simple ingredient substitutions and meal planning can turn what you normally eat into a healthy delicious diet and once you have taken the time to create your own perfect diet, you will always have the power to change what you eat and to remain in control of your weight.
Spices that Promote Leptin
The Leptin Diet
Symptoms of Leptin Resistance
Symptoms that you are suffering from Leptin resistance include:
- Battle to lose weight
- Late night cravings
- Thyroid Problems
- Sugar/Carb Cravings
- Stubborn stomach fat
Some ideas on how to fight Leptin Resistance:
- Eating small amounts of protein throughout the day or with each meal seems to lower leptin levels and increase leptin sensitivity.
- Eating fructose, sugar, high fructose corn syrup causes leptin resistance which in turn causes more fat to be stored and causes you to have hunger pangs even though you’re not hungry.
- Eating certain foods can increase leptin sensitivity which will help you lose weight
- The bottom line is that if you are struggling to lose weight, you can help the body immensely by eating enough protein and by avoiding sugars, carbohydrates and especially by avoiding high fructose corn syrup foods.
Look After Leptin and Lose the Fat
Leptin and Weight Loss
Essentially its all about balance and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding stress or too much stress, ensuring you get a good night's sleep, eating healthy meals at regular intervals and avoiding too much sugar. All of these factors you would think are part of creating a healthy lifestyle and by making sure you take care of these, you will find you begin to lose weight automatically because the body is built to be healthy. All we have to do is help it a little.