Take Charge of Your Body

Have you paid attention to your LEPTIN today?

Leptin. Have you heard of it?

Leptin

It is an extremely important hormone that is key to regulating metabolism and hunger, and therefore weight management. 

If you have extra weight than you are producing more leptin than you need because this hormone is ONLY produced by fat tissue. And as we know, too much of a good thing can be bad.

What happens is that over-production of leptin floods the brain (hypothalamus) with too much “signal” and the brain begins to “ignore” it’s presence after awhile. And that’s not good because when leptin becomes elevated the brain does the work to reduce hunger and therefore we eat less (something we want for weight loss usually).

When leptin is low the brain starts telling us to eat. But when the brain is inundated with this signal for an extended period it becomes desensitized resulting in a functional leptin deficiency. In other words, even though there might be large amounts of leptin floating around, the brain perceives a state of LOW leptin! And this makes us perceive that we are hungry!

Not good.

How do we control leptin? First there is a great book on leptin called Mastering Leptin by Byron J. Richards.

The key takeaways from this book and my recommendations are:

1. Eat only 3 meals per day. Do not snack. If your meals are satisfying then this will be easy to do. However, there might be a period of adjustment as your leptin levels normalize. Move slowly to this goal if you are struggling. Eat only healthy snacks. Drink lots of water.

2. Do not eat eat after dinner (which should be before 8 pm or so)

3. Eat a balanced diet that is satisfying to you, do not overeat but definitely do not starve yourself (this actually worsens the state of leptin resistance and makes us eat more when we get off the diet, sound familiar?)

4.  Focus on fresh, whole foods. Avoid sugar, poor quality fats, and junk food.

5. Take in essential fatty acids, probiotics, and a good multi every day.

6. If you are stuck some additional supplementation might be necessary such as: B5 (1,000 mg/day), Carnitine (helps the body burn fat, 1,000 mg at night before bed), anti-inflammatories, and blood sugar regulation.

7. Be happy and don’t stress! Get lots of sleep and sufficient exercise.

8. If you are going to eat grains, focus on whole grains, 1 serving per day (a real serving size, ie: 1/2 cup of rice, 1 slice of bread).

9. Eat foods low in glycemic index and rich in fiber.

10. If you are stuck and cannot lose weight consider hormonal issues, gut issues, or stress.

With this approach weight loss will be gradual but the process is not as painful as some weight loss strategies. This approach is great for people who have done yo-yo dieting, are concerned about maintaining weight lost, or do not want to be highly restricted.

Yes, you can reign in that LEPTIN!

 

 

 

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