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Unable to lose weight? Blame it on Leptin

leptin

Are you hungry even after eating a large meal? Do you always find yourself reaching for a snack? Do you find your weight is slowly creeping up for no reason? Are you having trouble sleeping? If yes, then the problem might be a hormone called leptin, which is considered to be the gatekeeper of fat metabolism.

What is leptin?

Also known as the “hunger control hormone”, leptin is a very powerful chemical messenger that is synthesized by the fat cells. One of its job is to tell our brain when we should be hungry. After we are done with a meal, leptin travels through our blood and tells our brain that we have enough energy, and don’t need to eat anymore. People who are overweight have a lot of body fat, and a lot of leptin in their blood. But, the brain fails to recognize the signal of fullness; so it continues to think that we are starving and thus, keeps us hungry. This condition is known as leptin resistance, and it is believed to be one of the main causes of obesity.

When working properly, if your fat storage is full, this fat surge will increase the level of leptin in your bloodstream, which acts as a signal to your brain to stop eating, to stop storing fat, and instead to start burning it.

What causes leptin resistance?candy

One of the main reason one becomes leptin resistant is by continuously exposing one’s system to high levels of this hormone. If you are always indulging in a diet high in sugar (especially in the form of fructose), processed foods and grains, you will gain more fat, which then will pump out more and more leptin. If your blood consistently contains high levels of leptin, its signal will start to get ignored. This will promote the feeling of starvation. Your body will go into energy storage mode instead of burning mode. This not only causes weight gain, but also high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and fertility problems.

Other causes of leptin resistance could include stress. Chronic stress produces a surge of the hormone cortisol in our body which promotes fat storage. The more fat you have, the more leptin will be in your blood stream which then causes leptin resistance. Low physical activity and not getting enough sleep can also cause leptin resistance.

How can you fix Leptin resistance naturally?

  1. Limit sugar intake. If the ingredient label contains anything that ends with –ose or syrup, avoid it.
  2. Stay away from simple starch. In your body, it gets converted into glucose which is sugar.
  3. Eat healthy fat and protein. It will slow down the secretion of glucose into your bloodstream.
  4. Exercise. Keeping yourself physically active can reduce the level of stress hormone- Cortisol. Exercise jogginglowers insulin resistance, which is why consistently working out decreases your appetite.
  5. Eat foods high in antioxidants that will help relieve inflammation, which then alleviates leptin resistance.
  6. Get enough sleep. Sleep is required for the optimum functioning of leptin. Sleep deprivation can also cause increased appetite and slow down metabolism.
  7. Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids. Found in fish, these calm inflammation and reduces leptin resistance.
  8. Cut down on snacks. Consistently eating stresses our liver and hormones. By spacing out eating 3 to 4 hours, it gives our organs and hormones enough time to rest.
  9. If your body is weak, don’t engage in cardio exercise. This will just be added stress to your body.
  10. Eliminate toxins by staying away from processed foods, commercial deodorants and soaps. Toxins can stress your internal system, increasing leptin resistance.

Leptin regulates a very complex process in our body. For our brain to be able to hear this hormone, we need to make its surroundings more healthy. Sugar, inflammation, stress and toxins all suppresses the proper functioning of leptin.

Keeping your diet clean, with a moderate workout will make your leptin level balanced. If after all these tips, you are still unable to get your leptin functioning properly, please consult with a doctor. It is not just a matter of weight gain, leptin resistance can also put you at risk for a variety of dangerous diseases.

In the comments below, please share: Do you believe you have leptin resistance?

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Written by Ingrid Macher

Certified Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Motivator - I have a passion for helping people change their lives. I started out helping my friends and now I give advice and tips to perfect strangers who have now become my friends. I love what I do and I wouldn’t change my life even if I could. This kind of happy is truly a gift and I’ll do whatever it takes to be able to give this gift to others.