TwYlpuXzYRRIXGjgoYMPVu_lkaI Weight Loss Articles

How Leptin Affects Your Weight Loss Plans

What is Leptin?

Leptin is a hormone, produced in our white fat cells. Hormones are chemicals produced in cells or glands that affect changes in other cells. So hormones send messages from one part of the body to another. The hormone, Leptin tells the brain how much fat is the body, indicating when we’ve had enough to eat. Optimally, as leptin levels rise, our appetite decreases; when we’ve had enough food, we don’t want any more and we stop eating. Basically, the more fat you store, the more leptin you produce, the less food you eat. Obviously, for some of us, this process has gone awry.

What is leptin resistance?
Leptin resistance occurs when our bodies are producing more leptin, based on increased fat storage, but the brain isn’t getting the message. And because the brain doesn’t know we have enough food and fat, it thinks we need more and makes us feel hungry when we’re not.

What causes leptin resistance?
The more fat you store, the more leptin you produce. Over exposure to high levels of leptin cause leptin resistance. A diet high in processed foods, sugar and grains causes fat cells to release more leptin. Too much leptin interrupts the signal to the brain, the brain thinks you need food, makes you hungrier, you eat more… A cycle we must interrupt.

Solutions: Guess what? There are conflicting views from experts regarding the optimal “Leptin Diet”.

Byron Richards, author of The Leptin Diet: How Fit Is Your Fat? (Take Charge)explains how snacking interrupts the digestive process and increases leptin resistance and therefore recommends going 5 or more hours between meals. This seems to make some since in that the body is designed to process food for nutrition and energy, not recreation and entertainment, which really is what snacking is.

In The Leptin Boost Diet: Unleash Your Fat-Controlling Hormones for Maximum Weight Loss, Scott Isaacs does recommend snacking. Healthy foods, of course, but 6 meals a day. In my own experience, this is the method that has been most beneficial to me. Eating every few hours (real food, not factory food) kept me from ever feeling hungry.

Read the reviews, chose whichever you think will suit you. We are all different and I’m not surprised that followers of both plans report satisfying results.

Get enough sleep. Sleep has many purposes, some of which science has yet to discover or understand. We do know however, that our hormones, including leptin, are optimized while we sleep.

Exercise. Which will also help you sleep better. Exercise helps regulate your hormones.

Many experts believe that interval training in particular has a strong impact on the regulation of hormones like leptin and insulin. Short bursts of vigorous exercise interspersed throughout a moderate level workout appear to have long term positive effects on how these two key metabolic hormones are used in the body.                                                         

Basically, reducing our intake of sugar and processed foods will be beneficial to weight loss in general. Optimizing our hormonal levels will allow our bodies to perform as intended. The books mentioned will provide a great deal of information on this subject, but an Internet search on this subject in particular, or on how to eat whole, real foods in general, will provide as much needed information to help you make a sound dietary plan and interrupt the hunger cycle.




Set Your Kitchen Up For Success

Forget willpower. It takes too much brain power and energy to constantly resist your cravings. And who can successfully resist 100% of the time? It is not possible to continually be in battle mode and remain mentally healthy, this is the reason soldiers get R&R, they have to have some time away from the struggle. That giant bag of potato chips on top of the fridge is going to call your name every time you walk into the kitchen, and all too often, you’re going to answer. It has to go. Lucky you if you live alone or with someone also onboard to a healthier lifestyle. If you live with others who either don’t have weight issues or just aren’t yet ready to get clean, it’s going to be a bumpier ride. Weight loss success begins with stacking the deck in your favor by eliminating some, most or all of the enemies, achieve this by not bringing them home with you in the first place.

Feeling deprived and hungry is a set-up for failure, not success, so don’t plan on suddenly changing everything. Begin by identifying one or two things you’d like to change. Perhaps eliminate or reduce the number of sodas you drink per day, or significantly reduce your sugar intake. Plan in advance how to substitute healthier choices and have those substitutes readily available. Start with the list of strategies here, but add to and modify the list according to what works for you. We’re all different and there are few absolutes that work for everyone. You won’t stick to anything that makes you feel bad, so make better choices but not those that feel like punishment.

Stop buying ice cream by the gallon. So instead of having ice cream daily or several times a week, make it an occasional indulgence and go out for one serving. Same goes for potato chips, cookies and pretty much all the things in the snack aisle at the grocery store.

Buy substitutes. Like using crutches, substitute some of your favorites for lesser evils until you’re able to let go completely. Sorbet instead of ice cream, for instance.

Don’t drink your calories. Get the most bang for your caloric buck by getting your calories from food. Start drinking more water. Use plenty of ice, add a slice of lemon. Trust me, you’ll learn to love it. Leave the soda in the store, go out for one at a time, that’ll get old quickly.

Make it convenient to snack smarter. Keep easy to eat, quick to grab fruits on hand. Clementine oranges will quell a snack attack, as will a banana, cucumbers already sliced… You get the picture. I’m not saying it’ll work every time, but often enough.

Become a label reader. This is the big eye opener. Sugar shouldn’t be the first ingredient in your cereal or any other food. High fructose corn syrup, fructose and all the other “oses” are ingredients you’re eventually going to eliminate completely, but for now, at least opt for items that list them further down. Does your favorite peanut butter contain anything more than peanuts and salt? What’s in your favorite canned soup?

Start reducing boxed and bagged meals. Again, read the labels to discover how far down any real food is listed and how many ninety nine syllable chemicals are included. Your body properly processes food, not man-made chemicals.

Accept that you’ll have to cook more. Sorry. But it can be easier than you think. The Internet is your friend here, loads of slow cooker recipes and one pot meal plans. Frozen vegetables eliminate the washing, peeling and chopping. Salsa is veggies already cut up for you, poor over meat, pop in the oven, and viola!

Preparation is the key. It will keep you from making poor choices when you’re hungry, prevent hunger, which is a dangerous state and help you develop new habits. It’s hard to eat cookies at midnight if there are no cookies in the house. You’ll save yourself some guilt too, which is as detrimental to your body as the high fat, high calorie foods you are going to replace.

All You Have to Buy is Groceries

You’re determined to reach your weight loss goals, again. So you join another gym or sign up for a program or buy some piece of equipment, again. Been there, done that several times over.

If weight loss is a continuing struggle for you, you’ve likely spent thousands on gym memberships you don’t use, home equipment that eventually gets sold, given away or stored and have joined at least a couple of weight loss programs. As your motivation wanes, the equipment goes unused, the gym fees are paid without attendance and the weight loss program is ignored. But when the motivation comes back again, as it does periodically, your first activity is something costly. Why?  

I think we psych ourselves into associating the expense with actual effort. We made a financial sacrifice, so that shows how determined and committed we are, right? After a while, we associate the expense with the goal. ”I want to lose weight, so I must spend some money.” 

When I finally made some real progress, and lost 60 pounds, I didn’t spend any money on anything other than food. My exercise consisted of walking for ten minutes, and who needs new shoes for that? Eventually I had to invest in better walking shoes, but I was by then, walking three miles. Still, I didn’t try to get the latest, greatest, bestest shoe out there.

My suggestions for getting your weight loss started:                                                      

  • Get off to a slow start. Don’t suddenly make drastic changes. Identify one or two things you’d like to change and concentrate on those for a couple of weeks before adding one or two more. For example,begin with reducing your consumption of soft drinks plus walk around the block once a day. Try to set one food and one exercise goal at a time. 
  • Keep track of your progress. Use a notebook, calendar, online blog or a phone app. This helps you keep your goals in mind and gives you incentive to be successful.
  • Plan ahead. At night, write your one nutrition and one fitness goal for the next day. Also write about how you’re feeling as you go along. Cheer for yourself and plan to be successful.
  • Read something motivating, inspirational or educational related to weight loss, nutrition or fitness. Find websites, nutrition and fitness counselors on social media sites and forums that promote healthy weight loss strategies and information. This again, helps you stay focused. I highly recommend which is free, has loads of tools, information and an awesome community.

Changing your lifestyle isn’t about creating new expenses for yourself. You have to buy groceries anyway, you’ll now be putting more planning into your shopping.