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. http://www.naturalnews.com/031459_leptin_insulin.html#ixzz2LTVnXZsr
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.