Weight loss is a difficult goal. Sometimes, despite all efforts to improve diet and lifestyle, the weight is stable and the extra pounds impossible to remove. What if the obstacle to losing weight lies in insufficient levels of leptin?
What is leptin?
Leptin, also called satiety hormone, is a hormone secreted mainly by adipose tissue in the body. Its role is to stimulate the breakdown of carbohydrates, control the fat in the body and regulate appetite. This is the hormone that tells the brain that the fat in the body is increased, so that the latter can react by curbing appetite or activating the metabolism of fat burning, to burn off excess fat.
This action may not be optimal if leptin secreted in the body is not adequate. This is influenced by our diet and thus by our caloric intake. Indeed, by dramatically reducing our daily caloric intake, as for some aggressive dieting, the body will tend to want to keep its fat stock to fill this gap and prevent any future deprivation. This therefore makes the body ignore the satiety signal sent by leptin and develops some resistance to its action. And if the body is resistant to leptin, it stores more fat and these fats increase their resistance to leptin. It is a vicious circle.
The leptin resistance
When the body becomes resistant to leptin, either because of a low caloric intake or because of too much fat stock, several effects occur:
- The brain no longer responds to satiety signal
- The feeling of hunger persists even after eating
- Fat burning metabolism slows dramatically
These 3 consequences of a disrupted leptin levels in the body lead to overeating and persistent cravings during the day, and a fat accumulation increasingly accumulates. Result: overweight or obesity.
How to use leptin for weight loss?
According to a study by the Rockefeller University in New York, genetic obesity in mice causes the inhibition of the production of leptin by their fat cells. Administration of this hormone has allowed them to regulate their appetite and reactivate their fat burning metabolism.
Thus, it is important to regulate the levels of leptin secreted into the body and to increase the sensitivity of the latter with the hormone in order to lose weight.
This will help people wanting to lose weight to find the balance between their appetite, their daily calorie intake and energy expenditure. By answering correctly to satiety signals, your body will know when to stop eating and when the body will draw on its reserves to turn them into energy.
To better enjoy the regulating effect of leptin, here are some important tips to follow:
- Consume foods rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation caused by increased fat levels in the body, and increase sensitivity to leptin (carrots, fish, flaxseed, etc.)
- Exercise regularly, preferably on an empty stomach to activate the fat burning metabolism and stimulate the production of leptin.
- Include a “rest” day when following a slimming low-calorie diet in order to boost the secretion of leptin.
- Enjoy a number of hours of adequate sleep because lack of sleep leads to a drop in leptin levels and thus a greater urge to snack.