When it comes to losing fat there are many gimmick diets and strategies. This plethora of options make it difficult to decipher what works and what does not. To make the matter even more difficult is the fact we are all not built the same. With that said, I want to take a moment to talk to about a very special hormone called ‘Leptin’. Leptin is a hormone produced in fat cells that regulate the amount of fat stored in the body. Leptin is also known as the ‘satiety hormone’. This is done by modifying our sensation of hunger with respect to our energy expenditures. It is worth noting the hormone Ghrelin that is produced in the stomach that stimulates feeding, ‘hunger hormone’.
Very cool, right? Is this the magic pill?
Not quite so fast. Because leptin is produced in fat cells we should acknowledge the fact that if we are carrying a few extra pounds of fat and leptin is produced in fat cells we already have plenty of leptin in our bodies.
I should warn you that there have been studies in mice whom have been giving extra doses of leptin reduces overeating and obesity.
Well if it works for mice, why not me?
There is a phenomenon called leptin resistance. Similar to insulin resistance the pancreas produces enough insulin however the body doesn’t make the right adjustment. In leptin resistance, fat cells are producing enough leptin however the brain is either not receiving or interrupting the information being sent correctly.
Leptin produces or more importantly signals a sensation of being full after consuming a meal to the brain. Individuals who are leptin resistant the brain doesn’t acknowledge or receive this signal.
So, what is one to do?
The good news is there are no special pills or leptin supplements you need to take to improve your leptin sensitivity. In fact women produce 2 times more leptin than their male counter parts. As mention earlier leptin is produced in fat cells. So having extra fat means having plenty of the leptin hormone. Improving your eating choices and choosing foods that contribute to leptin sensitivity vs leptin resistance will put you on the right track.
Foods that contribute to leptin resistance: starchy vegetables, white flour, breads, cereals, and grains (and yes this include whole grains and wheat). Most of these items will also fall under the category of processed foods. Lastly eliminate high fructose corn syrup.
Food that increase leptin sensitivity: nuts (almond, Brazil, cashews and pecans), Fruits (avocados and olives), Oils (almond and olive), fish (cod, halibut, bass, sardines, catfish, tune) and fibrous vegetables (leafy greens).
Prep the body for leptin sensitivity and start your morning off with healthy breakfast containing protein and some leafy green veggies. Your waist line will thank you for it!!!