How to Lose Weight with Leptin: The Best Secrets
Recently, one of my friends was asking me questions about weight loss.
I was telling her about leptin resistance, which makes weight loss really difficult.
Her first response?
She was wondering if there was a supplement she could take that would help.
No doubt she had seen one on shelves before, and immediately made that association.
In short order...
...I directed her to this piece I did on leptin.
Unfortunately, as detailed within, supplements don’t work.
You see, when you become leptin resistant, you can pour in as much extra leptin as you like.
You won’t feel it - you’re resistant.
There are no store-bought leptin secrets to becoming more leptin-responsive.
However, there’s plenty we can do that does work, so I’m going to continue to talk about leptin secrets.
Today, I’m sharing even more information about this hormone, and how we can get around to tapping into its effects.
Are You Leptin Resistant?
Really quick, I want to run down the symptoms of leptin resistance.
Fortunately, it’s easy to tell. Unfortunately, you can see how very common leptin resistance is.
The number one indication that you’re leptin resistant is if you’re 15 pounds or more overweight.
Well... duh, that’s the majority of us, sadly.
Aside from that, cravings are a big indicator of leptin resistance. This is especially true if it provokes you into snacking a lot. You may find that you only crave junk foods.
Another sure sign are high stress levels.
This can intersect with snacking/cravings for busy people who are always operating at maximum speed.
If you’re tired, stressed, working 60 hours per week, and just grabbing a snack cake whenever you have time, you’re leptin resistant.
Finally, you eat out or eat packaged foods a lot.
Are you overweight and can’t remember the last time you chopped a vegetable or made a pot of soup? You’re leptin resistant.
The good news.
You can totally get this under control and restore your leptin sensitivity. But first, let’s a get a glimpse at what else is at play here.
Leptin & Friends: Your Secret Weight Controls
I admit, I’ve been a little hard on leptin.
As it turns out, leptin works with a few other little buggers in regulating hunger and satiety signals.
In fact, it isn’t leptin’s fault that you’re hungry.
That falls on ghrelin, a bioactive peptide that’s present in very high amounts until you eat, then it should subside.
Additionally, leptin can work to quell some of ghrelin’s growling. But when you are leptin resistant, this mechanism can obviously hit some snags.
On the other hand...
...we have amylin, a satiety hormone that leptin has to police as well. Amylin determines the rate of digestion, and the length of time which you’re full.
It’s worth noting that amylin and ghrelin only became known in the last 30 years.
We’re still working out exactly how all of this happens, and how deep the relationship goes.
Therefore, supplements or therapies may crop up in the future featuring synthetics based on these three components.
Still, one has to wonder if drugs and supplements can really ever be the answer to the root problem.
After all, overweight people don’t need more leptin; they have plenty. They just need to feel it.
This calls for rehabilitation in diet, exercise - and really, all areas of life.
...you can lose enough weight and gain enough energy to heal the hormonal miscommunications at fault.
Easy Ways to Ramp Up Your Metabolism
So, our hunger and fullness is at the mercy of peptides and hormones.
Restoring balance and encouraging healthy functions among them is what we’re working toward. As always, exercise is the perfect complement to a healthy diet.
Regular exercise will gradually increase your basal metabolic rate.
Your basal metabolic rate determines how many calories you burn daily just by virtue of existing.
Really, that’s old news.
But did you know that working out too hard, for too long, can be detrimental to weight loss? This is particularly true if you’re concerned with hormonal balance.
High cortisol output and adrenal fatigue can result from hours spent pushing yourself too hard.
Both of these can easily lead to weight gain.
But wait, there's more:
So stay with me.
When you’re out of shape but highly motivated to exercise, injuries can result.
These injuries can put you out of commission for a period of time. Naturally, that does nothing to further your fitness efforts.
That’s why I suggest walking and stretching every day.
Once you’re better on your feet, begin a little high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or tabata.
You can do this as little as ten minutes a day, five days a week.
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but you’ll increase your strength and cardiovascular capacity in no time.
It still provokes the release of stress hormones, but not for long periods of time.
Furthermore, if you stick with it (just a few minutes per day), you’ll adapt.
And of course, you’ll burn calories.
Speaking of calories, what you eat is even more important.
Here are four secrets to a more efficient, fat burning metabolism.
Secret 1. MORE fruits and vegetables
What if I challenged you to eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily?
Right now, most adults only get in two to four servings.
Previously, I thought that we were supposed to eat fruits and vegetables for weight loss because they’re low calorie.
This was a big misconception on my part.
Actually, some fruits are not so low-calorie.
But that doesn’t matter when we’re talking metabolism. The strength and quality of your metabolism depends on you eating more phytonutrient-rich foods.
If you want to gauge phytonutrient levels, use your eyes.
The most colorful fruits and veg (think deep blue, vibrant red, brilliant green) are loaded with phytonutrients.
Concerned about the time involved with getting ten servings?
One word - smoothies. You can easily take care of three, or even five, depending on the recipe.
Secret 2. NO fake sugar!
Understandably, going low-calorie and sugar-free sounds like a good way to lose weight.
But artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose can slow down your metabolism.
In fact, the entire goal of artificial sweeteners is to fool the metabolism.
Animal studies find that overall, fake sugar increases cravings, slows metabolism, and makes you eat more.
The solution here is to eat things that are naturally sweet, like fruit.
For instance..., dates can be blended to sweeten many dishes that call for it. As you know, dates are very sweet - they’re 80% sugar.
But it turns out that real fruit sugar isn’t nearly as bad as refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. They don’t have the negative effects on blood sugar or weight that we see with most other sweet things.
Secret 3. MORE Omega 3s
Omega 3 fatty acids are shown to be necessary to a healthy metabolism as well. This actually works via the thyroid and liver.
Your thyroid makes a few different hormones that help determine your metabolic rate. These hormones exist in your liver.
In general, a lot of your metabolism depends on your liver.
In the end, your liver has to decide how to handle things like carbs and fat.
The presence of those hormones, triggered by omega 3, tells the liver that it can go ahead and burn fat up.
Fish is one omega-3 option, but you can also eat beans, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
The benefits are wide-ranging and critically important, so please read up on omega 3’s when you have the chance.
Secret 4. NO bland, boring food!
So, your satisfaction signals are all wacky.
This means you should focus on deriving pleasure and satisfaction of the food you do eat. After all, dieting is too hard to stick with if the food isn’t tasty.
I’m talking spices, herbs, garlic, and citrus. These are all heavy with phytonutrients and can help increase satiety.
This paper discusses how adding spices increases satiety. Additionally, it postulates that eating a bland diet leads to more cravings.
This definitely resonates with my own experience dieting.
My personal advice?
Don’t even imagine eating the broccoli - only imagine eating roasted lemon garlic broccoli.
Start grabbing bunches of cilantro and parsley. Don’t be shy when adding all-purpose seasoning - click here for price to that sautéed squash.
Train yourself away from negative feelings about stereotypically healthy food by altering its flavor.
This way, you’ll strengthen reward centers in your brain when you eat.
You Can Follow the Leptin Diet
The Leptin Diet was developed by Byron Richards - click here for price earlier this century.
In his book, he details a lot of causes for obesity and leptin resistance.
Also, he covers some pretty heavy topics including pesticides, processed foods, additives and preservatives, and factory farming.
Beyond that, he offers solutions for eating that can increase our sensitivity to leptin.
It’s informative, straightforward, and gives the reader a lot to think about. That said, he has some hard and fast rules for doing it his way.
One aspect I’m wary of is expanded branding into supplement territory.
If you choose to follow the Leptin Diet, know that you really don’t have to purchase any supplements.
Indeed, you can still boost your metabolism and lose weight through diet alone.
Overall, it’s a diet that requires discipline, but the focus on whole foods and structured eating are in fact effective.
More Friendly Lifestyle Leptin Secrets
Sleep and Destress
People who have come back from leptin resistance and re-sensitized themselves notice one thing right away. Their ability to go to sleep and stay asleep improves dramatically.
As you go on the journey of healing leptin resistance, sleep must become a top priority.
Even before exercise!
Your hormone factory, the pituitary gland, is absolutely dependent on you getting deep rest so proper hormone function and production can take place.
You can start planning for better sleep before you see an increase in leptin sensitivity.
The following tips will give you a great start:
If you’re on a mission to increase leptin sensitivity, you may get drowsy earlier than usual a few weeks in.
This is great - it means your hard work is paying off.
Most people who are leptin resistant have one thing in common: they’re overweight.
Being overweight is a good sign that you’ll experience more inflammation, but leptin can be inflammatory, too.
As a reminder, people who are sensitive to leptin do not have more leptin.
Overweight people who are leptin resistant have a lot of leptin, they just don’t get the benefit of it.
This increases systemic inflammation, the cause of many cases of disease.
Therefore, you need to always have your eye on inflammation.
Here are some tips to help keep that in check while your body heals:
I’m not leptin resistant, but I definitely follow the above.
We’re all vulnerable to inflammation!
When you effectively reduce inflammation, with diet, you’ll find yourself getting sick less.
You can also improve blood sugar, joint pain, and more.
Okay... that about wraps it up on...
Personally, it doesn’t surprise me to learn that the bad dietary choices are not always actually choices.
Leptin resistance and hormonal imbalances influence our behavior more than we think is possible sometimes.
But if we know what we’re working against, we can reverse this in as little as a few months.
You will never get there through crash dieting; don’t even try it.
Instead, we do so by implementing a schedule for food and sleep.
It’s important to speak up about hormone-triggered weight gain.
Have you been through this?
Have you successfully healed since?
What foods do you find yourself craving?
Let me know below!