When it comes to weight loss, most of us think that calorie control and our willpower can bring out tremendous changes but we always ignore the fact that our body is also a huge part of this change.
If you’re also following a weight loss plan but not getting the desired results, there are chances that it has something to do with ‘Leptin’. Often known as “satiety hormone” or the “starvation hormone”, Leptin is produced by our body’s fat cells and has an important role of constantly telling the brain that the body has enough stored food and there’s no need to eat.
It directly coordinates with the Hypothalamus and keeps us from starving or overeating while burning the calories at a normal rate. Other than this, it also plays a part in regulating fertility, brain function and immunity.
This cell-signalling hormone have a vital role in the regulation of appetite, food intake and body weight but sometimes disruptions in its function or quantity in which it’s produced can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Let’s get into details and learn what it is all about.
How does it impact your Diet?
Studies have found that obese people usually have high levels of Leptin in their blood. Yes, you read it right! If Leptin regulates our appetite, then high quantity of this hormone should get opposite results. Unfortunately, the Leptin system doesn’t always work as it should and it is known as Leptin Resistance.
When you start with the weight loss plan, you might loose fat initially but it doesn’t deliver long term results. It is because of the Leptin Resistance, fat loss results in a significant reduction in Leptin levels which signals your brain that your body is starving and to maintain the energy, the body developes a strong mechanism which leads to hunger, increased appetite, reduced motivation to exercise and a decreased number of calories burned at rest.
This becomes the main cause why a lot of people following the correct diet plan are unable to loose a good amount of weight and stuck on a permanent cycle of weight gain and loss.
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How does it impact your brain?
Leptin travels through the blood to reach Brain and communicate with the hypothalamus to tell your body when and how much to eat. As it is produced by the fat cells, more fat means more Leptin.
Generally, high level of Leptin will tell your body that there’s a good amount of fat stored and you eat less and burn more calories. Similarly, low level of Leptin will suggest that fat stores are running low and you need to eat.
But, in case of Leptin Resistance, the body doesn’t recognise the right amount of Leptin and during the weight control plan when you eat less and it causes a slight reduction in the Leptin level, our brain receives a signal and starts the ‘Save Calorie’ mechanism and slows down the prices of burning calories.
What is Leptin Resistance?
As you all can make out, Leptin Resistance is a type of hormonal imbalance. This situations occurs when the hypothalamic cells in the brain stop recognizing leptin’s signals and becomes the main cause if weight gain.
It gives false signals to our body that there’s no enough food and that the body is starving which leads to a hunger drive in the body. Everything you eat will directly go to the stored fats and even if your body is lacking energy, the calorie burn will be very low.
If you’ve Leptin Resistance, it doesn’t matter how little you’re eating and hitting gym like 4 times a day, you will never loose the right amount of weight. Everytime, the brain will think that Leptin levels are reducing, the body will stop burning calories making you energy deficient and obese.
What are the causes of Leptin Resistance?
Studies have found several potential mechanisms that can cause Leptin Resistance but in most cases these factors are amplified by obesity, that means people are trapped in a dangerous cycle of gaining weight and becoming more and more leptin resistant over time.
High Leptin levels
High level of Leptin in your bloodstream is the major cause of Leptin Resistance over time. People with high Leptin levels are usually found to be stuck in this cycle of weight loss and sudden gain.
In some cases, low-grade, chronic hypothalamic inflammation is also associated with various metabolic disorders such as obesity. Many studies have shown that inflammatory signals in the hypothalamus causes Leptin Resistance.
High level of Free fatty acids in your blood stream may increase fat metabolites in your brain and interfere with leptin signaling.
Leptin Resistance Reversal Guide:
There’s no definite way to cure the Leptin Resistance but theories have suggested that few lifestyle changes can help in reversing this condition.
The first step is to be sure of your condition. You can take a blood test to find out your Leptin level. Optimal fasting leptin levels should be 4 to 6 ng/dL. Getting a clear picture of your Leptin will help you make a better fighting plan.
Better sleeping habits
Although there are no direct links of sleep with Leptin but a good amount of rest can surely help your brain calm down. It will lower your stress level as well as the hypothalamus will work more efficiently.
Better eating habits
Since, inflammation is one of the major causes of Leptin Resistance, anti-inflammatory foods can kick-start your leptin correcting fight. Increase in soluble fiber and proteins will improve your gut health and can also result in a visible improvement in Leptin sensitivity. Lowering triglycerides level by eating less carbs will also ensure better transportation of Leptin from your blood to brain.
If you think that you might be Leptin Resistant, then you should see a doctor first before starting with any diet plan. A good medical consultation can help you identify the correct issue and get the right treatment.
If you’ve any more queries related to Leptin and Leptin Resistance, do let us know in the comments section below.