Leptin – the satiety or starvation hormone is something that weight watchers must know about. The primary function of this hormone is to convey to our brain if we have enough fat stored in our body that we can burn. It sends signals to our brain that we don’t need to eat more. When the body turns leptin resistant, that is when hunger strikes and our brain is duped into eating more even when it is not required by our body.
Leptin also regulates energy balance in our body i.e. how many calories we eat, burn and store as fat.
Leptin is produced by the adipose cells (fat cells) to convey how much fat we already have in store, and whether we need a refill or we need to burn the existing fat to generate energy. Therefore, if a person is obese, his leptin levels are supposed to be high. Ideally, if that’s the case, then your brain should not instruct you to eat more, however, the problem here is that increased leptin levels make us leptin resistant, thereby putting us in a vicious circle of eating more when we are already fat.
It is scientifically proven that if a person is leptin resistant then no amount of willpower or diet control can help shed excess weight. This hormone has to correctly work as a neurotransmitter and send the right message to the brain.
How to know if you are Leptin Resistant?
1. Excess Belly Fat is the first sign that you could be leptin resistant
2. When even after rigorous exercise and diet control you are not losing weight; or you get strong urge to eat even when you know you are full, it could be due to leptin resistance.
What can you do to reverse Leptin Resistance?
1. Never Eat after Dinner
Never Eat after Dinner to allow leptin do its work. You must give a break of 11-12 hours between your last night’s dinner and next morning’s breakfast, besides eating dinner at least 3 hours before sleep.
2. Eat 3 Meals a Day
Eat 3 Meals a Day and allow 5-6 hours of break before you take your next meal. This way your body will consume the energy you’ve got from each meal better and help you stay clear of fat deposits on stomach, hips, and thighs.
3. Do not Eat Large Meals
You must not eat large meals and eat slowly to let your brain know when your stomach is full.
4. Eat Protein-Rich Breakfast
You must eat a protein-rich breakfast to increase your metabolism and burn fat through the day. If you’ve had a protein-rich breakfast, you would not feel like snacking until lunch.
5. Limit Carbohydrates
Eat complex carbohydrates to fulfill your recommended dietary intake and avoid refined carbs that give a burst of energy and free calories.
6. Avoid Processed Foods
Inflammation is another major contributor to leptin resistance. Thereby restricting inflammation by avoiding processed foods is the first step towards reversing leptin resistance.
7. Sleep Well
This is the time when leptin works the best and helps create a perfect energy balance by burning the accumulated fat.