Leptin, what is it?
Before we begin talking about leptin resistance, we need to know what leptin is.
Leptin is a vital hormone that plays a great part in our weight control and appetite. It carries out these two aforementioned functions by regulating the amount of food we consume and ensuring that fat is burnt off as energy. In short, leptin lets our brain know that we have taken in enough food, and in turn makes us feel full.
What is leptin resistance?
Leptin resistance is simply the body’s inability to respond appropriately to the presence of leptin in our bodies. While leptin is meant to prevent us from overeating and obesity, many obese people have been found to have high levels of leptin in their body. The simple explanation is that they are resistant to the weight loss, energy expenditure and appetite functions that leptin ordinarily carries out.
Studies have shown that a rise in leptin resistance is directly proportional to a rise in insulin resistance, and this can also contribute to diabetes, heart failure, strokes, high blood pressure, decreased fertility and enhanced aging.
What causes leptin resistance?
So you might be wondering what causes a body to resist the positive functions of leptin. While there is no defined cause of leptin resistance, there are 2 main hypotheses that surround this phenomenon. The first belief is that leptin has failed to reach the intended target, which is the appetite center in the brain. Therefore it cannot carry out its duty as an appetite regulator.
The second belief is that the receptors found in the appetite center are not working properly. Therefore when leptin binds to the receptors it cannot effectively communicate to the cells, and tell them to respond to the presence of leptin. This is especially common in overweight and obese individuals, making it extremely difficult for them to manage their appetite and work towards weight loss.
There is also a third less common cause for this condition, and this is believed to be a sedentary lifestyle and chronic stress levels.
How can you manage your weight gain if you have leptin resistance?
If you are resistant to leptin, then you may be afraid that you cannot control how much weight you gain. After all cravings and hunger pangs are common to you, as your body does not know that it is full. While there is still ongoing research as to how resistance to leptin can be effectively managed, there is no prominent treatment to this condition.
What you can do to combat the negative effects of this condition is to control your cravings, in order to ensure weight gain is minimal. Below are a few tips on how you can fight back against this condition:
– Reduce your intake of high-fructose corn syrup, refined foods, simple starches, sugars and carbs
– Ensure that you go to bed early so that you can maximize on your sleep. 10pm is an excellent time to ‘hit the sack’
– Follow a diet that is high in fiber, healthy fats and protein
– Start your day with a filling breakfast e.g. oatmeal, as this will reduce the chance of hunger pangs during the day
– Do not snack during the day, instead stick to 3 square meals
– Try and leave a 12-hour gap between dinner and breakfast i.e. last and first meal of your day
– Remain active in order to prevent resistance to leptin. This point is mainly directed at people who have desk-jobs and other stationary work positions. Weight lifting and sprinting are recommended
– Take Irvingia supplements, as these have been shown to increase leptin sensitivity and enhance weight loss
– If you are suffering from chronic stress, then stress management is necessary for you
As you can see from above, combating and overcoming leptin resistance is a difficult yet rewarding task. A few lifestyle changes can steer you in the right direction, allowing you to regain control of the leptin function in your body.
If you are a woman suffering from leptin resistance and obesity, then the Venus factor may interest you. This body transformation program targets overweight women with high leptin levels, in an attempt to increase their bodies response to the hormone. The end result is a healthier body weight and a feminine body shape. So if you are a woman experiencing resistance to leptin, check out the Venus factor.
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