Reader . . . this is Leptin, Leptin . . . please meet reader! SO nice to meet you!
What is Leptin anyway? Leptin is quite young in age being that it was discovered only about ten years ago. It is a hormone that’s main function is to dictate the status of nutrition to both your brain and body. Considered to be the “King of Hormones,” you can only imagine how beneficial it is when you understand how to work and apply Leptin into your daily life.
Just as with any hormone, it releases into the body, travels to another area, which then makes things happen, but there is much more involved! The road traveled for Leptin is as follows: It is released from fat, enters the blood, proceeds to the brain, and lets you know how much fuel you are running on. This ultimately impacts ones metabolism. I suppose it can be compared to the battery in your cell phone. You are not able to tell how much battery life is left until you check your screen. If low, plug it in! The Leptin is that little flashing battery symbol on your cell phone.
Unlike a cell phone that tells you your battery status, Leptin indicates your nutritional status. If it is low, you need to consume more and if it is high, your battery is charged and you need to consume less.
Now that you have met your friend Leptin and have begun to understand its function, you are probably wondering what that has to do with you. Well, with individuals who are overweight, that battery indicator is not working right. As a matter of fact, it may be downright broken! This means you will continuously be charging your cell phone AKA, consuming more and more amounts of food in order to feel satisfied. Just like running a red light, individuals who are overweight blow past the signal.
Leptin is more than just a battery indicator. It also gives you permission to go ahead and make a phone call. Meaning, when Leptin tells you that you are full, your body then has permission to go as far as metabolism is concerned. With high levels, your energy runs fast (meaning higher energy and higher metabolism) but with low levels, you go into hibernation. Your brain is being told the nutrition is being depleted so to prevent malnourishment, it kicks into a very low gear.
This hormone controls the rate in which the human body creates energy. Obviously you can see just how important it is! Now you can understand why it is titled as a king.
Leptin Meet Dieting
Let’s say you have a goal to diet which includes eating less, which includes reducing your intake of calories. Down your battery life goes! Your levels of the Leptin hormone greatly decrease telling your brain that you are starving. Let’s recap . . . this lowers your metabolism (as we said, low levels equals low energy). What next? Lots of phone numbers stored, but no ability to call AKA, storage of fat!
Out goes fat burning potential and in comes the belly fat! Complete opposite of your goal!
Here is a genius thought, how about using a supplement? Stop right where you are! Not going to work and here is why . . .
Since Leptin is a hormone that is protein based, it can’t simply be taken in pill form because it will not go where it needs to go. Just like trying to use the wrong cell phone charger!
Leptin can be injected but would you really rather stick yourself with a needle than eat? Plus the fact that the cost of injections are outrageous!
How to Find the Perfect Charge
So now what? How do you find the perfect charge AKA balance of the Leptin hormone that allows you to lose weight, yet not go into survival mode? You are going to need more calories, meaning more fat and more carbs.
Here is why . . .
When you consume food with high calories Leptin increases and your metabolism will increase (we have already covered this). Now, when you go to diet you have plenty fat stored up. You can’t just only eat crap however! You are going to also need carbs because that will give you a higher Leptin response.
In no way does this mean you can go out and consume unhealthy foods and then magically expect to lose weight! The point is that you will experience better weight loss results with eating more calories and carbs, versus not eating at all!
It is True, I Tell You!
According to research everything I am telling you is true! In a study led by Nancy Keim, a chemist at the ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, found that leptin levels significantly dropped during a weight-loss diet regime. Warning . . . low battery! To recap, this means that energy dropped, metabolism dropped, and therefore, maximum fat loss was not achieved. Specifically, within the first week, levels dropped on average by 54%.
A range of women both overweight and generally healthy between the ages of 20 to 40 participated in a 15 week study. The first three weeks entailed a diet, while during the remaining weeks the ladies went on a low fat diet. In short the levels of Leptin dropped in the beginning of the research study and stayed low.
To wrap it up . . . if you seek to lose weight, don’t forget your dear friend Leptin and how significant of a role it plays in your new friendship!