I Leptin, Do You?
Leptin is one of the keys to getting and staying shredded for your vacation pictures on Instagram.
Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger.
Leptin was derived from leptos meaning thin in Greek.
Leptin helps control or influence almost every other weight loss hormone in your body and your body’s ability to burn fat. In obesity, a decreased sensitivity to leptin occurs, resulting in an inability to detect satiety despite high-energy stores.
Burning fat happens when we have high levels of leptin AND we are highly sensitive to leptin. One way to stay in this ideal hormone balance is the Keto Diet. Burn fat, not carbs and eat clean to avoid the hunger pangs that set off a vicious and destructive hormone imbalance.
Keto really is magical, and if you do some research on a Leptin diet, it’s very similar. Check out the five rules of the Leptin diet:
1. Eat protein for breakfast
2. Eat at least 3 meals a day
3. Don’t eat large meals
4. Reduce your carbs
5. Never eat after dinner
You’ve heard the saying “Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a Pauper.” Still holds true for most of us with our body’s 24-hour circadian rhythm. Metabolism can increase >30% for as long as 12 hours from a high protein meal. Eating juice, bagels, donuts, cereal and pancakes for breakfast just doesn’t work like that, you’ll be craving more carbs for fuel in a couple of hours.
Allowing 4-5 hours between meals is also an interesting study. Turns out snacking between meals is a bad thing, even the word itself sounds evil if you over-pronounce it. Snacking causes leptin to malfunction, it doesn’t stoke your metabolism or maintain your blood sugar levels, that’s all stuff fed to us by the snack food industry.
Portion control! This is a problem for me, the see food diet. Even if the meal is a great combination of healthy proteins and fats, too much will still poison the body. Eat slowly, the full feeling you’re looking for happens in about 10-20 minutes, so you want to finish your meal when you’re slightly less than full. Leptin gets snuffed out under the weight of too much food.
Learning from the Keto diet, if you can keep your carbs down (<50g/day) you know your body dips into the fat stores for energy instead of looking for the next sugar fix.
Not eating after dinner is tough, especially when we’re sitting on the couch watching TV, but this goes back to the body’s rhythm. If you can block out 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, you are going to see immediate changes in your body composition. Leptin manages nighttime repair and coordinates the timing and release of melatonin, thyroid hormone, growth hormone, sex hormones and immune system function to carry out a rejuvenating sleep. It does all this work while burning fat at the highest levels of the day… as long as you don’t eat after dinner.
Hunting in the pantry after dinner? You probably didn’t eat well during the day. Strong urges crushing your will to live and your self-control? This is the leptin nightmare, don’t squash it, let it work or you’ll put on the pounds that it couldn’t get to because you had to have that late night snack.
Dieting doesn’t work with leptin. Reducing calories causes leptin levels to plummet, which means fat burning is reduced. This is because leptin’s main function is to protect your body against starvation and when you reduce food intake your body views stored fat as a huge asset to survival. Makes sense right? Let leptin work.
If leptin were a character, it might look like a construction worker or maybe a scientist or maybe someone in the public works sector banging on and testing our fat for energy. Fat is now considered a metabolic organ, like the thyroid and adrenal glands. Leptin starts the job in your fat stores and then sends word through your blood stream to your brain whether you’re hungry or full and how much energy you have in the tank. Your brain then decides how fast your metabolism can work based on the amount of energy stored. A low amount of leptin, or a loss in signal will send hunger pangs out to you, if leptin levels are high and communication is strong then metabolism goes into full swing. This is what you want.
Knowing about leptin will help you make wise eating decisions. Maximize your leptin efficiency and you’ll have more energy, feel great all day long and sleep more soundly.
Please let me know if this information was helpful to you!