Leptin Resistance & Weight Loss
If you have been trying to lose weight for years with no success we may have the answer for you!
Leptin is the hormone made by fat cells that tell your brain when it is hungry and when it is satisfied. In a person who develops leptin resistance, the brain does not hear the leptin tell it to stop eating. This causes the brain to continue signaling the body to eat more food and store more fat. Over time, more and more leptin is required for a person to feel satisfied after a meal. Because of the complex nature of hormone regulation leptin has an ideal range. Too little leptin will cause hunger and obesity and too much leptin is a sign that your brain no longer responds to leptin, also causing hunger and obesity.
Foods that trigger leptin resistance include:
- Starchy Vegetables
- Sugary foods
For decades we were told to avoid fat. Fat was replaced with sugar through processing in low and no fat foods. We were told that these were healthier. Unfortunately, consuming more sugar and carbohydrates shifts our metabolism. A sugar metabolism means the energy needs to be used quickly. If the sugar is not used it is stored in the body as saturated fat that is hard to burn leading to weight gain. If you regularly eat sugar and fat together the body will store the fat and burn the sugar. Good examples of this combination are grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream.
These starchy and sugary foods also lead to higher blood sugar levels. Similar to leptin resistance, insulin resistance develops. Insulin is the hormone that takes sugar from the blood into the cells so it can be burned for energy. When a person is insulin resistant sugar levels in the blood remain high and that sugar combines with proteins in a process called glycation. This process increases inflammation, free radicals and eventually leads to poor wound healing, neuropathic pain, and loss of vision.
The purpose of a Leptin Diet is to burn fat for energy and reset your metabolism. Eating fat is not what causes weight gain. Not being able to burn fat efficiently in the presence of too much sugar leads to weight gain. Good fats actually correct leptin resistance. Healthy fats are where it’s at!
How do you know which fats are good? There are many different kinds of fats and some are good for you, others are not. Here is a quick review.
Omega-6 oils tend to be bad for us. They are inflammatory and easily oxidized leading to free radical formation. They also tend to be cheap so they are widely used in restaurants. Most Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated and liquid at room temperature. They include soy, sesame, safflower, corn and peanut oils. We suggest you avoid these oils.
Omega-3 oils are a different type of polyunsaturated fat that reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, leptin resistance and decrease depression. The best source of Omega-3 fatty acids is a high-quality fish oil. EPA and DHA are the the most important Omega-3 fatty acids. Flax does not contain EPA or DHA. It can be converted to EPA and DHA but many people lack the enzymes necessary for this biochemical process. For this reason, we recommend fish oils as the most effective source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, and sunflower oil. These oils are part of the Mediterranean diet and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. These oils are best when they have not been heated. Apply liberally to salads, protein, and vegetables after cooking.
Coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fat different from the long chain saturated fats found in animal products and associated with inflammation, weight gain and high cholesterol. Coconut oil can actually lower bad cholesterol and help with weight loss. It has also been used topically to treat skin conditions and moisturize. It is also used internally to help with blood sugar regulation, digestive complaints and balancing the immune system.
How do you know if leptin resistance is keeping you from your optimal healthy weight? Have blood levels of leptin measured at North County Natural Medicine! If we discover high levels of leptin we can help you reset your metabolism through a specific diet and nutritional supplementation.