Sometimes, you may work hard to lose excess weight, but you just maintain the same weight.
This may be a result of a hormone, called leptin, which prevents weight loss. Cells release leptin and its function is to balance the energy levels and body weight: initially, it crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to receptors in the appetite center in the brain, thus signaling the brain to determine the amount of food that the body needs.
Secondly, it raises the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and thus stimulating the fat tissue to burn energy. Yet, there are cases in which the body develops resistance to this hormone.
In general, this may happen when the leptin in the blood does not reach the proper targets in order to control appetite, or when the receptors that leptin binds to fail to function properly and do not send the signals to cells to respond to leptin. In most cases, this is the case with obese and overweight people.
If the levels of this hormone have been high for a longer period of time, the person loses the sensitivity to it, so the brain does not obey the signals of leptin to speed up the metabolism and stop eating.
These are the most common symptoms of leptin resistance:
- Weight gain
- Uncontrollable cravings
- Stress eating
- Late night eating
- Increased blood pressure
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Inability to lose weight
- Sugar cravings
- Increase in triglycerides
- Frequent anxiety
- Lack of motivation
- Urge to snack soon after meals
- Fatigue, especially after eating
In order to reverse insulin and leptin resistance, you should immediately stop consuming:
- High dietary fat
- Fructose Corn Syrup
On the other hand, your diet should be rich in organic and whole foods, and reduce the intake of grain carbs. You can consume as much high-quality healthful fat (saturated and monosaturated), from avocados coconut and coconut oil, nuts, butter, and animal fats. You should also consume animal-based omega-3 fat, like krill oil.
Also, avoid processed foods, and consume soluble fiber and protein. Additionally, reduce the triglycerides by reducing the intake of carbs.
It is of high importance to exercise regularly, as exercise can significantly restore the balance in the body and reverse leptin resistance.
The issues with the levels of leptin in the body may also be a result of sleep deficiency and sleep disorders, so make sure you get a proper rest and sleep.
Therefore, it is of high importance to check the levels of leptin in the body and try to solve issues, if present and restore the hormonal balance.