Crave junk foods? Ever had trouble sticking to a diet? And most of all, are you overweight?
These are all strong signals that you could have some leptin issues. Leptin is one of our body’s master hormones, and it is the one that controls hunger and feelings of satiety.
Leptin is secreted by fat tissue, so usually the more overweight a person is, the higher his leptin levels are.
Leptin is also directly tied to insulin, or more specifically, insulin levels. Many people these days are leptin resistant and there are many health problems tied to this issue. High leptin levels have been tied to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and stroke, as well as blood sugar problems.
High levels of leptin – and the associated leptin resistance – can also negatively affect fertility, age you more quickly and promote obesity.
If you’re trying to lose weight or improve a health problem, chances are you have leptin resistance. If you can’t seem to stick to health changes, chances are you have leptin resistance.
Simply put, if you want to make lasting health changes or lose weight and keep it off, you have to fix your leptin. The good news is: if you’ve failed at diets or health changes in the past, it was most certainly because you failed to regulate your leptin levels and doing so can help you finally make lasting changes.
Leptin resistance and its related problems are a complex problem involving the endocrine system and reversing them requires more than simple calorie restriction or will power.
Things That Contribute To Leptin Resistance
As with all hormone issues, leptin resistance is a complex issue with not singular cause, but there are many factors that can negatively impact leptin levels, including:
- Consumption of a lot of simple carbs
- Lack of sleep
- High stress levels
- High insulin levels
- Exercising too much
How To Fix Leptin Resistance
- Consuming a large amount of protein and healthy fats first thing in the morning, as soon after waking as possible. This contributes to satiety and gives the body the building blocks to make hormones.
- Eat little to no simple starches, refined foods, sugars, and fructose
- Be in bed by 10 PM
- Don’t snack – When you are constantly eating, even small amounts, during the day it keep your liver working and doesn’t give hormones a break. Try to space meals at least 4 hours apart and don’t eat for at least 4 hours before bed. This includes drinks with calories but herbal teas, water, coffee or tea without sugar or cream are fine.
- Don’t workout at first. Let your body heal a little first, then add in the exercise.
- When you do exercise, do only sprints and weight lifting. Walk or swim if you want to but don’t do cardio just for the sake of it. It’s just an additional stress on the body. High intensity and weight lifting, on the other hand, give the hormones benefits of working out without the stress from excess cardio and are great after the first few weeks. Also, workout in the evening, not morning, to properly support hormone levels.
- Eat – or take – more omega-3s (fish, grass-fed meats, chia seeds) and minimize your omega-6 consumption (vegetable oils, conventional meats, grains. Etc) to get lower inflammation and help support healthy leptin levels.