Eating healthy is challenging, even for the most committed. Most of us don’t know that there is actually a physiological reason for this. Once you understand how the body’s processes work, you will understand simple tricks and strategies that “trick” you into staying on track more easily.
Leptin is a hormone that is secreted by the fat cells. Here are some great facts about leptin to get us started:
- Signals you to stop when full (satiety)
- Controls eating, reproduction, and METABOLISM
- Overweight people often have enough leptin, but not sensitive receptors.
- Chronically high carb eating creates LEPTIN RESISTANCE
- We must MAKE the leptin receptors SENSITIVE by retraining them….decreasing overall carb/sugar intake.
As you have probably learned thus far in the program, eating too many carbs can get in your way for a variety of reasons. Our goal at Heart In Motion is to make weight loss less difficult by teaching you the “why” and then “what” to do about it. Weight loss is made simpler if our leptin levels are normalized and our receptors are sensitive.
The list below is a “TO DO” list for optimal leptin balance and sensitivity.
- Decrease carbohydrate intake –When we eat too many carbohydrates, we get a significant rise in insulin which can lead to insulin resistance. Any time there is insulin resistance, there is leptin resistance.
- Choose carb sources that have a very low glycemic load- Low glycemic foods decrease the amount of insulin produced. Protein and green veggies have the lowest load, followed by fruits, then grains are the highest.
- Exercise daily –Leptin sensitivity is improved the fastest when one is exercising. Moving your body on more days than not is the best way to improve this condition quickly.
- Do not eat 3 hours before bedtime –Leptin levels are naturally highest in the evening and lowest in the morning which means you should be more hungry in the morning than in the evening. Extreme hunger in the evening often suggests leptin resistance.
- Sleep at least 7-9 hours a night –Sleep deprivation causes low leptin levels and high ghrelin (another hunger hormone). This is the perfect combination for extreme hunger and inability to stop when you are full. Setting a strict bedtime and sticking to it can do wonders for your balancing your leptin levels.
Are you struggling with :
- Extreme hunger, especially in the evening?
- Feeling like you don’t want to stop, even when you are full?
STEP(S) FOR THIS WEEK:
- Even when you are not leptin resistant, you can struggle with an imbalance. Make sure you are employing the strategies above to maximize the role of leptin in controlling your metabolism, cravings, and hunger.