This post might be kind of confusing, but I wanted to see if I could attempt to help you all understand a very important part of body regulation for fat loss and health.
This post is about a hormone called leptin. This little guy is so important in how the endocrine system functions (or doesn’t function). It is tied to other hormones…like insulin, testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. It is also tied to the adrenals and thyroid (these last two many people often tout as reasons for being overweight and not feeling they can lose it…aha! Get the leptin under control, and maybe these will function better…and then the fat will start to dissipate! The system will start to work!)
Leptin is found in the fat cells of the body. It functions as a somewhat pro- inflammatory cell-signaling protein molecule (cytokine). It is also known as the fat sensing hormone (Gedgaudas, 2010). Leptin speaks to the hypothalamus.
Now, leptin is similar to insulin…so, the same things that mess with insulin also mess with leptin (Gedgaudas, 2010). The two can function well in similar manners, but they can also disfunction in similar manners. The main thing that seems to make both of these two hormones disfunction? Blood sugar surges (Gedgaudas, 2010).
After some time, when there are a bunch of fluctuations in blood sugar, the insulin and the leptin both tend to stop functioning properly; hence, the hypothalamus does not get a needed message. What is that message? Well, since leptin says to either burn or not burn, store or not store energy or fat, the message that won’t be sent if this becomes disfunctional is that burn now message. This is leptin resistance. Similar to insulin resistance (see previous post about insulin resistance). If you can regulate the leptin by limiting carbs, and keep them optimally low (not really low), you may well be in an optimal fat burning state.
Some signs that you may have some leptin resistance or disfunction:
1. Love handles
2. Lethargy after meals
4. Cravings for comfort foods
5. Stress and anxiety
Pretty interesting, right?
Keeping carbs down will not create those blood sugar fluctuations, and eating enough good fat will help leptin function properly too.
Generally, if leptin is disregulated, insulin will be as well. You might even have other malfunctions within the body…like lowered desire to procreate or thyroid and adrenal malfunctions (as mentioned earlier)! Do you see why this hormone is so important?
Hormones work and don’t work together, and leptin is the dietary fat sensor! It sees how much fat is available in the diet and tells the brain what to do. If it is not working properly, appetite will be skewed and no weight will be lost…sooooo, what to do?
Eat less carbs to get your leptin under control. Eat less (preferably no) sugar to keep your leptin under control!
What kinds of things should you cut out?
Fruits (except maybe some berries or occasional piece of organic fruit…unless you are going to be doing some serious high-intensity working out)
Cut these out and you should be on your way to healthy leptin, a healthy endocrine system, and a healthier you!!!!
Oh yeah, and one more thing…if leptin affects so many parts of the system, how do you think it might affect certain disorders and diseases…getting it under control very well could be the answer to many various issues! Such as what? Such as
1. Diabetes Type II
3. Sexual dysfunctions
3. Some mental disorders (anxiety, depression)
and so much more!
Of course, this is a hypothesis…a theory…but think about it!
Thanks and have a healthy day!
A side note: I want to make sure you all understand that it is important to eat a good amount of SATURATED (animal, mostly) FATS while keeping CARBS low so that you have the proper propotion of energy to fuel the body! Leptin listens to this!
Gedgaudas, N. (2010, Aug. 6). Primal body, primal mind [podcast]: Nora interviewed on the Ken Rose show. Retrieved from Primal Body Primal Mind Podcast on Itunes.