Increase Leptin for Weight Loss
What is Leptin?
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that signals satiety, or the feeling of being full. High leptin levels cause a feeling of fullness after meals. While low leptin levels cause the feeling of hunger. Therefore if you naturally increase leptin you can reduce hunger and improve weight loss.
How Does Leptin Work?
Think of this hormonal process as a closed loop feedback system much like a home’s thermostat. Don’t worry… you won’t need an Engineering degree to understand this process!
Put simply, your body has a weight setpoint. Just like the thermostat in your home has a temperature setpoint. In this analogy, the amount of fat in your body is like the temperature in your house. When the temperature goes up, the thermostat reacts to keep it at the setpoint. In much the same way, when body fat increases, your body reacts to lower it back to the setpoint.
Whereas the thermostat simply turns on the air conditioner to drop the actual temperature back to the setpoint, your body attempts to decrease fat by releasing leptin. Because high leptin levels make you feel full more easily. Thereby causing you to eat less and reduce your body weight back to the setpoint.
Additionally, the reverse is also true. When you lose fat by dieting leptin decreases so you feel hungrier. As a result, you eat more and your weight goes back up to the setpoint.
In short, leptin causes hunger and cravings which is part of what makes dieting so difficult. Feeling like a slave to your own body yet? Well hold on, I have information that will set you free!
Increase Leptin for Weight Loss
Struggling to lose fat due to hunger is not just a lack of self-control. Rather, it’s leptin signaling your body to do exactly what it’s programmed to do!
So how are you ever supposed to lose fat if your body is programmed to maintain it? Are diets a waste of time?? Not if you understand your body’s responses to dieting and adjust key nutritional factors accordingly.
Instead of trying to overcome leptin and fight against the body, we should use this hormone’s power to our advantage. High leptin levels cause us to feel full and lose fat, right? Well, then why don’t we figure out how to use our diet to increase leptin!
How to Increase Leptin
Studies suggest that leptin levels rise after a calorie dense meal. This makes sense since leptin is the satiety hormone.
Therefore, you can induce high leptin by incorporating periodic high calorie days during a low calorie diet. As a result you can reduce hunger and continue losing fat. These high calorie, high carbohydrate days are called refeeds. And they can be used to counteract the effect of low leptin levels.
In addition, a refeed may help reduce hunger in another way. Insulin is an antagonist to leptin, meaning it has the opposite effect. Though the exact mechanisms are unclear, insulin seems to inhibit leptin and it’s impact on hunger. For those who don’t know, insulin is increased when carbohydrates are consumed and broken down into glucose.
So, inducing a periodic state of high insulin through a high carb refeed should help counteract the effects of low leptin. Such as hunger and fat storage.
For these reasons, refeed days are essential to reducing body fat to very low levels. However, consistently high insulin levels are not conducive to fat burning. So refeed days must be utilized properly to ensure fat loss.
More information on what constitutes an effective refeed is available in the Nutrition Guide.
Leptin resistance is when your body doesn’t respond to high leptin levels. It’s the equivalent of a broken AC in the dog days of summer. In other words, the thermostat is sending signals that the temperature inside is way too high, but the AC is not responding.
In this situation, you would not feel full after a big meal. And continue eating despite having a lot of body fat. And that can be a major contributing cause of weight gain and obesity.
However, leptin resistance is not a life sentence to being imprisoned in your own body. To find out some possible remedies to reverse leptin resistance check out this article from SelfHacked.
Leptin Lessons Learned
So there you have it. You’ve learned that leptin is a powerful hormone which controls body weight.
In addition, you’ve learned that a refeed is a strategic high calorie day during a low calorie diet. And that incorporating refeeds can increase leptin and help you continue to lose weight.
So why not give that diet another try? But this time do it the smart way and work with your body instead of against it!
Get a Fat Loss Meal Plan
Nutritioneering offers a custom Fat Loss Meal Plan which includes nutritional strategies to overcome fat loss challenges like leptin. You can also add a workout plan and a fat burning supplement plan to reach your weight loss goal even faster!
Click the button below to get started.