How Does Leptin Function?
As an example, think of it as a closed-loop feedback system. Like your home’s thermostat.
When the temperature in your house goes up, the thermostat turns on the air conditioner. Similarly, when your weight goes up, leptin turns down your appetite.
Through appetite, your body controls energy balance to regulate your weight.
When this cycle works properly, you intuitively know how much to eat to maintain your weight. But it’s a delicate balance, and sometimes the system gets out of whack.
For instance, many overweight people don’t feel full when they should. That’s called leptin resistance.
Imagine a hot summer day. But this time, the AC doesn’t get the signal from the thermostat. So the temperature in your house just keeps climbing.
With leptin resistance, your appetite doesn’t get the signal that you’re overweight. As a result, you continue to eat and gain weight.
It’s like you develop a tolerance to leptin and get numb to the signal. Therefore, the solution is to restore your sensitivity.
How to Increase Leptin Sensitivity
While the cause of leptin resistance isn’t fully understood, studies suggest it can result from regular overeating and chronic inflammation1.
Fortunately, you can increase your leptin sensitivity with diet and exercise.