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Leptin- The Secret to Controlling Appetite

What is Leptin?

Leptin is a hormone released by fat cells to tell the brain that a person is full. Women’s fat cells secrete more of this hormone than men’s cells do.

How does it work?

When leptin is released into the blood stream, it tells the brain that you are full. So, leptin levels increase with eating and decrease when you are fasting. Leptin levels are necessarily lower in morning after a night of sleep because sleep is a fasting period.

What is Leptin Resistance?

Since people with more fat cells, have greater levels of leptin available, it stands to reason that they would express even stronger appetite control and thus have a greater ability to know when they were full. But, like all hormone systems in the body, there can be something called leptin resistance. Over time, high circulating levels of leptin cause a decreased sensitivity to this hormone by the brain.

How Can you ‘Fix’ Leptin Resistance?

As with Diabetes or ‘insulin resistance’, the most crucial step in hormonal regulation and fat metabolism is diet.  The idea that a low-fat diet will solve this issue has been debunked years ago. Additionally, straight calorie reduction can put your body into fat-storing mode.

Is there an easier way?

The true path here is to take the middle road by making dietary changes and increasing exercise levels. Specifically, elimination or severe reduction of refined sugars and grains will yield the quickest results. That’s because simple carbohydrates in breads, cereals, and other grains are converted to sugar. This sugar is converted to fat in a process called lipogenesis. In a ketogenic diet, all grains are eliminated, forcing the body to burn fat for energy production and for feeding the brain.

For a more complete discussion on the role fat cells play in energy metabolism and hormone regulation, please visit http://marlowesweightloss.com/jama-obesity-article

 

 

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