- March 22, 2019
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- Posted by: admin
Leptin is the current contender for most popular hormone of the year award. Across the world, endocrinologists, neuroscientists and psychologists are studying the processes by which leptin affects fat storage. Leptin helps inhibit hunger and regulates energy and balance. Its secreted by fat cells and sends a signal to the brain so we stop eating when the body has enough fuel in storage.
When working well, leptin triggers the hypothalamus to lower appetite, allowing the body to dip into its fat stores. People who are obese produce too much leptin and the receptors stop working, causing leptin resistance. Leptin fails to send the “I’m full” signal to the brain, which thinks there’s enough fat stored. You might have willpower in the world, but if your levels of leptin are unbalanced, they win everytime. One of the complications in losing weight is that lower leptin levels can trigger an increase in appetite and food cravings, making weight loss more challenging.
Leptin can be suppressed by eating too much sugar. In particular, its affected by to much fructose, which is used as a sweetener and call also be listed as agave, crystalline fructose and high-fructose corn syrup. Fructose is metabolised by the liver. If there’s too much fructose, the liver has to work overtime and excess fructose is stored as fat.
DO YOU HAVE A LEPTIN IMBALANCE?
- Are you 7 kilograms or more overweight, with most of the fat stored around your belly?
- Do you feel hungry all the time and not satisfied after eating?
- Do you get less than seven or eight hours sleep?
- Do you feel stressed? High cortisol levels lead to leptin resistance.
- Has your exercise routine fallen off the rails?
- Do you have strong cravings for sweet foods?
- Do you become a human vacuum cleaner after 5pm?
- Do you have menopausal puffiness, especially around your waist?
- Do you have nanna arms- or flapping wings under your triceps muscle?
- Do you have joint aches and pains that you never had before- knee or shoulder bursitis, or arthritis?
If you answered yes to five or more of these questions you could have leptin imbalance. Consult your GP or qualified Naturopath to discuss a treatment programme.
HOW TO REBALANCE LEPTIN
- Eat slowly, eat well! Try to finish eating dinner at least three hours before bed and to stop eating each meal when slightly less than full. When you eat slowly, you know when you’ve just had enough and not too much! Also try to eat about 20grams of protein at breakfast. One egg has 7-9 grams of protein. If you add an avocado and flaxseeds, you’re almost at your 20grams. Another suggestion is smoked salmon and avocado on a bed of spinach. Quality fats such as those in avocado and salmon are important to stabilise leptin. Consider a pea protein shake, but only if you’re finding it difficult to eat enough protein from your food. Limit your carbs but don’t cut out all. Including some good carbs such as brown rice, quinoa and starchy vegetables is the better option.
- Get a good night’s sleep. When you place your body under stress, your cortisol levels go up and stay up, which increases your risk of developing insulin resistance and leptin resistance. If you believe you can function on fewer than eight hours a night, science tells a different story. Studies reveal a link between sleep, weight, insulin resistance and decreased leptin. And because you’re awake for longer, the body sends a signal that it needs more fuel in the tank- hello, hunger pangs. A summary of 36 sleep studies showed that sleeping fewer hours reduces leptin levels and elevates its opposing hormone., ghrelin, which increases appetite levels. Not only that studies suggested that when we are tired we are less likely to exercise. The link between sleep deprivation and weight gain appears to be especially strong in children. In one study, young men who slept for only four hours over two consectutive nights has an 18 percent increase in ghrelin. Sleep deprivation leads to food cravins, particularly for sweet and starchy foods, perhaps because the brain is fuelled by glucose. When we dont get enough sleep our brain doesnt respond to insulin telling us we have fuel on board, and it craves sugar for sustenance. If you give in to these cravings you’ll gain weight.
- Limit fructose. If your leptin levels are high, cut back on fructose. Regardless of leptin levels, always avoid high-fructose corn syrup and eat as little sugar as possible.
The rebalance allows two serves of low sugar fruit such as berries a day.
Another reason to avoid fructose is that it messes with the liver, which has to be in top shape for hormone balance.
- Increase fibre. Most Australians don’t eat enough fibre, which is vital for weightloss. Fibre helps us feel full and satisfied, maintains bowel health and healthy weight, lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar. Vegetables and legumes are good sources, and you can add two teaspoons of flaxseeds to smoothies, soups or salads. When you’re adding fibre, you must be drinking more water. Otherwise you can end up with a big ball of fibre in your bowel.