Leptin And Why I Should Know About it?

by Sam Richards on January 31, 2015. Updated February 21, 2015

Leptin along with Gherlin are two hormones that play a significant part in weight control and hunger management. Leptin was discovered in 1994 and created quite a stir.

People expected that leptin and weight loss would go hand in glove. But this actually didn’t happen.

We will study later, why leptin doesn’t trigger weight loss. Before that we need to understand what is leptin and what does leptin do.

Get To Know Leptin

Leptin is secreted by fat cells, which are responsible for storing fat in the body and plays a significant role in regulating the perception of hunger and the quantity of energy the body spends. When the fat storage reaches a certain level, leptin is released in the blood and reaches our brain and activates leptin receptors.

The brain along with the leptin receptors then controls and manages the hunger sensation and energy dispensation. Leptin helps to subdue the desire for food and increases the energy released in the body for normal functions as well as special functions. See how John Barban has maximised the control of this hormone in a diet plan.

Ghrelin Your Hunger Hormone

Ghrelin leptin have opposite effects, even though they both have a significant role to play in energy management for our body. Where leptin has a long term effect on our energy management and expenditure, controlling hunger and encouraging weight loss. Ghrelin on the other hand is quicker acting and controls our appetite.

Ghrelin is secreted in the gastrointestinal tract and triggers the feeling of hunger in our brain. Ghrelin induces hunger and influences the digestion of fatty material, encouraging the body to store fat so that it can be used during a period of starvation.

Relationship between Leptin and Ghrelin

Leptin ghrelin relationship is closely related to each other. While leptin is the full signal and tells the brain to stop the sensation of hunger, ghrelin is the empty signal and triggers the brain to demand food. So ghrelin stimulates hunger while leptin diminishes it. There are other hormones too that influence hunger but we are not going to complicate the issue by discussing them here.

What is the Function of Leptin in the Body?

Leptin helps the brain to determine the amount of food the body needs and stimulate energy release in proportion to the nutrients the body has taken. Energy is necessary for all body functions. We need a lot of energy for our daily functions and when it comes to growth stages like puberty, fertility and childbearing, we need extra energy.

If the leptin level in the body is high then the brain is triggered to release energy in normal amount, which means that all the body functions are at their optimal level and you feel less hungry and more energetic. If the leptin levels are low then the body will conserve energy and there won’t be much available for normal metabolic functions let alone special ones.

Leptin Resistance and How to overcome it

Now we come to the question what is leptin resistance? This will also answer to an extent the query posed earlier about leptin and weight loss. Normally, when there is a high level of leptin in your blood, the brain get the signal to stop eating, but when the brain becomes leptin resistance, the leptin does not reach the receptors and brain cannot trigger the satiated signal to stop the body from demanding food.

This leads to overeating and obesity. So you can see that despite high levels of leptin, if the body cannot detect it and the desire for food does not diminish as would be expected and energy continues to be stored as fat in the adipose cells instead of being released. The best way to overcome leptin resistance is to lose weight by adhering to a diet plan and exercising regularly. Other tricks including sleeping a full 8 – 10 hours a day and reducing stress. This will help to reduce body weight and also decrease your brain’s resistance to leptin.

How to Increase Leptin Hormone and Combat Leptin Deficiency

Leaner people have low leptin levels and this may leave them fatigued and irritable. The best way to increase leptin level in the body to an optimum level is by following a sleep, diet, exercise plan. Adequate amount of sleep helps to distress the body. This is an important factor in regulating the hormone secretions of the body. Eat food that is rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids, dietary fiber and drink a lot of water.

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low calorie food. Avoid foods that are processed and have added sugar. Eat regular meals and do not snack between meals. Do not go on crash diets. Avoid simple carbohyderates. All these disrupt your normal leptin secretions and should be avoided.

What is the Best Diet to Follow for Leptin?

There are hundreds of diets and diet plans available on the internet. When we did a leptin diet review, we discovered that all of these follow the same pattern for food consumption and types of foods to eat in order to keep leptin levels at optimum. The optimum level is not the same for everyone and varies from one individual to another. Hence the result may vary for each person.

All diets advocate eating a breakfast that is rich in proteins. Add some food that contains fiber and your breakfast is complete. For lunch the food intake should be low in fat and high in fiber. The advice is to stick to lean meats and salads.  Dinner should again include low fat protein and lots of vegetables and fruits for dessert. One good site where you can find great recipes for Leptin diets is. It will give you a fair idea of a leptin diet plan. If you are a vegetarian, then check out these vegetarian leptin recipes.

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Sam Richards February 21, 2015 at 6:46 pm

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