Fixing Your Leptin Levels
Once we understand how the hunger hormones work; Ghrelin the hunger hormone and Leptin the satiety hormone, we can begin to understand if our body is in balance. Your Leptin levels are more than likely out of whack if you’re someone who eats all day long and never seems to feel full. There is good news though; with some changes to your lifestyle, you will be able to re-balance your hormones and get them back to healthier levels.
How Cravings Are Related To Leptin Levels
Craving certain foods or wanting to eat at certain times may indicate the Leptin in your body is not functioning optimally. This might be the real reason you want to snack at night, have trouble sticking to diets and have become overweight.
Leptin is an amazing hormone responsible for causing feelings of fullness. It’s secreted by fat or adipose tissue, so, it follows that the more overweight an individual is, typically the higher their Leptin levels are. Leptin is involved in the metabolism of fat. It monitors how much energy an organism ingests by surveying the balance of energy within the body.
How Leptin Regulates Hunger
There are 3 main ways that Leptin regulates the feelings of hunger. It promotes the production of an appetite suppressant known as a-MSH. It also counteracts another feeding stimulant known as “Anandamide.” Additionally, it counteracts a potent feeding stimulant known as “neuropeptide Y” which is secreted by specific cells in the stomach and the hypothalamus.
Individuals who have lots of cravings, never feel full and are overweight may be suffering from Leptin resistance. This means your body may be overweight, but your brain thinks you’re starving. There are a number of health problems tied to Leptin resistance; obesity and blood sugar problems are just two of them.
Studies have shown that high Leptin levels may also be connected to decreased fertility and may speed up the aging process. If you are having trouble sticking to positive changes in your health routine, it’s possible that you’re dealing with Leptin resistance.
Regulating Your Leptin Levels
Since hormones are part of our endocrine system, regulating your Leptin levels is an involved issue that takes more than strict willpower and calorie restriction. The following suggestions will help you move toward getting your Leptin levels back into balance:
- Eliminate fructose, sugars, simple starches and refined foods from your diet. It all ends up as sugar in your body, and it’s all bad for you!
- Optimize your sleep, and go to bed by 10pm.
- Eat healthy fats, and always have a serving of protein for breakfast. Cereal, toast and orange juice aren’t your best breakfast choices; in fact, a better option would be to have a poached egg, some fresh avocado and a small serving of fresh fruit.
- Get some vitamin D and fresh air by getting outdoors for a period during the day. Take a brisk 15 minute walk. (It’s a good stress reliever, too!)
- Add Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet or take supplements. Excellent sources include chia seeds and fish.
- Cut down on your Omega-6 fatty acid consumption. Omega-6 comes from conventional meats, vegetable oils and grains. Reducing these can also help reduce inflammatory responses in your body too. When you have your annual physical, ask your doctor to check your C-Reactive Protein or CRP. This is a measure of the inflammation in your body.
- Eat your meals more slowly. It takes the brain time to recognize and respond to the leptin signals. Gorging yourself means you will consume a lot before feeling full, but will feel uncomfortably full after.
You can take control of your eating habits and your health by working with leptin and not against it!
Helping You Live Healthier in a Major Way!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC