Most people who have studied nutrition, even briefly, are probably familiar with the hormone Insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps our body utilize glucose (blood sugar). Through a variety of ways, our body can become resistant to the effects of insulin and thus making it difficult to effectively manage blood glucose levels. This leads to Diabetes. All fairly common sense stuff, right? Well, there is another hormone that is far less known that is playing a huge role in your ability (or inability) to lose weight. That hormone is known as Leptin. Leptin is a hormone that is actually produced by your fat cells. One of its primary roles is to signal the brain and let it know when we have eaten enough food. On the other hand, Leptin also sends hunger signals to the brain when we need more food.
Hopefully you can already see the implications here of this critical hormone. If it is possible (which it definitely is) for us to become insensitive to this hormone as with insulin, then there are some pretty significant consequences. When we become insensitive to Leptin, our brain fails to get the signal that we are full. Instead, what happens is that we don't get the right signal notifying us that we have eaten enough food to make us feel "full" or "satisfied". As a result we eat more than we need, which results in more fat deposits, which in turn leads to an increased production of more Leptin which finally leads to a greater Leptin insensitivity. Its kind of like a vicious downward spiral...That is unless we don't take action to regain sensitivity to this amazing hormone.
Think about the incredible implications and possibilities here. If we can improve our Leptin sensitivity that will mean a greater sense of satiety, sooner when we eat. This should be welcomed news indeed for those who are afraid of feeling starved all the time while on diets. This means that you are able to eat smaller portions but still feel fuller longer. How awesome is that?!
The great news is that you can do a few simple things to dramatically improve your Leptin sensitivity. So, here are 3 easy ways to improve Leptin sensitivity:
Poor sleep has been linked to not only Leptin sensitivity but also a wide range of other hormone problems. Sleep is such a huge part of the overall health equation, but especially when it comes to weight loss. Improving your sleep is an awesome way to improve your Leptin sensitivity.
Shifting our diet to consumer more protein is a smart move in general for health and weight loss, but one of the important reasons behind this is because it can help our Leptin sensitivity.
You already knew this didn't you? Exercise seems to be the answer to just about everything...And Leptin sensitivity is no exception. The more we exercise, the more we improve our body's overall hormone sensitivity including Leptin.
So there you have it. Leptin is a key player in the weight loss story. Make sure that you use Leptin to your advantage by keeping your sensitivity high. This will make a huge difference in your efforts to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.