The central theses
- Leptin is a hormone that is mainly produced by fat cells that are involved in many functions in the body, including regulating appetite, metabolic rate, motivation, immunity, fertility and libido, to name a few.
- Leptin resistance occurs due to being overweight when the body stops responding to the effects of leptin.
- Read on to learn how to best improve leptin sensitivity and weight loss!
If you've ever followed a weight loss diet, you know that losing weight is easiest to begin with and becomes increasingly difficult as you get lean.
Here's a paradoxical episode that you may have noticed:
If you have ever been overweight (or have spoken to people who have done this), you know that it is easy to keep gaining weight even if you have a high percentage of body fat.
Why is the body rebelling so violently against weight loss and welcoming weight gain so quickly?
Well, the answer to this riddle is largely in a hormone called leptin.
Leptin is at the center of the constellation of problems that every dieter has when it comes to fat loss – lethargy, hunger, a slowdown in metabolism and even an increased risk of illness.
Just as low leptin levels can cause weight loss problems, excessive leptin levels can also be problematic. If the leptin level remains elevated for too long, you can become leptin resistant, which leads to your own problems (more on that in a moment).
Over the past decade, a new wave of internet doctors, fitness gurus, and online influencers has recognized the importance of leptin and developed special diets and supplements to "hack" weight loss by controlling leptin.
They overwhelm people with big, scientific words, but in the end their recommendations are all smoke and mirrors.
However, there is no "hacking" of your metabolism, leptin levels, or body fat, and controlling leptin is no longer the secret of weight loss than controlling other hormones like insulin or testosterone.
Now for the good news:
Understanding how leptin works can help you better see what is going on in your body as you lose weight and how you can make fat loss easier by making some simple changes to your diet.
Let's first look at what leptin is.
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What is leptin?
Leptin is primarily a hormone produced through fat cells that are involved in many functions in the body, including regulation appetite, Metabolic rate, motivation, immunity, fertility, and libidoto name a few.
However, Leptin's main job is to help you maintain a healthy weight.
This is done by telling your brain how much energy is available in body fat and calories from your diet.
When the level of leptin is high, it tells your brain that you have a lot of energy in the form of stored body fat and food calories. The brain responds by reducing hunger and increasing metabolically expensive activities such as muscle growth, sex, pregnancy and exercise.
However, when the level of leptin is low, it tells your brain that your body fat stores and calorie intake are scarce. The brain answers by increasing hunger and reducing "spending" on the above activities.
This manifests itself in the form of lethargy, lack of motivation and general malaise when you reduce calories.
In other words, low leptin levels are mainly responsible for the negative feelings you feel during a diet.
How the process works in a nutshell:
In healthy people, this "feedback loop" works incredibly well and helps us maintain healthy body fat levels.
We get hungry, we eat until our body tells us that it is satisfied, it stores part of the food as fat and uses part of it for energy, we go about our day, we use energy and we burn fat, our body tells us that he needs more energy, we eat you until you are satisfied, and the cycle repeats.
This is how our body can normally care for our weight in a very tight range so that we can never gain or lose too much fat.
As you can see, leptin plays a key role in regulating body weight. It helps us use enough energy to stay healthy, happy, and alive, and prevents us from eating so much that we become the opposite.
At this point, you may be wondering if that's true, how do people ever become overweight?
Why doesn't leptin keep them from eating too much?
Let's find out.
How does leptin affect weight loss?
To understand how leptin affects weight loss, you need to understand how leptin levels rise and fall in response to your diet and body composition.
Leptin levels in the body ebb and flow related to two variables:
- Your daily calorie intake.
- Your body fat content.
When you eat enough calories to maintain or gain weight, fat cells excrete leptin to signal your brain that you have enough energy. As you learned earlier, this causes the brain to reduce hunger and increase activity levels and other calorie-intensive activities.
Leptin levels correlate closely with your hourly food intake. increasing as soon as five hours after eating. Leptin levels are also particularly sensitive to carbohydrate-rich foods that cause the greatest increase in leptin.
Likewise, the level of leptin can drop within a few days of starting calorie reduction for weight loss. For example in one study Under the leadership of scientists from Washington University, overweight people who ate 1,000 calories a day (which led to a massive calorie deficit) had a 26% decrease in leptin levels after 10 days.
Another study Research conducted by scientists from the University of Chicago showed that one week of malnutrition (70% of total daily energy consumption) reduced leptin levels by 30 to 50%.
Leptin also helps control appetite and activity in the long run by keeping the brain up to date on all your body fat.
Despite what many people think, body fat is more than just an ugly, greasy burden. It's the body's best way to store energy and isolate the body, and it has been protecting us humans from hunger and cold for thousands of years.
As a result, the body developed An elegant and resilient system that allows you to carefully monitor how much body fat is available at the same time.
Body fat is the main organ that produces leptin. So when the body fat level increases, the leptin level in the lock step increases.
Conversely, if body fat levels decrease, leptin levels will also decrease.
This allows the brain to monitor how much energy is available at any given time – in the short term by using leptin to monitor calorie intake versus consumption and in the long term by using leptin to monitor body fat.
It gets interesting here.
Leptin not only tells the brain what's going on, it also acts as a kind of main regulator for many of the other hormones involved in fat loss, muscle building, mood, and hunger.
If, for example, the leptin level drops, this is the case concerns a number of other hormones involved in appetite, fat burning and energy consumption:
- The thyroid hormone decreases, which reduces the metabolism and fat burning
- Neuropeptide Y and agouti-related peptide increase, which increases appetite and fat storage and lowers the metabolic rate
- Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcripts fall, which increases appetite
- Cholecystokinin, a hormone that increases fullness, stop working just as effective, which further increases appetite
- Ghrelin, one of the primary hormones responsible for stimulating hunger, rises
Leptin also directly increases Burning fat in muscle tissue. And when the level of leptin drops, this extra boost in fat burning also dries out.
In addition, low leptin levels to press Immune function, which is part of the reason why people on a diet become sick more common than people who eat enough calories to maintain or gain weight.
If the body fat content is low enough, there is almost no leptin in the blood, which is why it is almost so impossible You shouldn't feel hungry, tired, and sluggish when you get extremely slim (usually around 8% body fat in men and 18% in women).
When people who have been on a diet for a long time are given an injection of synthetic leptin, these symptoms appear disappeartheir metabolic rate increases and they lose weight faster.
Why don't obese people just get a shot of leptin to lose weight?
Well, scientists have tried this and that became too a colossal failure.
How can this fat-burning, energizing and invigorating hormone not lead to massive weight loss for those with the highest weight loss?
Simple: people with a lot of body fat to have high leptin levels – far more than slim people.
For this reason, they do not lose weight by injecting leptin. You already have sky-high leptin levels, so an even higher lift doesn't bring any additional benefits.
What's going on here?
Why are overweight people driven to eat so much? Why doesn't your brain – which floats in leptin – reduce hunger and increase the desire for exercise?
Is that a glitch in the matrix?
The problem in this case is known as something Leptin resistance.
Summary: Leptin levels increase with increasing calorie intake and body fat and vice versa. Although decreasing leptin levels make weight loss the slimmer you get, most men can maintain a body fat percentage of around 10 to 15% and most women can maintain a body fat percentage of around 20 to 22% with little difficulty.
How leptin resistance makes weight loss difficult
To like Insulin resistanceLeptin resistance is a condition in which the body becomes less sensitive to leptin signals that destroy appetite and metabolism.
Scientists are not entirely sure why this happens, but the fact is that overweight people have extremely high levels of leptin, but in many cases their brains still believe they are running out of energy and are taking the above measures to help them absorb energy to increase and decrease performance.
In this case, the system looks like this:
Despite being overweight, these people want to eat more and exercise less.
Now that you've read about weight loss online, you may have heard that some people point to leptin resistance to show that the theory of weight loss is “pure calories vs. Calories out "is a bunk.
Stop worrying about your calorie intake, they coo, optimize your hormones, and your metabolism and weight loss will take care of itself.
Nothing is further from the truth.
The fact that leptin resistance simply helps us better understand why calorie restriction is difficult and does not always result in as much weight loss as we would expect. It doesn't change the fact that you still have to cut calories to lose weight.
While scientists aren't sure how or why leptin resistance occurs at the cellular level, they have a pretty clear idea of what lifestyle factors lead to leptin resistance and what people can do to get out of this metabolic swamp.
For one thing, the main factor that causes leptin resistance is simply that you become obese in the first place. The main source of leptin is excess body fat, and maintaining healthy body fat is the best way to avoid leptin resistance.
What should people who are already overweight do to get out of this traffic jam?
Well, limit calories and reduce body fat reduced Leptin levels and improves Leptin sensitivity.
That won't be fun in the beginning if the body is still resistant to leptin and sending out SOS signals for more calories as soon as possible, but this effect wears off when the leptin level stabilizes and the brain reacts sensitively to leptin effects.
When you're in this boat, there's another reason to trust yourself that you won't have to deal with the annoyance of leptin resistance forever.
Keep in mind that leptin scales in response to both short-term calorie restriction and long-term fat loss.
This is why the leptin usually decreases rapidly immediately after starting a diet – in response to reduced calories – and then gradually decreases as you lose your fat reserves.
This means that while the first few weeks of a new diet can be extremely difficult, an experience that many overweight people can relate to, it will only get easier if your body detects normal, healthy levels of leptin.
Do not you believe me?
Here are some examples of overweight men who have reached a healthy body fat percentage after the Bigger Leaner Stronger program and have remained lean since then, without steroids, dangerous fat loss medications, or surgery:
And here are some examples of women who achieved the same thing after the “Thinner Leaner Stronger” program:
These people are evidence that as long as you are ready to stick to your diet for a few months, you can achieve and maintain a healthy, attractive physique, even if you are currently overweight and struggling with leptin resistance.
In other words, if you lose fat, keep it off, and maintain the right habits, you can at least partially reprogram your brain to maintain a lower percentage of body fat, or what researchers call your "setpoint".
For more information on this concept, see this article:
How to change your body weight setpoint
In addition to losing weight, there are two other ways to improve leptin sensitivity.
First, it is possible that a diet of minimally processed, satiating, mild foods can help to avoid the normal increase in hunger that results from a drop in leptin levels. Basically an herbal, high protein bodybuilder diet.
For example, several Studies have shown that eating simpler, more boring foods can help obese people massively lose weight in a short period of time without feeling hungry.
Regardless of whether this type of diet improves leptin sensitivity or simply reduces hunger in some other way, this diet resulted in significant weight loss, with almost none of the symptoms that are normally associated with low leptin levels.
Second, there are also indirect ones proofs This exercise can improve leptin sensitivity. Endurance athletes – who tend to exercise more than anyone else – in general to have Leptin levels lower than expected due to low body fat and generally not due to persistent hunger or other symptoms of low leptin levels.
This may be due to the fact that your body is more sensitive to leptin due to its training schedule and therefore needs less to reap the benefits.
Even if exercise doesn't improve leptin sensitivity, it does strong proofs that it helps “refine” your appetite so that you are more satisfied with meals and less likely to overeat (which is basically what leptin does).
In other words, the three best ways we currently know to improve leptin sensitivity are weight loss, healthy, minimally processed whole foods, and exercise.
And what about supplement?
Although some companies claim to have made leptin hormone supplements or supplements that increase leptin, there is no evidence of any of these products. You simply cannot increase the level of leptin with supplements.
As you learned earlier, your body's system for regulating body weight, foot intake and body fat percentage is extremely powerful. The only way to "hack" the system is to inject leptin (which is insanely expensive and not proven to be safe in the long run).
Summary: Leptin resistance occurs when you ingest large amounts of body fat, which increases leptin levels and makes your brain less responsive to the positive effects of leptin. The best way to improve leptin sensitivity is to achieve a healthy body fat percentage.
How can you increase leptin levels to facilitate weight loss?
If you are overweight or even obese (you have a BMI over 30), you don't have to worry about an increase in leptin levels.
Focus on losing weight, eating healthily, and exercising, and your body fat and leptin levels will settle in a new, healthy, and sustainable area.
What if you exceed the lower limits of leanness?
What if you are a man who wants to dip below 10% body fat or a woman who wants to lose less than 20% body fat?
This is when the low leptin gremlins come out to play and why #shredded get is so damn difficult.
As soon as your body fat falls below these points – 10 to 12% for men and 20 to 22% for women – the level of leptin goes up and down nearly Nothing in many cases.
This leads to unyielding hunger, constant lethargy, weak training and frayed nerves. Too often this period is interrupted by a blowout, which means that much of the lost fat and even more is recovered.
What to do about this problem?
Well, the first step is to just acknowledge that this time will not be fun. You won't feel like yourself most of the time. Your training will feel much more difficult than normal. You will likely feel tired, unglued, and grumpy most of the time.
This is what life is like with a longer calorie deficit.
Understanding and accepting this reality will help you cope with the effects of low leptin levels.
Remember that if you persist until the end, when you switch back to maintenance calories, you will feel like a new person.
The second step is to take planned breaks from your diet in order to increase the level of leptin regularly. You can think of these diet breaks as pushing your head above water to take a breath before diving back into the depths of a low-calorie diet.
In the long run, leptin levels are determined by your body fat levels, and there's nothing you can do to increase your chronic leptin levels except gaining body fat.
In the short term, however, the leptin levels are largely dictates through your calorie intake, especially yours Carbohydrate intake.
Has overeating on fat no effect on leptin levels while eating carbohydrates causes A significant increase in leptin levels that last as long as you feed your body with plenty of carbohydrates. It's unclear what effect protein overfeeding has on leptin levels, but it's probably insignificant.
The next thing that comes closest to a "hack" for your metabolism is to maintain your calorie intake for several days by eating more carbohydrates. This temporarily increases leptin levels, which partially reverses some of the mental and physical side effects of dieting.
This strategy also replenishes glycogen levels, which leads to better exercise performance and gives you the opportunity to eat more for a few days.
You may be wondering if a high-carb diet during a deficit can cause your body to keep leptin artificially elevated, but that's not the case. Carbohydrates only cause a significant increase in leptin levels if you eat as many or more calories than you burn.
While many people oppose the idea of taking a break from their diet and slowing their progress, research shows that this is likely to be more efficient in the long run.
An outstanding example of this is a study conducted by scientists at the University of Tasmania.
The scientists randomly divided 51 overweight men into two groups:
- Group one followed a fat loss diet every day for 16 weeks.
- Group two followed a fat loss diet for two weeks, maintained their calories for two weeks, and repeated this process until they had spent a total of 16 weeks after the fat loss diet.
Apart from this change, both groups followed the same diet, which had a calorie deficit of 33%.
In other words, both groups spent the same amount of time in a calorie deficit (16 weeks), but one bit the bullet and did everything at once, and the other took a two-week break on a diet after every two-week stay.
The group who took scheduled diet breaks every two weeks lost 31 pounds, while the group who did not take breaks lost only 18 pounds.
Both groups only lost about three pounds of lean mass (most of which were likely Glycogen), but the group that took breaks was half as big Metabolic rate than the group that did not take any diet breaks.
Another Review the study A scientist from the University of Illinois supported these results when he concluded that a diet break is generally more effective in maintaining muscle mass and losing fat at the same time than a continuous diet.
More information about this diet break study can be found here:
Research Report: Can “Cheating” on Your Diet Help You Lose Fat Faster?
There are likely two reasons why people in this study who took diet breaks lost more fat than those who did not:
- It was easier for them to stick to the diet. Chances are that many of the people in Group 1 did not maintain their 33% calorie deficit on each day of the study, otherwise they would have lost more weight.
- The group taking diet breaks saw a slight increase in leptin levels and metabolic rate, which helped them burn more calories and lose more weight.
Granted, the first point is probably more important than the second, but that doesn't change the fact that diet breaks have helped improve overall fat loss.
You probably don't have to take as much time as these people. A few days of maintenance every few weeks are probably all you need to take advantage of a diet break without unnecessarily lengthening your cut.
However, it is also not a good idea to take diet breaks much shorter.
Although many diet gurus recommend taking a "day of cheating" one day a week to increase leptin levels, this strategy is a bad idea for several reasons:
1. While a single high-carb meal or day increases leptin levels, it does Not Keep leptin levels high enough to reverse the negative effects of dieting.
You see it takes Several days for your brain to recognize the increase in leptin, trust your body to stop dieting, and then increase your metabolic rate and reduce hunger.
It may take up to a week or two for the leptin level to return to normal if you haven't been on a diet (although several days are enough to get noticeable benefits).
2. Most “fraud days” involve enjoying many very tasty, high-calorie and high-fat foods. This is one of the best ways to sabotage your long-term success in fat loss.
No, you don't get fat if you binge for a day, but overeating fatty foods does little or nothing to increase leptin levels. Many people, especially those who have been on a diet for a while, can eat enough in a single day to erase most of the progress of the past week of dieting.
At best, this strategy only makes it significantly more difficult to switch back to your diet when the attack is over.
While some people swear by their weekly uninhibited seizures, the people I met who followed this strategy later regretted it.
Most were on a vicious cycle of crash diets throughout the week, eating as much food as they could "get away" on the weekend, and repeating the cycle until they finally decided on a more sustainable approach.
Not only does this hinder your fat loss and negatively impact your social life, it can also result in a dreaded “thin fat” look if it is repeated long enough.
It's okay to cheat your diet from time to time, but you have to do it intelligently. In this article you will learn how:
Are You Making These 5 Cheat Meal Mistakes?
How should you set up a diet break with this word of warning?
I recommend the following:
- Increase your maintenance calories for two to three days, depending on how you feel. If you feel worn out, tired and hungry, do three days. If you feel okay but are ready for a break, take two days. Use this calculator to find out what your maintenance calories should be these days.
- Keep your protein and fat intake just like on your low calorie days and increase your calories in the form of carbohydrates. This means primarily focusing on carbohydrate-rich, low-protein and low-fat foods such as fruit, rice, potatoes, pasta, oats and bread. This usually means that at least 50% of your calories are derived from carbohydrates.
- Consume carbohydrates with every meal during the day (or at least in the morning and evening) so that you send a longer signal to the brain to increase the level of leptin.
- Keep everything else in your diet the same – frequency of meals, choice of food, etc. This will make the transition to your low-calorie diet easier.
- If you want, add a treat or two that you crave. However, be sure to keep the portions small and more or less stick to your normal protein and fat macros.
Wiederholen Sie diesen Vorgang etwa einmal im Monat, wenn Sie mehr als 15% (Männer) oder 25% (Frauen) Körperfett haben, und alle ein bis zwei Wochen, wenn Sie unter 10% (Männer) oder 20% (Frauen) fallen.
Zusammenfassung: Der beste Weg, um den Leptinspiegel während einer Diät zu erhöhen, ist eine zwei- bis dreitägige Diät, bei der Sie die Kalorien zur Erhaltung erhöhen, indem Sie Ihre Kohlenhydrataufnahme erhöhen. Die meisten Menschen können von dieser Art von Diätpause etwa alle 6 bis 8 Wochen profitieren, aber Sie sind sehr schlank und möchten schlanker werden. Möglicherweise machen Sie alle zwei oder drei Wochen eine Diätpause.
Die Leptin-Diät: Können Sie Leptin erhöhen und Gewicht verlieren, indem Sie die richtigen Lebensmittel essen?
Die Leptin-Diät ist eine Diät zur Gewichtsreduktion, die in den frühen 2000er Jahren an Popularität gewann – als Leptin gerade erst zum Mainstream wurde – und versprach, Menschen beim Abnehmen zu helfen, indem sie den Leptinspiegel erhöhte.
Die Diät beinhaltet fünf Regeln:
- Essen Sie niemals nach dem Abendessen und essen Sie mindestens drei Stunden vor dem Schlafengehen nichts.
- Essen Sie drei Mahlzeiten pro Tag ohne Zwischenmahlzeit und trennen Sie die Mahlzeiten um mindestens fünf bis sechs Stunden.
- Reduzieren Sie Ihre Kohlenhydrataufnahme, aber eliminieren Sie die Kohlenhydrate nicht vollständig.
- Iss relativ kleine Mahlzeiten. Hör auf zu essen, wenn du zufrieden bist, nicht wenn du satt bist.
- Essen Sie mindestens 20 bis 30 Gramm Protein zum Frühstück.
Sie sollten im Allgemeinen auch frisches Bio-Obst, Gemüse, Vollkornprodukte und mageres Fleisch essen. Obwohl Sie keine Kalorien zählen müssen, sollten Sie etwa 400 bis 600 Kalorien pro Mahlzeit anstreben (was etwa 1200 bis 1800 Kalorien pro Tag entspricht).
Mit anderen Worten, es handelt sich um eine Sammlung allgemeiner Tipps zur Gewichtsreduktion und Diätbeschränkungen, die als neue, wissenschaftliche Diät verpackt sind und Ihnen beim Abnehmen helfen, indem Sie den Leptinspiegel optimieren.
Wenn Sie die Ernährungsempfehlungen (insbesondere die Kalorienrichtlinien) befolgen, werden Sie wahrscheinlich Gewicht verlieren, was wiederum Ihre Leptinempfindlichkeit verbessert. Es gibt jedoch keine wissenschaftlichen Beweise dafür, dass diese bestimmte Kombination von Lebensmitteln oder Strategien zum Timing von Lebensmitteln den Leptinspiegel verbessert oder Leptin bekämpft Widerstand.
Im Grunde ist es nur eine kalorienarme, kohlenhydratarme Diät, die mit einem Schlagwort versehen ist, um sie populärer zu machen.
Wenn Sie nach einer angenehmeren, nachhaltigeren und effektiveren Diät zur Gewichtsreduktion suchen, lesen Sie diesen Artikel:
Der komplette Leitfaden zum sicheren und gesunden schnellen Abnehmen
Zusammenfassung: Die Leptin-Diät ist nur eine kalorienarme, kohlenhydratarme Diät, die einer Handvoll abgenutzter Diät-Tipps einen neuen Namen gibt. Obwohl es Ihnen wahrscheinlich beim Abnehmen helfen wird, gibt es bessere Diäten zur Gewichtsreduktion wie die eine in diesem Artikel beschrieben.
Das Fazit zu Leptin
Leptin ist ein Hormon, das hauptsächlich von Fettzellen produziert wird, die an vielen Funktionen im Körper beteiligt sind, einschließlich der Regulierung von Appetit, Stoffwechselrate, Motivation, Immunität, Fruchtbarkeit und Libido, um nur einige zu nennen.
Die Hauptaufgabe von Leptin besteht darin, Ihnen bei der Aufrechterhaltung eines gesunden Körpergewichts zu helfen. Dabei wird dem Gehirn mitgeteilt, wie viel Gesamtenergie der Körper in Form von Kalorien aus Nahrung und Körperfett zur Verfügung hat.
When leptin levels rise, hunger drops and metabolic rate, motivation to exercise, and mood improve.
When leptin levels drop, as happens when you restrict calories for fat loss, hunger rises and metabolic rate, motivation to exercise, and mood decrease.
Ironically, obese people have higher leptin levels than lean people. Due to a phenomenon known as leptin resistance, their brains perceive a shortage of calories in spite of high leptin levels, and increase hunger and decrease metabolic rate as a result.
The single best way to prevent leptin resistance is to not become overweight in the first place. If you’re already overweight, you can improve your leptin sensitivity by restricting your calorie intake, eating mostly whole, minimally processed, nutrient dense foods, and exercising regularly.
If you’re lean and looking to get even leaner (less than 10% body fat for a man and 20% body fat for a woman), then you’re going to experience the negative effects of low leptin at one point or another no matter what you do.
One trick you can do to temporarily boost leptin levels, though, is to increase your calorie intake for two to three days periodically throughout your diet, mostly in the form of carbs.
Do that, and you’ll have a much easier time losing fat, maintaining muscle while cutting, and staying lean when your diet is over.
The leptin diet promises to help you lose weight by boosting leptin levels, but it’s really just a low-calorie, low-carb diet with a handful of added restrictions and a new name. While it will help you lose weight, there’s no evidence it will improve leptin levels more effectively than other weight loss diets.
If you want to lose fat and keep it off without dealing with nagging hunger, cravings, and lethargy, I recommend you follow a diet like the one outlined in this article:
The Complete Guide to Safely and Healthily Losing Weight Fast
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What’s your take on Leptin? Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!
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