What Is Leptin Resistance And How To Stop It?
If you are like most people, you are carrying around a few extra pounds. This is especially true for people who are over 40, as unwanted belly fat seems to become harder to keep off as you age. However, we are now learning that there are many different things we can do to help reduce the fat on our body and keep ourselves at a good weight, such as taking control of our hormones like leptin.
What Is Leptin?
Leptin is a hormone that is produced by your fat cells. Researchers have long shown that, due to their higher fat content, overweight individuals have much more leptin in their body than people who are of an average weight. Leptin plays a few roles in your ability to lose fat.
First, during eating, it sends a message to the hypothalamus that you have had enough food to prevent overeating. And second, it plays a part in the body’s ability of storing fat as an energy source because it is responsible for directing the liver on how to use its stored glucose.
What Is Leptin Resistance?
Being overweight can lead to very high levels of leptin being produced in the body. The constant exposure to a high level of leptin can eventually cause the target receptor to become immune to the messages that leptin is trying to send, and therefore lose the ability to respond to it. In other words, you may not receive the message that you are full and keep eating despite having eaten enough food.
Leptin resistance is comparable to insulin resistance. Leptin resistance is also a chronic inflammatory condition that can contribute to the inability to lose fat, as well as the unwanted fat storage that occurs despite your best efforts. Leptin resistance can develop without a lot of signs and may contribute to other issues beyond obesity.
“The findings supporting leptin as a causative link between obesity and OA offer leptin as a potential target to the development of disease-modifying drugs for osteoarthritis (DMOAD), especially for obese patients.” – NCBI
How Is Leptin Resistance Keeping You Fat?
When you gain weight, your fat cells, called adipocytes, increase in size, and they circulate more leptin throughout your body in an attempt to send a message that your fat storage is adequate and eating can stop. Eventually, the receptors go numb to the message and overeating occurs. Then, fat cells increase in size and more leptin is produced, and the circle of weight gain and inability to hear the message to stop eating continues.
What Can You Do To Stop Leptin Resistance?
There are many things that you can do to stop leptin resistance. All of them have to do with lifestyle changes. While it may be harder to stop eating when you have you ate enough food, thanks to the leptin resistance, you can help reduce fat by choosing a healthier diet.
For instance, avoiding foods that are processed and proinflammatory can have a great effect on the amount of unhealthy fats you take in, as well as the way the food interacts with other fat producing hormones in your body. A healthy diet full of essential nutrients, such as omega-3s, can have a huge impact on your fat loss and, in turn, your leptin resistance.
Recent research has shown that limiting or elimination your fructose consumption can also help with leptin resistance. In fact, one study concluded that chronic fructose consumption induces leptin resistance before your body weight, insulin, fat, or blood sugar increases, and that obesity occurs at a much faster rate when fructose consumption is high.