A lot of people struggle with weight loss as their attempts are often unsuccessful. This could be a consequence of a hormone, known as leptin, which prevents healthy weight loss. It is released by the cells and its function is to balance the levels of energy and the body weight. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and then binds to the receptors in the center for appetite in the brain and signalizes the brain to determine how much food the body needs.
Furthermore, it improves the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and thus, it encourages the fat tissues to burn energy. However, in a lot of cases the body can develop leptin resistance. This may occur in situations when the blood doesn’t reach the targets for appetite control or when the receptors bound by leptin fail to function properly and don’t signal the cells to respond to the hormone. As a result, the person is overweight or obese and is unable to lose weight.
If the leptin levels have been high for a longer period of time, the individual could lose sensitivity to it, which further results in the brain failing to obey the signals for speeding up the metabolism and stop eating.
The following symptoms are the most common ones of leptin resistance:
- Weight gain
- Stress eating
- Late night eating
- High blood pressure
- Difficultly falling and staying asleep
- Inability to lose weight
- Sugar cravings
- High level of triglycerides
- Lack of motivation
- Need for snacks after meals
- Tiredness after meals
Is the resistance treatable?
Firstly, you need to stop consuming foods high in fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and fructose corn syrup. Secondly, after excluding these foods, you should eat more high-quality healthy fat, saturated and unsaturated, which is present in avocados, coconuts and coconut oil, nuts, butter, and animal fats. Also, you should include animal-based omega-3 fat, like krill oil.
Thirdly, avoid processed foods and focus on soluble fiber and protein. Along with a healthy diet, you should also start exercising regularly as workout restores the body balance and reverses the resistance to leptin.
Leptin imbalance might also be a consequence of sleep deficiency and sleep disorders; therefore, you should get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily. All in all, if you have problems with weight loss, make sure you check your leptin levels first.