Leptin is a hormone which is produced by the fat cells in our bodies. When our body temperature rises or our activity level increases, leptin is released and signals our brain that we have had enough food. This, in turn, can lead to some serious weight loss!
Leptin is, thus, important for keeping our bodies in a healthy weight range. However, too much leptin in our system may also contribute to weight gain. This is where the problem often lies – when we try to lose weight naturally without giving it much thought, the fat cells become sensitized to leptin and register low levels as a signal for food!
The good news is that we can adjust our bodies’ response to leptin so that it promotes weight loss instead of encouraging food intake. To that end, here are a few ways in which we can control leptin levels to lose weight.
Eat To Nourish Your Brain
If you’re struggling with weight loss, you may be tempted to cut back on the food you eat. While it’s important to maintain a healthy diet, it’s also essential to keep our brains nourished. This can be achieved by consuming foods which are high in vitamins and nutrients.
One way in which our brains utilize nutrients is by creating new neurons. This process is called neurogenesis. As we age, our neurogenesis slows, resulting in a diminished capacity to create new brain cells. This, in turn, leads to memory loss and cognitive decline. However, eating the right foods can restore our neurogenesis and allow us to retain the ability to create new brain cells!
A low-calorie diet can also reduce the damage caused by free radicals to our bodies. Free radicals are molecules which exist in our environment and can lead to cell damage. This, in turn, can lead to many different health problems. However, we can reduce the damage these molecules cause by eating foods which contain antioxidants.
Antioxidants can help protect our bodies from the damage caused by free radicals. There are many different types of antioxidants, the most common one being vitamin C and E. Eating foods rich in vitamins C and E can help protect your body from the damage caused by free radicals and can, therefore, reduce the risk of many diseases.
Reduce Stressful Living
Another factor which can play a role in weight gain is stress. Our bodies do not function effectively under stressful conditions, causing numerous problems. This can result in weight gain either directly or indirectly through the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response, where our body experiences a surge in energy in order to cope with stressful conditions. When exposed to stressful circumstances, our cortisol levels increase and remain elevated even after the stress has passed. This, in turn, can cause weight gain due to the hormone’s appetite-stimulating properties.
Reducing the stress in our lives is, thus, an essential step towards weight loss. This can be achieved by finding a healthy way to deal with problems, taking time for ourselves, and exercising daily.
Use The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet which can offer many benefits for those who follow it. One of the advantages of the ketogenic diet is that it reduces the amount of leptin our bodies produce. When we cut back on the carbs and eat high-fat foods, our bodies experience quite the opposite effect – they become starved of carbohydrates and begin producing more leptin!
This makes the ketogenic diet a double-edge sword. On the one hand, it’s an effective way to reduce weight. On the other hand, it can also increase leptin levels and the possibility of weight gain.
The important thing to keep in mind is that this is not an either-or situation. With the right planning and monitoring, we can still reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet while preventing the possibility of weight gain.
If you’re interested in trying the ketogenic diet, the first thing you should do is consult with your doctor. He or she can help you establish the right nutritional plan for your unique body type and health status. Furthermore, keeping a daily food journal can prove to be extremely helpful in monitoring your progress.