Leptin is a funny thing, in the fact it affects those who are both overweight and too thin. However, those who are trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle often find it difficult because of low leptin levels.
But there are a few things you can do to beat low leptin levels that are making you feel hungry and get back on track with weight loss.
What Is Leptin?
Leptin is a hormone, sometimes called the “fat hormone.” It’s your appetite suppressor and tells your brain that you have had enough to eat. The hormone is a key component in the road to achieving significant weight loss.
Maintaining a strict diet that is restrictive of carbs or sugar means that your body has no reason to produce leptin. Without leptin, there is nothing to signal to your brain that you are full. This can lead to cravings and overeating—which is exactly what someone on a strict regime doesn’t want.
How Do You Develop Low Leptin Levels?
Leptin is created within your fat or adipose tissue. When you have too much fat, leptin forms and is carried through your circulatory system. Leptin then signals to your brain that you don’t need any more food. Therefore, without fat, you have no leptin.
So, maintaining a healthy diet may put you on the right track for weight loss. But restricting calories and carbs for long periods of time means your leptin levels can drop too low. Because of this, you can easily fall into a trap of eating too much or eating when you aren’t really hungry.
How Can You Boost Leptin Levels?
The last thing you want is low levels of leptin. It can cause the feeling of hunger and make you end up eating more—the opposite of what you need if you’re trying to lose weight. There are a few things you can do yourself in order to boost your low leptin levels.
Have a Carb Reload Day
Take one day a week to bulk up on carbs. If you’ve been restricting carbohydrates, you’re likely to have reduced your leptin levels. That means that your body isn’t burning fat as effectively as it could be.
In order to boost your body’s fat-burning power, you need to trick it into thinking you need more leptin. Therefore, have one day a week where you stock up on carbs. This doesn’t mean you rshould esort to junk food or simple, unhealthy carbs—instead you need to eat quality, healthy carbs.
When you reload on carbs, you should try and aim for around 250 grams, or even higher if you are particularly slim. If eating so many carbs makes you nervous, try getting your carb reload on the same day you do your most intense strength workout.
Avoid Very Restrictive Diets
By restricting your calories severely for long periods of time, your body looks for any way it can to hold onto food. This is the body’s defense against starvation. Because of this, your body will start to shut down, which will send your hormones into meltdown.
If you are heavier and are on a weight-loss journey, of course, a calorie restrictive diet is the way to go. However, if you have been on that diet for a long time and find yourself plateauing, then lightening up on your diet could actually benefit you in the long run.
That doesn’t mean resorting to bad eating habits. But just not being quite so strict. You could even try to just diet every other day, and eat healthily the rest of the time.
Get Enough Sleep
It can be difficult in this day and age to get enough quality sleep, with so many lights and sounds around, and technology beeping and keeping us awake. But sleep regulates your leptin and ghrelin levels.
Ghrelin is the hormone which tells your brain that you are hungry. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body starts producing the wrong levels of each hormone.
You may think that a strict diet is the only way to maintain or lose weight and stay healthy. But many of us don’t realize that low levels of the hormone leptin can actually cause us to eat more. So, by using these natural ways to increase your leptin levels, you can help keep your body on track with your weight loss goals.