Leptin plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. Human Leptin is a protein of 167 amino acids. It is manufactured in our body fat stores and acts on receptors in the hypothalamus of the brain where it inhibits appetite by:
- Counteracting the effects of 2 feeding stimulants secreted by cells in the gut and in the hypothalamus and
- Promoting the synthesis of an appetite suppressant.
If Leptin controls our appetite, how come our obesity rates are sky rocketing? One of the answers lies in the fact that firstly; the brain isn’t getting the “I’m Full” message and secondly our Leptin levels are falling.
But how can that be? How come we are all eating more because we aren’t getting the “I’m full” message when food is supposed to send the message to the brain?
There are two reasons. One lies in the type of food we eat. One of the reasons why we aren’t getting the “I’m Full” message in the brain is because a popular food additive doesn’t activate Leptin. The culprit is “High Fructose Corn Syrup.” (HFCS) (Just a word of warning, HFCS and fructose found in fruit are not the same thing)
HFCS was invented in 1966 by the Japanese and was introduced to the American food chain in 1975 as a cheap sweetener. In involves the severe processing of corn kernels into a crystallised syrup. HFCS has now found its way into almost every single processed food product, soft drink, sauce and condiment on the shelves of your standard supermarket today. So rather than say what it’s in, (because it’s in so much) it’s easier to say what it’s NOT in. It’s not in meat, fish, poultry, dairy, nuts, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.
The other reason why our Leptin levels are falling is because dieting directly causes Leptin levels to fall. The diet industry has made millions of dollar promoting the message of calorie reduced diets to reduce our obesity epidemic. However, this only causes a slow and gradual reduction in Leptin levels, thereby causing that uncontrollable desire to eat more.
The other downside to falling Leptin levels is that your metabolism is directly linked to them. As Leptin levels fall, your metabolism slows.
So, if Body Fat Loss is your goal, here are 2 simple strategies you can implement into your eating regime to maximise your Leptin levels, stave off those hunger pains and keep your metabolism as a fat burning furnace.
Eliminate HFCS from your diet AT ALL COSTS.
By cutting out HFCS from your diet, you are in fact eliminating the food additive that switches off Leptin.
Eat a cheat meal every 7 days
When you go on a calorie restricted diet, your Leptin levels fall very slowly. In about a week, your Leptin levels will fall by approximately 50%. However, one cheat meal every 7 days will raise your Leptin levels right back to normal.
ABOUT: Pat Rae is a personal trainer, lifestyle coach, massage therapist, motivational speaker, author and presenter. He is the owner of a boutique PT studio in Brisbane and an online health and wellness program both of which have been established to help people live healthier, happier and more energetic life through exercise, eating whole real foods and stressing less. See more at http://www.prpt.com.au & http://www.patrae.com