Fixing Your Hungry Hormones (Part 1)

June 16, 2011 No Comments by Scott Isaacs, M.D.

Leptin Resistance

In my last article I discussed the fat cell hormone leptin and how the body can become resistant to its effects.  Leptin resistance is almost always seen in patients who are overweight.  You could try to make more leptin to overcome resistance, but it turns out that this is not a numbers game and simply having more leptin probably won’t do much.  Think of it this way:  When you are overweight, something is blocking your body’s signals.  Something is not telling your body to stop feeling hungry, even when you don’t need to be eating.  That something is leptin resistance.  Giving more leptin simply won’t fix the problem.

The key is to lessen the resistance, not overcome it.  But, this is much easier said than done.  Leptin resistance is a topic of intense scientific research.  I do believe that one day we will have medications to treat leptin resistance.  But in 2011, no such medications exist.    It turns out that almost everyone who has leptin resistance also has insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance, is the primary metabolic defect responsible for type 2 diabetes.  Insulin is a hormone whose main job is to help move sugar from the blood stream into the body’s cells.  When the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, blood sugar levels rise.   Eventually these higher sugar levels move into the diabetic range.  It makes sense that alleviating insulin resistance will also help leptin resistance.  This does seem to hold some weight with the leptin experts. 

Losing weight is a proven strategy for alleviating both leptin resistance and insulin resistance.  Even losing five or ten pounds can lessen the resistance enough to make a difference.  When hormone resistance is less, your body works more efficiently and you don’t feel hungry at odd times.  Your metabolism works better and you lose body fat.  When you have insulin resistance and leptin resistance, losing weight becomes paramount.  My books Hormonal Balance and the Leptin Boost diet contain a proven technique for permanently losing weight designed for people with leptin resistance and insulin resistance. 

One of the most important things to remember when you start on your weight loss journey is to be realistic about calories.  You simply cannot change the laws of physics when it comes to losing weight.  If you consume fewer calories than your body needs, you will lose weight.  When you consume more calories than your body needs, the extra are converted and then stored as fat.  It is that simple.

The best way to eat fewer calories is to eat foods that are low in calories.  The other option is to eat smaller portions of high calorie foods, but this seldom works because the smaller portions are not satisfying and leave you feeling hungry all the time.  Eating larger portions but fewer calories helps this issue.

The complicated part comes in when you try to come up with a specific plan for losing weight.  That is where I can help.  Read my books.  Read everything you can on insulin resistance and leptin resistance and you’ll be well on your way to a leaner and healthier you.

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