Leptin is a very important hormone produced in your fat cells. It is responsible for many things, including telling your brain when you are full, triggering the feeling that you need to stop eating. If you have too much leptin, your sensitivity to it can decrease, and that leads to more hunger and cravings, and eventually obesity.
Leptin can’t be given orally, because our intestines can’t process it. In addition, it can’t actually be found in foods. Though you might hear about “leptin rich foods,” it is important to remember that these foods aren’t actually filled with leptin – though they do make a difference.
So how do we increase it? We can’t – but we can increase our sensitivity to it. That means that it will work as it should, even if we don’t have quite enough in our bodies. These foods can help increase the sensitivity, and that means that our metabolism can go up, cravings can go down, and our battle of the bulge can be helped along.
To get a good start on your leptin sensitivity, have protein with breakfast. This helps jump-start the leptin signals and can keep you full longer during the day. You should also go for leafy greens and fiber-rich foods, as they can also help keep your body feeling full. These foods spark the sensitivity that your body needs in order to respond appropriately to leptin. For even more regulation of that sensitivity, be sure to get a good allotment of fish in your diet.
Just as there are great foods for increasing the sensitivity to leptin, there are also foods that will inhibit your body’s signals. Avoid these foods if you can, or have them in moderation. One of the biggest problems is carbohydrates. These include starches, like white flour and potatoes. Excessive carbohydrates are not only terrible about blocking the leptin signals; they are also what we reach for when we are really craving something. The more carbohydrates we eat, the more the craving happens. It’s a vicious cycle!
You should also avoid foods that are processed or contain high fructose corn syrup. The syrup and the chemicals in processing have been shown to block much of what the body is trying to do, including the leptin sensitivity that tells your brain to turn off the hunger signals. If you eat large meals or eat very frequently, you are also sabotaging your body’s attempts to fight off obesity. Try to eat in moderation, and keep the snacks to a minimum.