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Managing Leptin to Burn Fat, Balance Sugar and Increase Energy

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August 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles, Health & Nutrition Articles

Insulin these days is practically a household word. We’ve all heard that when insulin levels are too high (or too low) diabetes is just around the corner. But what about the hormone that controls it? To shed abdominal weight, regulate blood sugar and bring the body back into natural balance, treating the hormone leptin may be more advantageous than doctoring insulin alone.

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Leptin, a master hormone uncovered in 1994, has the big responsibility to induce fat burning and reduce appetite (1). In a healthy body with balanced leptin, the leptin signal tells the brain that the body is full and satisfied and has plenty of calories to burn. If the brain doesn’t get a signal from leptin that there’s enough fuel — either due to low releasing of leptin from fat cells or from what’s known as leptin resistance — the brain will keep sending the picture to the rest of the body that it’s hungry, that it needs more food, and that there’s limited fuel to keep it going. In this case, the body senses the need for food even though there is an abundance of calories from lunch or plenty of stored fat to burn.  Essentially, the brain tells the body to store fat instead of burn it because it thinks the body is starving.

Managing Leptin Levels

There are a handful of simple principles to follow to bring leptin back into balance. According to Byron Richards, CCN, author of Mastering Leptin, consistent implementation of these rules will establish a solid basis for mastering this hormone:

Don’t Diet. When you cut back on calories, you may initially lose weight, but as the diet continues, leptin levels drop, leading you to store more fuel as fat instead of burn it.

Never eat after dinner. Nighttime is your primary fat-burning time. This only works when 10-12 hours of “fasting time” is allowed. Since leptin levels naturally rise at night, nighttime cravings are a good indication that leptin resistance is at work.

Eat three complete meals a day and limit snacking. The body will only start burning fat (versus calories from food eaten) after three or so hours after eating. Shoot for four hours between meals to start, gradually working up to five or even six. If your energy crashes 2-3 hours after a meal, this is a tell tale sign that leptin and insulin are off balance. Be gentle with yourself and gradually increase the time between meals without forcing it.

Eat balanced meals and always include protein. Protein provides steady, long-lasting energy. Without protein at each meal, especially at breakfast, energy levels tend to crash, and craving for sugar follows. Good fat and complex carbohydrates are also needed at each meal for initial energy and the feeling of overall satiety.

Article References:

1. Rosedale, Ron, MD. Diabetes and Leptin Connection.
2. Rosedale, Ron, MD. The Rosedale Diet. New York: HarperCollins. 2004.
3. Richards, Byron J., CCN. Mastering Leptin. Minneapolis: Wellness Resources Books. 2002.

Recipes:

Cambodian Beef (or tempeh) Stir-Fry

Cambodian Beef (or tempeh) Stir-Fry

Cambodian Beef (or tempeh) Stir-Fry

Kofta Meatballs in Curried Gravy

Kofta Meatballs in Curried Gravy

Kofta Meatballs in Curried Gravy (egg-free/vegan options)

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  • Sasha

    That's fantastic! My natural weight loss supplement works the same way too, by giving me the energy that I need while it burns fat. For best results, try combining it with the proper food regimen, and the correct exercises.

  • Sasha

    That’s fantastic! My natural weight loss supplement works the same way too, by giving me the energy that I need while it burns fat. For best results, try combining it with the proper food regimen, and the correct exercises.