Most people in the blogosphere, including myself, talk a lot about the connection between insulin and obesity, but we often neglect some other important factors, that play a key role in a person’s inability to lose weight!
You know that there are a lot of hormones in your body. Each one of them has a different role, but they all signal your brain about what is going on in your body! Then the brain reacts to those signals and if everything is going well, you are gonna be healthy. But if the brain doesn’t like the message that your hormones are sending, and if it thinks that your body is in danger, then some survival mechanisms will be switched on!
Today I am gonna focus on the hormones that signal for hunger( grelin) and satiety( leptin), and mostly on leptin!
Today I am gonna talk about leptin resistance, what happens in your body when you have leptin resistance and why would you care about it!
Let’s first see what happens in a healthy body:
First you should keep in mind that your fat stores make inflammatory chemicals, and hormones. One of these hormones is called leptin. So that means the fat in your body, produces leptin. The hormone that signals your body, that you are full and that your body isn’t in a danger of starvation!
As you already know our bodies are always about survival! Your body doesn’t care how cute you are gonna look in that dress. Your body doesn’t care that the summer is coming, and that a lot of chicks are gonna see your naked body on the beach! What it cares about is how to survive under any circumstances!
The fat stores are in a constant communication with the brain! They are constantly signaling the hypothalamus what is going on.
Imagine the adipose tissue( the picture below). Inside there are fat cells, which produce leptin. Leptin sends signals to your brain, messaging that you have sufficient fat stores, so in turn your brain is not worried about starvation, so it keeps your metabolism healthy and your appetite is kept at bay!
That is the way fat stores, leptin and your brain, function in a healthy body!
Let’s move to an example with somebody that is not eating enough.
When you are starving your fat stores do not produce enough leptin, and in turn the leptin sends “weaker” signals to your brain. That turns on your survival mechanisms. The brain thinks that you are in danger of starvation, so it slows down your metabolism, in order to preserve energy, and increases your appetite ( the levels of the hormone grelin icrease), to make sure you are gonna eat enough food!
That is why, if you are restricting your calories way too much, there comes a point when your strong will is not working, and you start indulging in food. No matter how much you try to stay away from the fridge, your brain has other plans! It wants to keep your body save!
If you read the first two examples, you are probably thinking, “well, if I am fat, that would mean that my fat stores produce enough leptin. Then why am I hungry all the time?”
The answer is you have leptin resistance!
The fat cells produce leptin. It is trying to signal your brain, that you have sufficient fat stores, but somewhere along the way, the communication is being interrupted, so your brain does not receive that message! That means that in this case leptin has no influence on the brain! The brain on the other side, “gets panicked” that your fat stores are low and that your body is in danger of starvation! So what follows next is that your metabolism slows down and your appetite increases.
What happens is that you are already overweight, and you have more than enough fat, but your body is thinking that you are starving, so it makes you wanna eat all the time!
The difference between a person who is starving and a person who has leptin resistance is that if the first one starts eating a normal, healthy diet, his metabolism will be working in a healthier way again! Because fat stores and leptin will send the proper signals to the brain!
And in the case with a leptin resistance, that wouldn’t happen becausee the brain does not receive the signals!
The causes for leptin resistance could be different!
One of them could be insulin and blood sugar surges! Insulin and leptin work hand in hand and when one of them is being influenced negatively, the other suffers too!
Processed carbs, stress, excess fructose consumption, not enough sleep are some of the reasons for ileptin resistance! Another one is the connection between increased wheat consumption and leptin resistance, but I am gonna write another article about this!
I think that this is enough information for today! I am gonna keep on writing on that topic, and it will be easier to understand it further, after you know the basics about leptin and fat stores!
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