You Must Know About This Hormone: Leptin 101 As you go about your weight loss journey, there’s one hormone that you must come to learn about and manage as best as possible. This hormone? Leptin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced by your body fat cells and serves the purpose to monitor your overall body fat levels along with your energy balance. When there is too much or too little energy coming in, leptin will fluctuate, leading to a series of events that will take place in your body. Let’s go over what these are so that you can see why this hormone is so vital to your success why this hormone is so vital to your success. What Causes Leptin To Fluctuate As noted above, leptin is going to fluctuate based on your body fat levels and incoming energy. So whenever you go on a diet plan and begin losing body fat , your leptin levels will start to decline. As it is made by your body fat stores, this does make sense. The less body fat you have, the less cells there are to produce this hormone. It’s the circulating levels of this hormone that then send a strong message to your brain that you are getting leaner. Likewise, if your energy balance isn’t where it needs to be and you are not taking in enough energy to sustain daily activities, this will also cause leptin levels to decrease. Remember that while you may want to get thinner, your brain is more concerned with survival. Both decreasing incoming energy as well as a lower body fat percentage both mean that you could be risking starvation. This is something your body wants to avoid. When Leptin Drops So what happens when leptin drops ? As this hormone concentration goes down in the body, it sets off a cascade of events. Some of the symptoms that you may begin to experience include: • Dramatically increased hunger levels (which almost become too hard to manage) • High levels of fatigue both for everyday events as well as for exercise • Strong food cravings (usually for carbohydrate rich foods) • Irritability • Trouble sleeping (either falling asleep or staying asleep) • A reduced resting metabolic rate Now, if you’ve ever been on an intense diet for longer than 2-3 weeks, chances are good you experienced some of these before. This is leptin at work, trying to get you to fall off your diet and take more food in again. If you did, your body fat loss would stop and your brain would have accomplished its main mission – prevent starvation. What You Can Do To Manage The Situation While clearly avoiding starvation is important , when you are simply dieting, there is no threat to your survival. So the built-in mechanism your body has here is good, but not helpful when you are looking to get leaner. So what can you do to avoid this issue? First, don’t crash diet. Use a moderate calorie intake. Leptin will fall faster and harder the lower your calorie intake is. Second, periodically add higher carb days into your diet plan. Carbohydrates more than proteins or fats influence leptin and when you suddenly have a high influx of carbohydrates coming into the picture, this can cause the levels of the hormone to normalize. Your body senses incoming energy and in response, will return leptin levels back to more normal levels – at least temporarily. If you have a high carb day and get these levels up, then you should be good to continue on for another week or two, before you need to repeat the process. After this higher carb day, your metabolic rate will be higher once again and this will mean you can start seeing the weight loss results you desire. So there you have the basic facts about leptin. It’s a powerful hormone that if you aren’t aware of, can really disrupt your fat loss success. Be mindful about adding a few higher carb days into your plan and you can side-step the negative issues associated with it. About the Author: FHMatch all-in-one `Business in a Box ! If you're a professional this is for you, it’s always FREE to showcase your profile on FHMatch! Empowering professionals to engage, manage and grow their client base - everything you need to get started in 3 min or less. |Merchant Payments|Unlimited - No Fee Booking, Invoicing & Messaging| Showcase Photos & Videos, Subsidized Insurance|