“According to data by Marketdata Enterprises, a market research firm that specializes in tracking niche industries, Americans spend north of $60 billion annually to try to lose pounds, on everything from paying for gym memberships and joining weight-loss programs to drinking diet soda.” – U.S. News & World Report, January 2, 2013
If you are typical American or resident of a first world nation, you probably at some point or another have spent some money contributing to the wealth of the weight loss industry. Most of these weight loss products are promoted by celebrities, fitness models, actors and actresses, and the rich and famous. Many look at these “beautiful people” and enviously say things like “Well, if I had their money I’d be able to afford the nutritionist, trainer, and plastic surgeon that they have.” Most of us think that affluence gives them a weight loss advantage that we’ll never have.
Recent research has discovered a miracle substance that is available to everyone that is guaranteed to suppress your appetite, melt body fat, increase your energy and activity level, and maintain ideal body weight forever. And, here’s the best news of all – it’s free and is available to everyone regardless of financial means. You can obtain this miracle substance without doctors, surgeons, or painful exercise regimens, in fact you can make it yourself. This miracle substance has been called the Holy Grail of weight loss and fitness.
This miracle substance is called leptin. It is a hormone, produced by the brain, that tells the brain it is not hungry and pushes the brain and body to be active. It’s a feedback mechanism, keeping the body in a state of equilibrium, creating a healthy balance of intake and output of energy. The substance is miraculously effective, and is available at no financial cost to you. However, you’re going to have to work to get it, but more on that later….
Leptin has been in the human animal since before Noah built the ark. Its purpose is to keep a person from accumulating excess weight and fat. For example, when early man gained excess fat, that fat secreted the hormone leptin. Leptin signals the brain that it no longer needs to overeat, allowing the excess fat to melt while decreasing appetite and increasing the desire to be active. The message is – you’ve got some extra fuel available so go use it. The hormone tells the brain to get the body moving, to go do something productive – build something, do some work, and get active. It is a feedback mechanism designed to keep a person fit, active, and at optimal weight and bodyfat.
Leptin was discovered in the mid 1990’s in experiments with lab rats. Rats with a genetic predisposition toward low levels of leptin sat around, overate, and became fat and obese. Humans with low levels of leptin tend to do the same through behaviors like lying on the couch, eating Doritos, and over consuming sugary food and drinks. Researchers attempted to create supplements that contained leptin, erroneously assuming that overweight people were leptin deficient. Studies indicated that overweight people had plenty of leptin in their systems. Researchers were puzzled as to why their leptin wasn’t working as it was supposed to. Why were some people leptin resistent?
Years of research found the answer – insulin blocks leptin. Today, insulin levels are at epidemic proportions, the average person has insulin levels twice the average of 50 years ago at baseline, let alone the levels of insulin spikes caused by sugary foods such as candy bars. This insulin blocks leptin at the brain. The result is laziness and overeating, because the brain thinks it’s starving. The brain demands food by creating cravings to eat. There is no reasoning with a craving brain, it’s gonna get what it wants, usually when it wants it. If your doctor has told you that you are pre-diabetic, then your susceptible. Maintaining healthy weight, body fat, and energy levels is going to be difficult, if not impossible. Your brain demands that you become lazy, lethargic, and unmotivated in an attempt to conserve energy. The result is you become fat, lazy, unmotivated, and miserable.
The antidote to leptin resistence is where the work comes in. You have to eat in a way that lowers insulin levels so that your leptin can work efficiently and effectively. Most diets are destined to fail because they don’t address the issue of leptin resistance. Leptin resistance is the reason for yo-yo dieting and the tendency to regain all that weight that you worked so hard to take off. There are some strategies that you can take in order to optimize your leptin levels and work more effectively with this wonder hormone:
1. Change your eating habits. Don’t “go on a diet,” change how and what you eat. Avoid refined and processed foods and eliminate your intake of processed sugar. Fructose, in the form of sweetened juices and drinks is a no no, low-sodium vegetable juice is a better option. Consume fructose in the form of fruits, but don’t overdo it. The fiber in the fruit will make it more useful to your system.
2. Eat a breakfast that is high in protein and and healthy fats. Oatmeal and natural peanut butter would be a healthy breakfast choice. Protein-based breakfasts are conducive to low, steady insulin levels throughout the early part of the day. This consumption of protein creates satiation. Two scrambled eggs and a little bit of leftover meat from the night before our great way to jumpstart your day.
3. Eliminate snacks. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s not. Allow at least four hours between each meal, allow 4 hours without food before bedtime, and allow at least 12 hours between your evening meal and breakfast the following day. This is better for your liver and allows your hormones to work more efficiently.
4. Optimize your sleep. In bed before 10 and up at dawn allows your hormones to work with the body’s natural rhythms. Try to get outside in the morning shortly after waking, even if it’s for some brief deep breathing exercises, exposure to daylight, or meditation.
5. Eat real food. If it comes in a box, is processed, packaged, or is artificially sweetened it’s probably not a good food choice. Don’t eat anything your great, great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. If nature didn’t make it, beware!
6. Get a physical and blood work done. Get your blood sugar levels checked and work to get them down to acceptable levels. This will allow your leptin to work as it is intended to, lowering your appetite and increasing your energy levels and motivation.
7. Get your diet and insulin levels under control before embarking on a program of vigorous exercise. Exercise done with high insulin levels will increase your cravings if your insulin levels are making you leptin resistant. Better to get your diet in check first. When you do begin to exercise make sure you balance cardiovascular work with exercise in the form of weight training, bodyweight training, or some kind of progressive resistance. Healthy muscle mass increases your metabolism, allowing leptin to work as it is intended.
Obesity is not caused by laziness or lack of willpower alone. Leptin resistance makes it virtually impossible for people to keep the pounds off after a successful program of diet and exercise. Dieting smarter and working to optimize your body’s level of the miracle hormone leptin needs to be a priority if you are going to keep it off permanently.
Work at it. While leptin is free, it doesn’t come without a cost.
“Fitness – If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.” – Cher
P. S. If you found this article helpful, you may benefit from some personalized mindbody coaching. Contact me at http://mindbodycoach.org/contact-us/ if interested in online mindbody coaching. Please check out my Products page through the link at the top of this post.. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and social media. Email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org