Having Trouble with Weight Control and Cravings?
It’s Time to Look at Leptin Resistance
By Dr. Courtney Ranieri, ND
If you’ve been struggling with out of control cravings or weight management, it might be time to take a look at a hormone called Leptin. Leptin is the body’s appetite suppressing hormone, meaning it decreases feelings of hunger. Leptin gives the brain the signal that the body now has enough energy and we can stop eating.
We first noted the importance of Leptin when we studied the Leptin levels of overweight individuals. These individuals actually had higher levels of Leptin circulating. This is counter-intuitive because it’s Leptin’s job to reduce appetite and signal to us to stop eating - so why were they still overeating and gaining weight? We discovered that when Leptin levels are consistently high, our bodies can actually become resistant to and ignore the ‘I’m full’ signal.
Constantly snacking throughout the day or overeating at meals can cause higher levels of Leptin being released into the bloodstream and because Leptin is partially made in fat cells, it becomes a vicious cycle. We overeat or snack often, this increases fat cells and thus releases more Leptin causing us to overeat and the cycle starts again.
Some major signs of leptin resistance are overeating, a delayed sense of fullness, never feeling satisfied with meals, or feeling like you need ‘something more’ when you should be full (ex: reaching for dessert minutes after finishing dinner).
The good news is we can help our body become more sensitive to the appetite suppressing signal from Leptin naturally by focusing on meal timing and macronutrient balancing. If you’re interested, our Naturopathic Doctors at Zawada Health can help you!