Most Women have undertaken at least one or two weight loss programs in their lives. The theories vary and each works for different persons. Sometimes it does not work at all. But do we know exactly why our bodies are constantly adding weight? I am not a medical practitioner; but I sought the answer as to why different bodies add/lose weight. After intense research….Eureka! I got it!!! I thought it’s wise needed to share it with you….
Have you ever noticed that as a woman you may have consumed the same amount of food as a man; but the man never seems to grow fat; while for a woman the first places to add weight are most probably the thighs, tummy and the behind? Moreover, if you go on a diet, you will probably lose more weight during the diet period and quickly gain weight after the diet is over; whilst a man does not gain weight. That means Men have got higher metabolism than women.
Did you also know that there is a hormone in the body which regulates energy balance by inhibiting hunger? The hormone – Leptin; constitutes of adipose cells found in the nucleus of the hypothalamus. There is a contrasting hormone – ghrelin which promotes hunger. Both hormones regulate appetite in order to achieve energy homeostasis (balance).
When you are obese it means the hormone brain has reduced sensitivity; hence unable to detect the high energy level in the body also referred to as Leptin resistance. Here’s how it works. Leptin is secreted by adipose (fat) tissue, and its blood levels are proportional to fat mass. The more fat, the more leptin. It acts in the brain to increase the metabolic rate, decrease eating behaviors, and inhibit the deposition of fat. Thus, if fat mass increases, hunger diminishes and the body tries to burn calories to regain its preferred equilibrium.
Then how could anyone become obese if this feedback loop inhibits energy storage in response to fat gain?” The answer is a problem called leptin resistance. In people who are obese, the brain no longer responds to the leptin signal. In fact, the brain believes leptin levels are low, implying stored energy is low, so it thinks it’s starving. This explains the low metabolic rate, increased tendency for fat storage and increased eating seen in many obese people. Leptin resistance has reset the body’s preferred weight ‘set-point’ to a higher level. Thereby you will find a woman gain much quicker weight after a diet since the Leptin hormone is insensitive to regulation of high energy stores in the body.
There are ways to increase this hormone in the body thereby making loss of weight painless as opposed to what many of us go through to achieve the much needed body size
- Eat little to no simple starches, refined foods, sugars and fructose. No artificial sugars
- Consuming a large amount of protein and healthy fats first thing in the morning, as soon after waking as possible. This promotes satiety and gives the body the building blocks to make hormones. My go-to is a large scramble with 2-3 eggs, vegetables and leftover meat from the night before cooked in coconut oil.
- Be in bed by ten (no excuses) and optimize your sleep!-Eight hours a night recommended.
- Do not snack. When you are constantly eating, even small amounts, during the day it keeps your liver working and does not give hormones a break. Try to space meals at least 4 hours apart and don’t eat for at least 4 hours before bed. Snacks do not include drinks with calories but herbal teas, water, coffee or tea without cream or sugar is fine.
- Don’t work out at first. If you are really Leptin resistant, this will just be an additional stress on the body. Let your body heal a little first, then add in the exercise. Build your work out system slowly and steadily.
- When you do exercise, do only sprints and weight lifting. Walk or swim if you want to but don’t do cardio just for the sake of cardio. It’s just a stress on the body. High intensity and weight lifting, on the other hand, give the hormone benefits of working out without the stress from excess cardio and are great after the first few weeks. Also, workout in the evening, not the morning, to support hormone levels.
- Remove toxins from your life as these are a stress on your body (detox) by getting rid of processed foods, commercial deodorants and commercial soap!-
- Eat /take more Omega-3s (fish, grass fed meats, chia seeds) and minimize your Omega-6 consumption (vegetable oils, conventional meats, grains, etc.) to get lower inflammation and help support healthy leptin levels.
If we would hack to incorporate the above in our lifestyle it means leptin hormone can take away our weight problem and our metabolism will remain in check and we never have to worry about weight issues anymore.
Eat healthier live longer.