A sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet — both of these are commonly blamed for obesity. However, modern-day scientists say that there could be something else to blame, and it’s called leptin resistance.
If you are sure that you are doing everything you can to get your regular dose of exercise and consume only foods that are good for you but you are still having a hard time seeing results, there is a possibility that you could have leptin resistance. Continue reading to know more about this newest obesity prime suspect.
What is Leptin Exactly?
Leptin is a hormone that is secreted by — believe it or not — your fat cells. The more fat cells you have, the more leptin is coursing through your blood.
According to scientists, there are a bunch of things that leptin does, and one of the most noteworthy one is to notify your brain that you have plenty of fat cells available, and that you do not have to eat more foods to gain more fat cells. Basically, leptin is there to make sure that you will survive.
In turn, the brain springs into action by making you feel satiated. Once the levels of leptin drop, your fat cells will simply produce more of the said hormone.
But Things Can Go Haywire
It’s not all the time that leptin is successful in doing its job. Despite of the fact that it is very much present in your system, your brain may not react to it as expected. When it fails to make you feel satiated, what you do is you consume foods thinking that you are hungry, but when in fact you are not.
To date, scientists are unsure as to what exactly causes your body to be resistant to leptin. Some say that an increase in triglycerides in the bloodstream can keep leptin from reaching the brain. Others suggest that the body ends up with fewer and fewer leptin receptors, leading to leptin resistance.
In a nutshell, leptin resistance is all about the inability of your brain to detect the presence of leptin, thus it does not do the necessary action.
Obese Have More of These
Knowing which cells of the body produce leptin, it is quite obvious that obese individuals have more leptin in their system than those whose weights are ideal.
Considering the function of leptin, should obese people feel satiated all the time because the brain is bombarded with a lot of leptin? The fact that obese people are still consuming way more foods than they should is a clear testament that their brains are not responding properly to leptin, which these individuals have plenty of!
This is why more and more experts believe that leptin resistance is the problem of many obese people.
Avoiding Leptin Resistance
Since scientists cannot pinpoint the exact culprit behind leptin resistance, a cure for it is yet to exist. However, there’s good news — it is possible to enhance your body’s sensitivity to leptin. Here are some tips from the pros:
- Prevent unnecessary weight gain from happening. The first step you need to take if you don’t want to have leptin resistance is to keep those excess pounds from coming in the first place. Having constantly increased levels of leptin, experts say, can eventually make your brain resistant to the hormone.
- Steer clear of sugary and fatty foods. Both sugar and bad fats can cause inflammation, and such is something that can give rise to a lot of health problems, including leptin resistance.
- Have your dose of exercise on a regular basis. Not only will exercising regularly make you burn those unwanted calories that contribute to weight gain, but also improve your body’s sensitivity to leptin, according to experts. Part of the reason why exercising regularly is good against leptin resistance is it helps reduce triglycerides, which is regarded as a culprit.
- Reduce stress levels. If you don’t want to end up with leptin resistance, combat stress. Scientists explain that cortisol, the stress hormone, can hamper leptin sensitivity if it’s high all the time.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Many studies reveal that sleep deprivation can lead to leptin resistance, among so many other health nightmares. Besides, having enough sleep also helps you bounce back from stress, something that can trigger leptin resistance. Experts add that you should also keep your circadian rhythm normal.