Leptin is a naturally produced hormone by the fat cells of our body, it is responsible for providing us with the feeling of satiety.
Since this hormone is secreted by our fat cells, it is directly associated with the fat present in our body, metabolism, hunger and appetite. During the normal functioning of the body, our brain signals fat cells to release leptin hormone, which makes us feel full and prevents us from over-eating. It is observed that overweight and obese people have high leptin levels but the body develops resistance to it. Due to the decreased leptin sensitivity, our brain does not get signals to stop eating which ultimately causes weight gain.
Some of the reasons due to which our body becomes leptin resistant are consumption of junk, packaged, sugar-based foods and trans fats. This results in increased inflammation. Sedentary lifestyle, inadequate sleep pattern, excess intake of fructose-rich foods are some of the other major causes.
In this article, we will talk about some of the ways to boost our leptin levels.
1. Consume a protein-rich diet - Inclusion of protein-rich foods in the diet not only improves leptin sensitivity but also keeps us full for long. This reduces unwanted food cravings and helps in healthy weight management.
2. Adequate intake of dietary fibre - Proper consumption of dietary fibre is another way to boost leptin hormone in the body. Fibre-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds promote the feeling of fullness. This, in turn, sends a signal to our brain to release more leptin in the intestines.
3. Prefer complex over simple carbs - Complex carbohydrates should form a major part of the total carb intake. This is because complex carbs contain dietary fibre and prevent sudden insulin spike. Simple carbs instead cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels, increases insulin resistance and interferes with leptin production.
4. Consume omega 3 rich foods - Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory in nature. It is essential to maintain an ideal balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fats so as to prevent the rise of inflammatory markers and improve leptin sensitivity. Therefore, choose omega 3 rich foods like fatty fishes (salmon, sardine or anchovies), walnuts, spirulina, chia seeds and flax seeds.
5. Maintain an adequate sleep pattern - A daily sleep of 7-8 hours is imperative for our health. Regular sleep not only reduces our stress but also regulates the level of leptin and ghrelin (the hunger hormone) in our body. In case of inadequate sleep, our body produces more ghrelin and less of leptin hormone. This increases our appetite and makes us eat more and more.
6. Avoid severe calorie-restricted diets - People aiming to lose weight often resort to fad diets or severe calorie-restricted diets. This sudden decrease in calories disrupts our hormone balance, suppresses metabolism and increases nutritional deficiencies. This means that being over-weight and under-nourished, both conditions are unfavourable for our overall health.
7. Maintain an active lifestyle - Key to stay healthy is a well-balanced diet, proper sleep along with an active lifestyle. Exercise helps in maintaining a healthy weight, boost metabolic rate, promotes the secretion of growth hormone, fat burning and assists in maintaining a healthy hormonal balance including leptin.
To conclude, leptin plays a very important role in maintaining our overall well-being and health. Adequate production of leptin in the body means healthy weight management, metabolism, hunger balance and calorie expenditure. If you are aiming to stay in shape, follow these tips to avoid being leptin resistant.