What does Leptin Do in the Body and Why are Body Leptin Levels Important? Currently the words ‘Leptin’, ‘Leptin Level’ and ‘Leptin Resistance’ are being frequented in the discussions of fat reduction and weight loss. Many weight loss programs are promising the subscribers of quick weight reduction by manipulating of the body’s leptin levels. If you ask me personally I would say, before opting such weight management schemes with blind faith, knowing the ‘what’s and ‘how’s of leptin is a must. This way you will get an actual idea of how leptin is related to your body’s overall weight and you can judge by yourself if those expensive weight loss programs are needed or not. Believe me, you don’t need to be a scientist to dig deeper into the ‘Leptin matter’!
What is Leptin?
Leptin is a hormone secreted by the fat cells (adipose tissue in biological terms) of our body. This particular hormone helps our brain to decide if our body is satiated with enough food or we need to keep eating more to replenish body’s nourishment needs. It works as an indicator to signal our brain to generate food craving whenever our body gets low on nutrients. This hormone is also known as ‘satiety hormone’.
How does Leptin Work?
Our body runs on the nutrients we supply as foods. Our digestive system chemically breaks down complex food molecules into simpler version and body absorbs them through the intestinal tissues. The total amount of nutrition is then divided into two parts; one is for providing instant energy and the other surplus part gets stored for future use as fat. When our body has enough fat, it doesn’t need more fat to add into the existing fat level but if we overeat, the body has to do that. That is the reason we gain excess fat. When our body’s fat requirement fulfills, body fat cells secrete Leptin hormone to communicate that information to our brain. Our brain then stops generating food cravings.
Do Body Leptin Levels Matter?
YES! Depending on the body’s leptin level our brain decides if it should produce the sensations of hunger. Plus, this hormone also plays a crucial role in our body’s calorie-burning rate, fertility and immunity level. So, the body’s leptin level definitely matters in managing our body’s food consumption rate and overall fat accumulation.
What is Leptin Resistance?
When our body fails to obey Leptin hormone’s indications and has to store more fat due to overeating, we gain extra weight and become obese. This situation is called Leptin Resistance.
Effect of Leptin Level on Calorie Burning
Studies have shown that a fat cell secrets leptin in proportion with its own size. That means, more fat will increase leptin level and less fat will result in low leptin level. When our body is high in leptin, brain deduces, the body needs no more fat. So, body burns more calorie and stores minimal. The exact opposite thing happens in case of low leptin levels.
When we follow strict diets or crash diets, the discrepancy between food intake and leptin level causes huge calorie gap and that’s why we lose fat quickly. But, when we stop doing crash diets and come back to a normal diet the discrepancy works in reverse and the regain of the lost weight happens twice quickly via hunger pangs. This is the reason epic failure happens in crash diets most of the time!
How to Increase Body Leptin Level
Instead of opting for crash diets it is a wise choice to increase the body’s leptin level in a healthy way. Incorporating these in your daily life will help in inflating your body’s leptin level.
Put a Ban on Fatty Processed Foods
Fatty foods, especially those chemically processed ones, dispense too many molecules of fatty acids in your bloodstream. These substances misbalance or even chemically change the composition of leptin in your blood. So, stay away from deep fries and heavy oily foods.
Increase Protein Intake
Proteins are the best foods for fat reduction as they make you feel satiated for longer and reduce untimely hunger pangs. They also help in developing muscles and decreasing overall fat index. So, eat sufficient amount of vegetable and animal-derived proteins like pulses, legumes and of course fish or meat.
Make Exercise a Daily Habit
Regular exercise not only helps in toning muscles and joints but also brings inflation in leptin levels. You don’t have to do high-intensity exercises for that; even power yoga for 15-20 minutes will do the job efficiently.
Regularize Your Sleep Pattern
It has been seen that sleep deprivation or even irregular sleeping habits has a tendency to interrupt in body’s activities. It also decreases leptin levels. So, bring regularity in your sleep patterns. You can also try various sleep inducing herbal tea or baths for this purpose.