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Leptin Resistance

Posted on 7th February 2020

It’s commonly believed that at the most basic level, a calorie deficit, and surplus energy output will amount to weight loss. However, for many of us, this may not work and can lead to a cycle of yoyo dieting. This can sometimes lead to more weight gain and the cycle continues.

So, what do we do when we are obese or overweight and it’s causing energy depletion and lack in confidence?

Sometimes it’s not as simple as a calorie restricted diet, particularly when a hormone called Leptin is involved. Leptin is a hormone that regulates body weight and is produced by our body’s fat cells. It tells our brain when to feel full and stop eating. It also regulates energy and how much fat your body stores.

The issue is that we produce more leptin, the more body fat we have. If excessive amounts of leptin are produced, it can create leptin resistance, which is said to be the main contributor to obesity.

Highlight – Leptin resistance is now believed to be the biggest reason for gaining fat.

It’s also important to remember that excess visceral fat (aka fat around the middle), can cause hormonal and immune imbalances such as hypothyroidism

It’s believed that the reason why leptin resistance happens includes inflammation, free fatty acids and having high levels of leptin. These are all elevated with obesity.

Highlight – A common physical sign that you have leptin resistance is a lot of fat around your mid-section. 

There are things we can do to help reverse leptin resistance.

  1. Limit consumption of highly processed foods, which are high in carbs and fat, causing inflammation.
  2. Eat more soluble fibre, which will improve gut health and may help prevent obesity. This includes food such as beans, bran, oat, barley, fruit and vegetables.
  3. Eat more protein, which supports weight loss and improves leptin sensitivity.

If you are concerned and wonder if you have leptin resistance, make it a priority to eat healthier or work with someone who can help you with a tailored nutrition and lifestyle plan.