We are CONSTANTLY bombarded with marketing messages that tell us we need to eat better, go on a diet, and exercise. When we drive down the street we pass one gym, then another gym, and then a billboard advertising a gym! And if that isn’t enough, when we go to our doctor we are told the same thing: exercise, eat better and so on and that’s not to say that doctors are wrong or that we shouldn’t go on a diet.
Many people can get lots of exercise and eat right and still not lose weight. There’s a good chance that you are one of those people. What doesn’t get talked about enough is something called “leptin resistance.” Leptin resistance can impede your body’s ability to burn fat so let’s see how it works.
First of all, leptin is a hormone that is stored in fat cells and is released when you eat. Leptin travels through your bloodstream and on to your brain, specifically the hypothalamus, and it tells the hypothalamus when your fat cells have enough fat stored and don’t need to eat anymore. It then also tells the brain that it can begin burning calories at an even rate.
Leptin resistance occurs when you are producing leptin but the signaling is “jammed” and the brain can’t see that you are producing leptin. Leptin is now widely viewed as one of the MAJOR biological factors that greatly hinder one’s ability to lose weight, in fact, many people use the terms “leptin resistance” and “weight-loss resistance” interchangeably.
What is essentially happening is that your body THINKS it hasn’t eaten enough, in fact, it thinks that you are STARVING. Thus all the “hunger” signals get activated and everything you eat goes straight to your fat cells instead of being used for energy.
In short, it’s chronic inflammation that is to blame. When you have inflammation, the leptin receptor sites in the brain have trouble detecting the existing presence of leptin and on top of that, it makes you TIRED. This can obviously be extremely frustrating especially if you are someone that is doing most things right like eating properly and exercising.
If you think you are one of those people, the first thing to do see your doctor who can order a simple blood test so you know for sure if you are leptin resistant. Once you know for sure, then you can begin to tackle the problem.
There are a number of things you can do to resolve the problem and they include: get a proper night’s sleep, don’t eat too late, eat anti-inflammatory foods, get your omega 3’s, and finally try to reduce STRESS! Stress is a HUGE problem when it comes to inflammation! It’s not easy to reduce stress but there are things that you can do short of quitting your job or radically changing your life.
Just work on your lifestyle and stress levels one day at a time and you should see results. You can also check some of our healthy lifestyle tips here.