Posted on April 2nd, 2014 by Dr. Mike
A Glimpse at Leptin
Have you ever tried to go on a diet, and you ended up shedding some of those unwanted pounds… but then you reached a plateau where you just couldn’t seem to lose anymore? This will happen more often than not with calorie restrictive diets. We have been under the impression for a long time that the amount of fat on our bodies is proportional to the amount of calories taken in our diet. As a nation, we’ve focused so much on calories in weight loss, that we’ve actually been counting calories. Counting the amount of calories we eat, and then subtracting the amount of calories we ferociously burn off on the treadmill. Creating a math problem out of weight loss is a gross oversimplification, and an erroneous approach to weight loss. While weight loss should never be your primary focus in your overall health, there is a smart way to go about it. We look to your hormones.
Leptin is a hormone that was discovered in the mid 1990’s, and it can be thought of as your “fat burning” hormone. It was once thought that fat cells were just fat cells, and played no significant role in communication with the brain. Surprisingly, in 1994 it was discovered that every fat cell in the human body is in constant communication with the brain via the hormone leptin. Leptin is released by fat cells when the body has received sufficient nutrition. Imagine that your fat cells “call” your brain throughout the day and deliver the same message every time. This message says “Relax, fat stores are available to burn and turn into energy. Also, you can stop eating”. The brain will then take that message and begin to take action by actively using your fat cells as a source of energy, AND it will turn off hunger.
Now, let’s take a look at what happens when we have low levels of leptin. The brain recognizes this as another motivating message “Hey brain, fat stores are low… it’s time to go look for food, and turn some of that food into FAT” This is an excellent system of communication and comes in very handy during times of famine, because if you have fat cells that can be used for energy, it would be useful for the brain to know about them so that you can survive long enough to withstand the famine. Our problem today is that many of brains have hearing problems… they don’t hear the message. So, imagine if you were the brain and never got the message that fat stores were available for burning and turning into energy. You’d never know to take action and burn fat. You might have a 100 pounds of fat just waiting to be turned into positive energy for the body, but instead of burning… you would do the exact opposite, store more fat.
Here is where the calorie counting theory takes a nose dive. Cutting calories is like taking a voluntary famine. And, in times a famine your body naturally wants to conserve energy. So, ask yourself this… “would it make sense to expend a whole lot of energy trying to burn off calories on the treadmill if we need to be saving all the energy we can get our hands on at this point?” This will never work because when the calories are restricted, energy is low and more importantly leptin is low. Remember, low levels of leptin are constantly telling your brain you need to eat something! I’m hungry! So, inevitably when you give into sugar cravings your body instantly goes into fat storing mode and the pounds come right back! It’s silly, but it’s what we’ve done for a long time, contributing greatly to the failed diets and obesity epidemic.
Naturally, the more fat cells you have, the more leptin you have in circulation. Chronically high leptin levels are an indicator that your brain is not hearing leptin.
I could get technical here and explain all about how your brain gets this “leptin hearing” problem…but for purposes of making this a bit more simple to look at, I will just focus on how to get the hearing problem fixed.
The 3 top reasons our brains begin to have this hearing problem:
#1. Avoid foods with a high glycemic index.
#2. Avoid toxins… detoxing is necessary in today’s society.
#3. Cut out all man made fats, and stock up on good healthy fats. Man-made fats adhere to cell membranes and are structured in a way that is unrecognizable to the brain and body. Bottom line, they make it impossible for you to hear high leptin levels and burn fat.
It is essential to add good fats to your diet. These will be the new make-up of your cells membrane receptors, and your body will be able to re-gain its hearing.
The best way to take all this in without any confusion? The answer is the ADVANCED plan in the maximized nutrition book. Pick it up on your way out and begin the healing diet!