Could it be true that there is a “Most Important Hormone”? Well, I believe there is, and I believe this is it. Leptin by straight definition simply modulates how the body uses fat for energy (when the hypothalamus is activated by Leptin, your brain is told to burn fat for energy), and it also tells you that you are satiated, so STOP EATING. The interesting thing about Leptin, is that it seems to be “momentarily” impacted by carbohydrate consumption in addition to having long term impact from a high carb diet. But let me pause and back up.
Many adults find themselves having more and more difficulty losing weight as they age. For some of these people, it seems as though there is really no easy answer. They might have arrived at this place from a bad diet, or it may have been a diet that doesn’t seem so bad, but coupled with some other inflammatory problem that allows the not so bad food to do some seriously bad things. This is where we would get into discussing leaky gut syndrome.
These issues can get to the point where it seems hopeless. I have had patients who would fast for days and literally gain weight over that time. No food and weight gain can cause some serious depression by the way. But, it never shocks me, because I know that somebody who cannot burn fat for energy (poor leptin response), and a bend towards cortisol release (stress hormone that will increase momentary inflammation); will always gain weight when the stress goes up (no food will increase stress). A normal person however, will have a normal cortisol result, and will gain great value from a fast. I once got into a little facebook tift with somebody from the Whole 9 Nutrition group (they were wise enough to start the “Whole 30” a version of paleo designed to be done for 30 days), an individual who wasn’t wise enough to realize that fasting and working out together, is actually one of the most successful ways to heal leptin.
More on that concept is warranted. In 1994 when Leptin was discovered, it was quickly learned that it was keenly responsible for regulating metabolism of fat in the body. Over time, as it became clearer that obesity and weight loss resistance were directly correlated to leptin, researchers set out in an attempt to alter leptin responsiveness. Diet and exercise were both tested against leptin numbers. It is this research that has driven my efforts in developing the 60 Day Turnaround. A low carb, high fat diet that is designed to heal leptin, and fix the fat burning system. In addition, this research has continued to support the crossfit model. Short duration, high intensity exercise as your primary focus, with some higher duration at times, but primarily keeping it under 15 minutes at a time, and intense.
This type of exercise will increase leptin sensitivity, and will improve growth hormone, and assist in balancing adrenal hormones. Basically, it is a “must do” when it comes to exercise. I am not telling you runners to give it up, but I strongly believe most of your runs should be higher intensity and lower duration sprint type days, with some distance days as needed.
When we put people on the path for leptin healing, it is important that they understand what it is… a path for leptin healing. A path that always works, but sometime takes a long time to work. It is wise to be committed to the idea that you eat nothing that turns to sugar, thus stored as fat. Also, these foods force the body to get better at burning fat for energy, and allow leptin sensitivity to return. Eat right, and exercise right, and get fixed.
The question however… is much bigger for those who have no need for weight loss. ”Do I try to hold steady to this diet as well?” Yes. It is important for everybody to stay sensitive. 60 Day Turnaround once a year, every other year… or every three years. It makes sense for everybody. If you want to know more, be sure to read more below…
Be well and Be blessed! – Dr. E