Leptin was first discovered in 1994 and plays an extremely important role in weight loss. Leptin molecule – looks more like a tangled cable.
In this Blog, You are Going to Know,
- 1 What does leptin do? And What regulates it?
- 2 What happens when leptin levels drop?
- 3 Leptin as a dietary supplement?
- 4 A realistic solution/Alternative of Leptin injections
- 5 What’s up with the carbohydrates?
What does leptin do? And What regulates it?
It informs the brain and body about the current nutritional status.
Two things regulate leptin levels. One is body fat. This means that people with higher body fat percentages also have higher leptin levels than people with lower body fat percentages.
Leptin is secreted by fat cells, so there is a direct relationship between the leptin level and the amount of fat you have on you that’s why it is Leptin Weight Loss Hormone.
If you try to lose weight by consuming fewer calories, your body overreacts to your disadvantage and lowers leptin levels.
And this is the second factor in blood leptin levels, caloric intake. Once you cut down on your calorie intake, leptin levels will go down regardless of your body fat. So you can suffer from low leptin levels despite being overweight, just go on a diet.
What happens when leptin levels drop?
As I said before, under normal circumstances, the leptin level is normal, and the brain gets the signal that the calorie intake is sufficient. The metabolism is high, and the body is burning fat until you start dieting. (This body doesn’t know much about fat burning)
Once you start dieting, your leptin levels drop dramatically (by 50% or more in just a week) as it tells your body that you are half-starved and are not consuming enough calories.
This slows down your metabolism and leads to a hormonal response that stores fat. The thyroid hormones react by falling, and the belly fat-storing stress hormone cortisol shoots up.
Hello, belly fat.
(Welcome to the world of leptin resistance)
So when the leptin level drops, you will get very hungry.
Ironically, our bodies burn fat at all other times, except when we are trying to burn fat.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could maintain high levels of leptin and a fat-burning body while dieting? This would solve all of the problems.
Leptin as a dietary supplement?
The problem is that leptin is a protein-based hormone. So it cannot be taken orally. Otherwise, it will simply be digested. So this excludes the leptin pill.
Then we still have leptin injections. This even works, the metabolism remains high, and the body does not go into “starvation mode” even though one consumes fewer calories.
1996-1999 study on Leptin
1996, Ahima et al. used leptin injections to reverse starvation inducing neuroendocrine adaptations in mice, i.e., to outsmart the body. That’s all well and good, but we are human. Tests on rodents cannot be compared to humans.
1999 Heymsfield et al. conducted a study with placebos, analyzing weight loss in 73 obese people over 24 weeks. The “guinea pigs” were injected daily with leptin or placebo. After the 24 weeks, the leptin group showed a more significant weight loss than the placebo group and had a higher muscle/fat percentage.
2002-2005 study on Leptin
In 2002, Rosenbaum et al. administered low-dose leptin to men and women who had lost 10% of their body weight. Thyroid levels, general energy expenditure, and other metabolic factors all decreased significantly during the diet phase. The result of leptin replacement therapy?
“All endocrine changes have been reversed …”
This means that the thyroid output and the daily calorie burn increased back to the pre-diet level.
2003, Fogteloo et al. showed that leptin injections “tended to reduce the decrease in energy expenditure, combined with energy restrictions, while the tendency to increase energy intake to normal levels in placebo-treated subjects was largely prevented in leptin-treated subjects.”
Simply put, the leptin group’s metabolism slowed less, and they were also less hungry, which made it easier for them to stick to their prescribed diet.
2004, Welt et al. reported that leptin given to a group of women with thyroid dysfunction immediately increased the thyroid hormones’ density T3 and T4.
2005, Rosenbaum et al. showed again that the energy expenditure and the circulation density of T3 and T4 also increased to the normal level with regular leptin injections (i.e., as before the weight loss).
In theory, this means that keeping leptin levels high while dieting will solve our dilemma by preventing the negative metabolic adaptations that the calorie restriction causes.
Unfortunately, there is a problem. Daily leptin injections are way too expensive, thousands of euros per week. So we can forget about leptin supplementation as a solution. Besides that, who wants to put a needle into their skin voluntarily every day?
A realistic solution/Alternative of Leptin injections
Now that we know that injections of leptin are not going to save us, we should consider the possibility of manipulating the body’s natural leptin production.
Instead of supplying us with expensive injections, there is a solution that everyone will like: more calories and carbohydrates.
As we know, leptin levels drop 50% after a week’s diet. Fortunately, it doesn’t take nearly as long to replenish leptin to 100%.
Studies have shown that higher calorie consumption causes leptin levels to recover within 12-24 hours.
So the answer is Strategic high-calorie/high-carbohydrate cheating.
Strategic cheating increases leptin levels, which can help you lose weight.
Strategic cheating with high-calorie foods such as pizza, cakes, cookies, chocolate, hamburgers, french fries, etc. increases leptin and metabolism, which prepares your body to continue burning fat despite a calorie deficit.
That means you will have more fat loss week after week and also a much more realistic way of leading yourself to the body you want.
What’s up with the carbohydrates?
Leptin, carbohydrates, and insulin are very closely related.
Calories alone are also useless, as research shows that overeating of proteins and fats has almost no effect on leptin.
To get a strong leptin reaction from overfeeding, a lot of carbohydrates have to come into play. The mutual dependency is so great that the leptin level does not decrease with a zero diet as long as the insulin and blood sugar is maintained intravenously.
Because of this carbohydrate/insulin-leptin relationship, it makes sense to eat things that are rich in fat and carbohydrates (pizza, hamburgers, cookies, etc.). This combination works best against the negative effects brought about by dieting because of the immense insulin response.
So this goes against any claim that carbohydrates are our enemy. On the contrary, on certain days they can even be our friends.