Today I want to talk to you about the one solitary hormone that can either make or break your weight loss journey…
In fact, if you don’t learn to control this hormone, you might as well forget about losing fat at all…it really is that big of a deal.
You see, back in my college days after struggling to lose weight over and over again no matter what I did, I finally stumbled upon the hormone that I now refer to as the “Fat Burning Hormone”, and that hormone’s name is leptin.
Leptin (derived from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin), is essentially the “master” hormone that more or less controls EVERY other weight loss hormone in your body… and your ability to burn fat as a whole.
You see, when you have leptin on your side, fat loss becomes easy. When you don’t, losing even a single pound can become virtually impossible.
And here’s the unfortunate news: just about everyone is unknowingly fighting a losing battle with leptin each and every time they attempt to lose weight.
You see, the REAL underlying reason you may have failed to lose weight in the past isn’t for lack of trying, you don’t have bad genetics, and there’s nothing physically wrong with you… the truth is that you failed simply because you didn’t know the simple ways to control your #1 weight loss hormone… leptin.
With that said, it’s pretty easy to see why so many folks, and perhaps you’re one of them, downright struggle to shed their unwanted body fat like I did, month after month, year after year.
Let me explain…
First, in order to burn fat, your body depends on these two things:
1) high levels of leptin
2) highly sensitive leptin “receptors” (which acts as the “lock” to leptin’s “key”)
Now for the bad news…
Anytime you go on a diet and reduce your calorie intake, leptin levels plummet and fat burning is dramatically reduced to a snail’s pace.
Because leptin’s main function is to protect your body against starvation, and in the midst of decreased food intake (i.e. dieting), your body unfortunately views your stored body fat as a huge asset to survival.
After all, body fat provides a vast supply of stored energy and warmth, both highly-valued resources when food is in short supply.
You see, when you go on a diet, your body isn’t aware of your hopes for a slim, tight waistline or your desire to drop 20 lbs in time for your high school reunion or summer beach season. In fact, the only thing it does know is that your calorie intake is now below “normal”… and to your brain, that’s a big red flag.
The result: reduced leptin levels and dramatically decreased fat burning.
In fact, research has shown that leptin levels drop by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting. That puts you at only 50% of your fat-burning potential just one WEEK in to your fat loss plan, and it only gets worse with each passing day.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, with every pound you DO struggle to lose, leptin levels fall even further, making it even more difficult for you to continue to lose fat.
Because, as mentioned, in the face of calorie restriction, your body views stored body fat as an asset to survival. The more fat you lose, the more “danger” your body senses, and the harder it is to strip away that next pound.
Hello, fat loss plateaus!
Now, I hate to continue to be the bearer of bad news, but the scenario I just explained is actually only HALF the problem.
The other unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of people are ALSO suffering from a condition known as “leptin resistance” due to years of high body fat levels and a diet full of processed foods.
Leptin resistance simply means that even at high levels, leptin is no longer able to properly signal fat burning to your body, dramatically decreasing its fat loss effects.
That’s a pretty disheartening truth for the fat loss enthusiast, but the good news is that there are 4 somewhat odd, but extremely effective strategies you can begin using today that will ultimately end your struggle with leptin once and for all and finally allow you to experience the excitement of seeing a thinner waist, flatter stomach, and a more defined body when looking back at yourself in the bathroom mirror each morning.
The first three are things you can institute on a daily basis, and the fourth is a bit of a “cheat”; all of these things, of course, along with regular exercise.
- Incorporate a “cheat” day – This is quite a powerful tool; as levels of leptin drop over time, a cheat day, where you allow yourself to eat pretty much anything will give you a much needed bump in those levels. The important thing to remember here is that after a week of eating properly, a large amount of not-so-good food will make you feel lethargic and fatigued, so prepare yourself, and never EVER leave leftovers around to find the next day.
- Try a “reverse-tapered” carb cycle – this method is especially helpful for those who do, in fact, follow a pretty much perfect diet every day but that cheat day. Because the week is, well, a week long, that one day of support will only go so far. Try this: as the week goes on, add a small amount of carbs – say 10-15 grams each day – to your diet. This way, you’ll continually be increasing the levels of leptin in your system without having to cheat every day (which clearly does no one any good)
- Take in only single-ingredient food sources – this is HUGE in the case of leptin sensitivity. The foods which you eat should only include THAT FOOD. That is to say that the only ingredient in a tomato is a tomato, whereas the ingredients in a pizza or a box of mac’ and cheese are much, much more than that. Adhere to that (expect on cheat day), and you will be taking in whole, non-processed foods. Not only will you feel a ton better, but your levels of leptin sensitivity will rise, and you will be much better off on your fat loss path.
- Take in four very specific ingredients in very specific doses, daily – this is where we find kind of a shortcut. Ingest the following four ingredients in the correct dosage every day, and you’ve got it made:
Irvingia gabonensis is a fruit that grows in Cameroon, in West Africa. Locals call it “Bush Mango.” For centuries the indigenous people there have used the seed of the fruit in a soup they eat every day. Researchers noted a lack of all heart disease and obesity in this population. Thus began the research into the anti-obesity properties of the seed.
- A recent study shows that Irvingia gambonensis extract enhances leptin sensitivity by decreasing levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) by an amazing 52%. CRP interferes with leptin’s anti-obesity actions by binding to leptin in the blood stream, blocking leptin’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to the hypothalamus and signal satiety.
- A subsequent study, enlisting 102 human subjects taking 150mg of the seed extract 2 times per day, showed that this increase in leptin sensitivity increased weight loss dramatically in test subjects. At the end of 10 weeks, the Irvingia group lost an average of 28 pounds (a 13.1% decrease in body weight), shed 6.7 inches from their waistline, and had reduced their total body fat by an average of 18.4%. Subjects taking the placebo lost only 3 pounds.
Olive Leaf Extract (Oleanolic acid):
This compound, extracted from Olive Tree Leaves, has a stimulatory effect on a specific gut peptide called Glucagon-like Peptide-1 (GLP-1). Research shows that an oral dose of this extract can increase GLP-1 by 48%. GLP-1 is a highly biologically active peptide that sits at the top of a hormonal cascade controlling multiple aspects of metabolism. Increased levels of circulating GLP-1 have been shown to:
- Dramatically increase the effectiveness of Leptin in signaling satiety in the brain. It does so through stimulation of Amylin production from the pancreas. Amylin is a peptide hormone that is co-secreted with insulin from beta-cells in the pancreas, in a 1:100 ratio.
- Enhance leptin production in fat cells, through its ability to stimulate insulin secretion from the pancreas. GLP-1 not only stimulates the beta-cells in the pancreas to acutely secrete more insulin, it also increases beta-cell mass and insulin gene expression, which will support the robust secretion of insulin (one of the main stimulators of leptin production) in the long run.
Brown Seaweed Extract:
Brown seasweed extract is harvested from pristine arctic waters off the coast of Iceland and processed under strict FDA and GMP guidelines and takes 40 lbs of seaweed to make a single pound of extract:
- A recent study showed that “Short-term dietary supplementation with kelp significantly increases both basal and post-stimulation TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).”
- Very recent research shows that by increasing circulating TSH levels in human subjects, leptin production in fat cells can be increased by up to 18%.
Panax notoginseng is a well-known and commonly used traditional Chinese herb, called “Shan Qi” by master herbalists, for the treatment of various diseases, such as hemostasis, edema and odynolysis. It is grown near mountain springs in southwestern China.
- When researchers began looking at the metabolic effects of this special ginseng extract they noted that it lowered leptin levels, reduced food intake, increased weight loss, decreased Neuropeptide Y (which stimulates appetite), and increased cholecystokinin (appetite suppressant).
Green Tea & Yerba Mate:
This is a dual source of caffeine, 75% from green tea and 25% from Yerba mate. They each have their own unique weight loss properties.
- Green tea extract standardized from caffeine has been shown in multiple studies to facilitate fat loss. Researchers in a very recent study summarized these effects in the following way: “A green tea-caffeine mixture improves weight maintenance, through thermogenesis, fat oxidation, and sparing fat free mass.”
- The other source of caffeine comes from a unique herb called Yerba mate. Yerba mate tea is made from the leaves of Ilex paraguariensis grown the rainforests of South America. Very recent research shows that an extract of yerba mate can induce significant weight loss, and that weight loss is due to the herb’s ability to increase GLP-1 and Leptin levels. Here is what researchers concluded in the study: “These findings suggest that mate may induce anorexic effects by direct induction of satiety and by stimulation of GLP-1 secretion and modulation of serum leptin levels.”
Now, here is the hiccup – how the heck are you supposed to get a hold of that stuff in the correct dosage, and take it at the right times to accelerate fat loss? Simple – find them all here.
That’s all for today! As always, comment and leave me any questions you might have!
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