Leptin: The Satiety Or Starvation Hormone
Leptin, also known as the satiety or starvation hormone, is widely considered to be one of the biggest components when it comes to weight loss. It’s produced by the body’s fat cells and targets an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, where it lets the brain know that you have enough fat stored and can burn calories at a normal rate.
Leptin also has other roles; it has functions related to fertility, brain function, and immunity, among others. However, its most important role lies within energy balance, or the amount of calories we eat and expend, along with how much fat we store on our bodies.
Because of this, foods that raise leptin and questions about how to raise leptin levels are on the rise. As we learn more about this hormone, we can even answer questions about topics like leptin sensitivity and resistance.
In this article, you’ll find several tried-and-true ways to boost leptin levels in your body. By boosting these hormone levels, your weight loss journey will become easier than ever before. Read on to find out just how to lose weight by raising leptin.
Foods That Raise Leptin Levels
High Fiber Foods. Yep, Veggies And Fruits
There are several types of food that raise leptin levels. First, high-fiber foods like celery, oatmeal, legumes, and whole grains are great for boosting your leptin. The fiber in these foods gives you a feeling of fullness, and this in turn causes your intestinal tract to send a signal to your brain to release more leptin.
Daily fruit and vegetable consumption is also extremely important. Because fruits and veggies are high in fiber and water but low in calories, you can eat larger amounts of them without the dreaded weight gain. Instead, your brain will be signaled to release leptin as you become full.
Eat Your Omega-3s. They're Good For You Anyway
Try increasing your omega-3 fatty acid consumption as well. Foods like salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids, but you can also take a supplement for the same effect. Eating these fatty acids combats leptin resistance by fighting inflammation-causing molecules.
Carb Up Occasionally. Yes, You Read That Right
It’s also recommended to take one or two days per week to load up on healthy carbs like potatoes and rice to jumpstart your leptin production. This is most helpful for those who already exercise and eat healthy, but can’t seem to lose weight. If you are already on a low-carb diet, your body may not be producing enough leptin to let you know if you’re hungry or not. Having one or two “carb reload” days per week is enough to get your leptin back in check.
Additional foods that may be helpful include lean proteins, low-fat yogurt, green tea, eggs, almonds, skim milk, olive oil, and sesame seeds.
Exercises To Raise Leptin
It’s recommended to stay lean rather than getting bulky in order to keep leptin levels where you want them. To stay lean, try high-intensity interval training, or H.I.I.T. Workout routines like this stimulate large secretions of human growth hormone. This in turn boosts fat-burning mechanisms and regulates leptin.
For a twenty-minute beginners’ H.I.I.T workout, try this (make sure to warm up first!). Do three rounds of the following five exercises for forty-five seconds each, with a fifteen-second break in between each exercise: push-ups, squats, butt kicks, tricep dips, and side lunges. Once you’ve been alternating between these exercises for twenty minutes, your workout is complete!
You may also want to try doing exercises that target fat cells directly, as well as aerobic exercises and weight resistance exercises. Aerobic exercise is important because it increases blood flow, leading to enough fat burning that leptin is released. Weight resistance strengthens your muscles, which aids in burning fat cells and the release of leptin.
Sleep Baby, Sleep
Experts can’t say enough about sleep and the production of leptin. Leptin levels rise during the sleep cycle to let your brain know that you have plenty of energy for the time being and that it doesn’t need to trigger the feeling of hunger.
When you don’t sleep enough, and therefore don’t produce enough leptin, a chain reaction eventually lets your brain know that you don’t have enough energy for your needs. Because of this, your brain will tell you that you’re hungry even if you’re not and take steps to store any calories you consume as fat.
Aim for at least seven to nine hours a night--studies show that those who don’t get enough sleep have leptin levels that are 15% lower. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll have a stronger appetite the next day, which throws your body out of balance--the balance that leptin helps to regulate.
Drink Up. Water, That Is.
Staying hydrated is much more important than many people know. It’s estimated that around 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, a condition that can wreak havoc upon leptin levels.
Drinking enough water aids in digestion, mood, and controlling hunger. It also contributes to how easily your body can absorb nutrients and vitamins. Because of this, being consistently dehydrated inhibits your leptin sensitivity and increases your leptin resistance.
A Quick Recap
After reading through our various tips regarding how to raise leptin levels, you should have quite a few new ideas to aid in boosting your leptin. Here’s a brief recap of the ways we recommend raising your leptin:
- Eat foods that are high in fiber, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, whether eaten or taken as a supplement, have a positive effect on leptin levels.
- Loading up on carbs for one to two days a week can regulate your leptin levels if you already eat healthy and exercise regularly.
- H.I.I.T. workouts, aerobic workouts, and weight resistance exercises all aid in the release of leptin into the body.
- Sleep around eight hours per night and stay hydrated.