Weight Loss Hacks….get in touch with LEPTIN, stat!
I speak to countless women EVERY day and a consistent concern is weight gain despite clean eating and exercising. Obviously, there’s more to this topic than the old antiquated dogma of “calories in, calories out” that I used to spout off for YEARS to my patients, with good intentions-of course!, but before I was truly enlightened a few years ago. I have come to really understand the complex role of HORMONES and their impact on so many bodily functions, but especially appetite stimulation, sleep and weight gain or loss.
3 years ago, I gained about 10 lbs….now, that may not seem like much, but when you are 5’4 and very active, it was a bit bewildering. This was NOT an issue with willpower, laziness or lack of self-care (so I thought!). What it WAS about was a constellation of issues that were created largely by my interaction with my environment, lack of proper self-care strategies and stress, which negatively impacted my entire endocrine system. And, it is NEVER as simple as saying…..”oh, you are a certain age, so you should accept this as a function of aging”…..NO thanks.
As I started digging deeper to find out what was creating this situation (and it involved making some substantial lifestyle changes) I realized that you can’t OUTWIT those pesky, but essential hormones when it comes to hacking into why you are dealing with stubborn weight gain.
Let me introduce you to one special hormone called leptin. It is made by fat, aka-adipose tissue, that impacts appetite, metabolism, energy and even immunity. So you can imagine how integral this is in weight management. Essentially this is our STOP eating hormone…it tells our brain, specifically our hypothalamus, to tell us to end our meal or snack. It also drives inflammation (blog post on inflammation here)
The unfortunate aspect of this hormone is that many women are leptin resistant, which results in a their struggling with ending their calorie consumption….it is also associated with insulin resistance, which is the pre-cursor syndrome to diabetes. No bueno! It is also closely inter-related with thyroid issues. Think of it this way….the more adipose tissue you have the MORE leptin resistance you will have….which is truly detrimental to weight loss and your health.
Leptin actually tells your hypothalamus (brain) that you are in starvation mode, so it inhibits your body’s ability to create more energy from thyroid hormone (remember your thyroid is your “spark plug” for your cells)…the less ability for your body to release thyroid releasing hormone, the less your thyroid will be instructed to send thyroid hormone (T4) to your cells to be converted to active thyroid hormone (T3). Not a good thing!
Some of my favorite hacks for reseting leptin include:
- Intermittent fasting (blog post on intermittent fasting)
- Consume nutrient dense whole foods….I say this over and over again, but it bears repeating: wild-caught fish, pastured pork, organic chicken, grass-fed/grass-finished beef; organic fruits/veggies (I prefer a 1 fruit: 3 veggie ratio); less processed foods that come in boxes, bags and have a minimum amount of ingredients; healthy fats with each meal or snack. Limit or exclude gluten, grains and dairy.
- And my NEW tip…consume collagen peptides in your coffee, tea or smoothie daily. I suggest starting with 1-2 servings (20gm/serving) daily. Obviously, bio-individuality is key, but watch for constipation or other GI impact.
- Ensure you are getting adequate amounts of sleep, at least 7-8 hours per night. There’s a direct correlation with lower BMI (body mass index), lower levels of another hormone (gherlin that impacts increasing appetite and has a positive impact on leptin) and overall leptin effectiveness.
Hormone HACKS are at the basis of my 6-week virtual program, Wholistic Blueprint, I’d LOVE for you to join us! I still have 7 spots left and will close enrollment next week. Classes start on Monday April 23rd. For more information and to register, please use this link: Wholistic Blueprint