Why Losing Weight is So Difficult
For decades, we have believed that caloric intake, caloric burn, and will power determined the success or failure of a diet. This is simply not the case. The primary cause of unwanted weight gain is something known as leptin resistance.
Leptin is a metabolic hormone that effectively regulates food intake. When we eat, leptin levels increase and when the brain detects this, it triggers the release of satiation hormones like ghrelin so we stop eating. When we don’t eat, leptin levels decrease. In turn, lower leptin levels cause the brain to trigger cravings so we eat.
In the case of leptin resistance, the brain cannot detect leptin properly. When this happens, the brain thinks fat reserves are completely depleted and that you are starving. In response, it triggers three mechanisms that make losing weight all but impossible:
- Intensity and frequency of cravings increase
- We need to eat more to feel full and satiated
- Metabolism rate is lowered to conserve energy
How to Determine if You Have Leptin Resistance
Obesity and being overweight are highly correlated with leptin resistance. In fact, researchers now believe that leptin resistance is the primary driver of obesity.
But how do you know if you have leptin resistance? The primary symptom and indicator is the presence of abdominal fat. Any significant or noticeable amount of abdominal fat means you likely are suffering from leptin resistance. And until the condition is reversed, losing weight and keeping it off are nearly impossible. You are essentially fighting your own body in that case and no amount of will power, calorie counting, or high intensity workouts will overcome leptin resistance.
Reversing Leptin Resistance for Long Term Weight Loss Success
Researchers believe the primary cause of leptin resistance is inflammation. Specifically, scientists believe that chronic levels of high inflammation prevent the hypothalamus from detecting leptin. When the brain cannot detect leptin, it thinks you are starving. This is what triggers the three mechanisms mentioned earlier.
To reverse leptin resistance, you therefore have to first lower your levels of chronic inflammation. To do that, you first need to know what causes chronic inflammation in the first place.
Inflammation is your body’s response to foreign threats, like bacteria, fungi, or even environmental toxins. It can be either short-term (acute inflammation) or can be long-term (chronic inflammation). Short term or acute inflammation isn’t really a problem and is actually beneficial to your health.
Chronic inflammation, however, has been associated with:
- Increased risk for some forms of cancer
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Causes of Chronic Inflammation
High stress levels are associated with higher levels of some inflammatory markers, like C Reactive Protein, or CRP.
Many of the foods we eat and love also increase inflammation levels, including:
- Artificial Trans Fats (like margarine)
- Refined Sugar
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Refined Carbohydrates
- Vegetable and Seed Oils (and any foods that are fried in them like chicken or french fries)
- Additives and Preservatives found in Most Processed Foods
So if you want to lose weight by reversing leptin resistance, the first thing you need to do is cut back on processed foods. In addition, you want to try engaging in activities that lower your stress levels. Gardening, yoga, meditation, or even reading a good book can all help lower stress levels and reduce levels of chronic inflammation.
Also, you want to include foods in your diet that naturally reduce inflammation Here are some foods that are high in antioxidants and also help reduce inflammation naturally:
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Fatty Fish (salmon, anchovies, mackerel, herring)
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Chili Peppers
- Green Tea
Consider Dietary Supplements to Help Reduce Inflammation and Reverse Leptin Resistance
There are some diet supplements made from ingredients that naturally reduce inflammation and can greatly speed things up. It is important to avoid supplements made with high doses of caffeine and other stimulants. Sleep is very important to keeping inflammation levels down and helps balance your metabolic hormones for sustained weight loss.
Ideally, you want a dietary supplement with a Day and Night formula that helps reduce inflammation around the clock. Combine the dietary supplement with foods that naturally reduce inflammation and you should be able to reverse leptin resistance in a few weeks.
When the leptin is properly detected by your brain again, your cravings will disappear, portion sizes will naturally get smaller, and your activity levels will increase due to a higher metabolism rate. At that point, losing weight and keeping it off is much easier and natural.
Combined with at least one high protein meal per day, fat burning will greatly accelerate. Protein increases metabolism, reduces cravings, and also naturally helps reduce caloric intake. Losing weight and keeping it off is almost impossible when you are fighting leptin resistance. Keeping intake of processed foods to a minimum, the right dietary supplements, and eating foods that naturally reduce inflammation will help you reverse leptin resistance and start losing weight consistently and safely.