Leptin: How to Make This Hunger Hormone Work for You!

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Leptin is a type of hunger hormone that elicits the feeling of fullness or satiety. This hormone plays a critical role in controlling the appetite, boosting the metabolic rate and promoting weight loss. In fact, health experts say that leptin is the body’s natural weight controller. This hormone triggers the brain to reduce appetite after eating. It regulates fat breakdown by triggering thermogenesis.

Unfortunately, as the leptin level falls, the metabolic rate slows down. There are many reasons why this happens. Leptin resistance is the most common cause of weight gain. With not enough leptin to control the appetite, the body starts demanding more food even when satiated. Leptin resistance makes it difficult to lose weight.

How to Avoid Leptin Resistance and Boost Weight Loss

The good news is, leptin naturally occurs in the body. As long as there’s enough leptin in the body, you can make your hunger hormone work in your favor. Below are tips and tricks to boost this hunger hormone and avoid leptin resistance:

Going BIG on Nutrition and Flavors

Did you know that flavorful foods trigger the release of leptin? But don’t rely on junk foods or fast-food to trigger leptin production. Turn to grains, veggies and fruits that are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids. These foods will fill you up nicely without the added calories. Some of the best fruits to try are tomatoes, blueberries, onions, and ginger. Season your meals with fresh herbs to improve flavor and boost leptin production like sage, thyme, and basil.

Boosts Consumption of Cold-Water Fish

Oily fish – like tuna, herrings, and salmon – are loaded with essential fatty acid Omega-3. Unfortunately, we can only get this beneficial fat from the food we eat. The body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own.

Omega-3 fatty acids keep the brain and organs healthy. This essential fatty acid protects the body from inflammation and oxidative stress. It also promotes the production of leptin! Although cold water fish is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, soy, walnuts, flaxseeds and kidney beans are great sources of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids.

Eat Dark-Colored Fruits and Vegetables

Why are dark-colored fruits and vegetables superior to their light-colored counterparts? Dark colored vegetables and fruits are rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, like carotenoids and flavonoids. They are also packed with an insane level of antioxidants! All these nutrients protect the body from oxidative stress while increasing leptin level in the body.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

If you can, avoid artificial sweeteners at all cost. These food additives deprive the body of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients from the food you eat. Studies show that artificial sweeteners tend to disrupt any weight loss efforts. Artificial sweeteners also cause the body to crave treats that are more sugary. Worse, these additives are linked to cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

Instead of using sugar substitutes, choose fresh sweet fruits and fruit concentrates instead. You can also use agave nectar or honey to sweeten your drinks.

Filling, Low-Calorie Snacks

Are you prone to snacking? You don’t have to give up snacking to lose weight. Just be picky with the kinds of snacks you indulge in. Nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts make for a filling, delicious snack. These nuts are high in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and protein. They are also less fattening than junk foods. Fruits and yogurt are other healthy alternatives to sugary, frozen treats. Fruits and yogurt are high in antioxidants and complex carbs but are low in calories. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also a rich source of fiber. Fiber helps prolong the feeling of fullness so you don’t overeat.

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