Are you overweight? Struggling to lose weight? Have trouble feeling full? You could be dealing with leptin resistance, in which case you need to focus on getting your hormones back in alignment naturally. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about leptin resistance and give you a 3-step leptin reset so you can start making some real progress.
“You could probably nail these three things to the wall when it comes to success with fat loss and health: gut health, hormone regulation, and sleep.”
I recently made that statement during my appearance on Vinnie Tortorich’s podcast. And then I got to thinking about that second part. More specifically, I started thinking about how the conversation of hormone regulation with food almost always centers around insulin.
But insulin is just one of many hormones in play. And hormones all interact with each other. I’m not sure who boiled the story down to “insulin,” but doing so is a drastic oversimplification.
So let’s talk about one of the hormones that isn’t insulin. Let’s talk about leptin…
What is leptin? What does leptin do?
Leptin is a hormone made by your body fat. That right there is probably a strong sign that you should be paying attention, agree?
Leptin interacts with leptin receptors in your body to regulate things like hunger (via satiety) and activity level. Both very important things for someone like you who is trying to drop body fat and achieve health and fitness goals.
To illustrate just how important leptin is, I’m going to show you a picture of two rats…
Our large furry friend on the left is unable to produce leptin and our little friend on the right has no leptin issues.
Still want to talk about insulin? Didn’t think so.
Now, I should be clear about something: it’s unlikely that you have a leptin production problem. Most people who are leptin resistant produce leptin just fine. The problem is that the leptin receptors are hard of hearing…
What is leptin resistance? What are the symptoms of leptin resistance?
When you’re insulin resistant, your insulin receptors don’t respond well to the presence of insulin. Thus, the body has to make more and more insulin in order to “get the message across.”
Well, leptin resistance works kind of the same way. It’s not that there isn’t enough leptin, it’s that the receptors don’t respond to the signaling properly.
The problem is not in the production of leptin, but rather, studies show that the majority of overweight individuals who are having difficulty losing weight have a leptin resistance, where the leptin is unable to produce its normal effects to stimulate weight loss. This leptin resistance is sensed as starvation, so multiple mechanisms are activated to increase fat stores, rather than burn excess fat stores. – Kent Holtorf
If you’re overweight and growing more-so each day, you need to take a hard look at leptin. If you’re more than 30 pounds overweight, you almost certainly have some degree of leptin resistance.
If you experience a bunch of food-as-reward and overeating issues, especially with carbs, that’s another sign because leptin dims the reward center of your brain when it’s functioning properly — this is what produces the feeling of satiety.
Leptin resistance basically makes you satiety-resistant. Your brain never says, “hey, you can stop now.” And it’s a cycle, because the more body fat you have, the more leptin you produce and the more the receptors ignore the signals.
If you frequently use the excuse, “my metabolism sucks,” you’re a prime candidate for leptin resistance. And you might not be wrong — if you’re leptin resistant then you’re metabolism DOES suck. But you can fix it.
We can see the importance of proper leptin communication in people who don’t produce leptin at all. People who don’t have leptin are almost always overweight, but when these people are given leptin injections they feel sated after meals and naturally lose excess fat. Bada bing, bada boom. It’s fairly clear cut.
You don’t have that problem, because it’s extremely rare, but what’s *not* rare is producing a bunch of leptin and having deaf leptin receptors. In today’s world, it’s rampant.
So let’s talk about how to get your leptin back on track…
How to Increase Leptin: A 3-Step Leptin Reset
This is a very basic leptin reset that works for most people. If you’re diligent with it, you should see and feel the changes within 4-6 weeks.
Step One: Eat in a way that naturally aligns hormone function — aka a whole foods approach based on lots of healthy fat, well sourced protein, and carb intake mostly from vegetables. Stages one through three of Total Body Reboot are strategically designed to restore proper hormone function, including leptin function.
Step Two: Eat a ketogenic-style breakfast within 30 minutes of waking.
Step Three: Eat enough at each meal so that you can limit eating to two or three times per day. Absolutely avoid snacking. Leptin is a circadian hormone that must be kept in proper rhythm.
There are other factors, tips, and tricks that influence how quickly you can reset leptin sensitivity, but those are the main ideas.
If you have any questions, drop a comment below.
Founder of Rebooted Body and host of The Rebooted Body Podcast. Kevin helps men and women finally get a body and life they love with his unique blend of real food, functional movement, and psychology. To work with him personally, choose a program.