How To Lower Leptin Levels for Weight Loss
Losing weight and achieving your target weight is much easier said than done. It takes a large amount of time, energy, and effort to do properly. You need to be prepared to make the right lifestyle changes and take the time to understand how your body works and what it needs.
With that said, some people have a much more difficult experience than others. They might feel like they’re doing everything right — following a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis, and staying motivated — but when it comes time to enjoy the results, they never seem to appear.
This can be extremely frustrating and is often the reason why most people give up on their weight loss goals, but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, you could be suffering from something called leptin resistance, which makes it extremely difficult to lose weight without the right plan.
So, what is leptin?
Leptin is a hormone produced by the human body’s fat cells. The more body fat you have, the more leptin your body produces. Once produced, leptin travels to the brain via the bloodstream and targets the hypothalamus, which helps regulate appetite, weight, and body temperature.
Your body’s fat cells produce leptin to communicate with the brain by telling it how much body fat is being stored. High levels of leptin tell the brain that you have plenty of stored fat and need to burn calories for energy. Low levels tell the brain your fat stores are low and you need to eat.
For this reason, leptin is often considered the ‘satiety hormone’ or ‘starvation hormone.’ Without leptin, our brain wouldn’t know when we need to eat and when we need to burn fat. This would lead to starvation when nutrition is low and unnecessary weight gain when eating too much.
How Does Leptin Resistance Lead to Weight Gain?
Overweight and obese people have plenty of stored fat and therefore have high levels of leptin. Since high levels of leptin tell the brain to stop eating and burn fat for energy, you would think these people would naturally limit food intake — therefore, losing weight would happen naturally.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with leptin resistance. While leptin is present and travels to the brain as expected, the brain doesn’t receive or respond to the leptin signal. Because of this, the brain isn’t notified when fat stores are high. Instead, the brain assumes more food is needed.
This often leads to two things. First, it stimulates hunger and causes the individual to eat more than they need to. Second, it causes the body to conserve energy by burning fewer calories. As a result, losing weight becomes very difficult, even when the individual is doing the right things
How to Lower Leptin Levels to Lose Weight
In addition to difficulty losing weight, some of the symptoms of high leptin levels and leptin resistance include constant weight gain, frequent food cravings, fatigue, low energy levels, cold body temperature, low resting heart rate, hypothyroidism, and low T3.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms and have higher than normal leptin levels in the blood, your doctor might recommend a treatment plan that focuses on lowering leptin levels. This will help put you in a better position to lose weight and finally see the results you’ve been waiting for.
Reduce Levels of Leptin With a Healthy Diet
Your diet plays an important role in your ability to lower leptin levels. You’ll want to focus on an anti-inflammatory diet by removing processed foods, refined carbs, high-fructose corn syrups, industrial seed oils, and omega-6 fatty acids. You should also avoid calorie-restricting diets.
With that said, focus on adding whole foods to your diet and eat more one-ingredient foods. Some good anti-inflammatory foods include tomatoes, nuts, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, and fruits.
Improving Leptin Sensitivity With Regular Exercise
In addition to changing your diet, exercise plays an important role in lowering leptin levels. It’s best to target high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but you want to make sure you don’t overtrain. This can increase cortisol levels and make it even more difficult to lose weight.
Instead, start with 1 session of 10-30 minutes per week and slowly increase frequency as you gain energy. Keep in mind that leptin resistance is usually accompanied by low energy due to reduced mitochondrial energy production.
Reduce Leptin Production With Better Sleep Patterns
Believe it or not, sleep is one of the most overlooked culprits of weight gain and leptin resistance. In fact, a lack of sleep can lead to elevated insulin, blood sugar, and leptin levels — as well as inflammation. That’s why it’s important that you get 8 hours of sleep every night.
If you’re having a hard time getting enough sleep, you can turn to supplements to help facilitate better sleep patterns — such as 5-HTP, Melatonin, and GABA/
Leptin Supplements Can Help Lower Levels
In addition to the sleep supplements mentioned above, there are a variety of other supplements that can help you optimize the conversion of T4 thyroid hormones to T3 thyroid hormones — such as Zinc and Selenium. This can help reduce leptin resistance and regulate leptin levels. The Key to getting Leptin under control is ensuring Optimal thyroid levels specifically T3 and T4. .
You can also take supplements to lower insulin and blood sugar levels, such as Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Berberine, and Curcumin. It’s best to target sustained-release supplements.
Control Leptin & Insulin Levels With Medication
The final recommendation we have for lowering leptin levels includes making sure that your thyroid is working optimally and your blood sugar levels are in the optimal range.
The Thyroid gland sets your body’s metabolic rate. Essentially, how efficiently your body burns calories is the job of your thyroid.
For example, Leptin resistance is tied into problems with low T3 thyroid hormone levels. Studies show that there is an inverse relationship between T3 thyroid hormone levels and leptin serum concentrations.
We also know that Increases in weight enhance resistance to leptin, and overfeeding contributes to leptin resistance. Thus, a vicious cycle is perpetuated in which the body is told to consume more and more food and becomes more resistant to leptin. Meanwhile, the HPA-T Axis and other systems become increasingly imbalanced.
If you have thyroid testing that shows your T3 or Free T3 levels are low. You have a problem with the conversion of T4 into T3. Your Functional medicine doctor can help you with investigating the cause of your Low T3.
While T3 hormone replacements like Cytomel are available, it’s best to find out what is causing your Low T3 rather than just try to replace low levels. It can be very difficult to properly dose someone for T3 thyroid replacement. Our Goal in functional medicine is to always address the root cause.
When it comes to blood sugar and leptin levels. Studies continue to show that poor management of insulin and blood glucose levels impact leptin levels and vice versa. This will have a huge impact on your efforts for weight loss.
Leptin and insulin share common effects in the control of food intake and energy metabolism. Leptin and insulin directly regulate each other and both have an impact on regulating healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.
All of these have an impact on how you gain weight or lose weight.
Contact Dr. Hagmeyer Today!
If you’re having a hard time losing weight and your target weight seems impossible to achieve, I can help you find the root of the problem. My goal is to ensure everyone is given an equal opportunity to enjoy their life and feel good about themselves on a daily basis. Contact me today to learn more!