Leptin (derived from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin), is essentially the “master” hormone that more or less controls EVERY other weight loss hormone in your body and your ability to burn fat as a whole.
Leptin is a 16 kDa protein hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism. It is one of the most important adipose derived hormones. The ”Ob(Lep)” gene (Ob for obese, Lep for leptin) is located on chromosome 7 in humans.
You see, when you have leptin on your side, fat loss becomes easy. When you don’t, losing even a single pound can become virtually impossible. And here’s the unfortunate news: just about everyone is unknowingly fighting a losing battle with leptin each and every time they attempt to lose weight.
The effects of leptin were observed by studying mutant obese mice that arose at random within a mouse colony at the Jackson Laboratory in 1950. These mice were massively obese and excessively voracious. Ultimately, several strains of laboratory mice have been found to be homozygous for single-gene mutations that causes them to become grossly obese, and they fall into two classes: “ob/ob”, those having mutations in the gene for the protein hormone leptin, and “db/db”, those having mutations in the gene that encodes the receptor for leptin. When ob/ob mice are treated with injections of leptin they lose their excess fat and return to normal body weight.
Leptin itself was discovered in 1994 by Jeffrey M. Friedman and colleagues at the Rockefeller University through the study of such mice.
Human leptin is a protein of 167 amino acids. It is manufactured primarily in the adipocytes of white adipose tissue, and the level of circulating leptin is directly proportional to the total amount of fat in the body. In addition to white adipose tissue–the major source of leptin–it can also be produced by brown adipose tissue, placenta (syncytiotrophoblasts), ovaries, skeletal muscle, stomach (lower part of fundic glands), mammary epithelial cells, bone marrow, pituitary and liver.
Leptin has also been discovered to be synthesised from Gastric Chief Cells and P cells in the stomach.
You see, the REAL underlying reason you may have failed to lose weight in the past isn’t for lack of trying, you don’t have bad enetics, and there’s nothing physically wrong with you… the truth is that you failed simply because you didn’t know the simple ways to control your #1 weight loss hormone…
With that said, it’s pretty easy to see why so many folks, and perhaps you’re one of them, downright struggle to shed their unwanted body fat like I did, month after month, year after year.
In order to burn fat,Your body depends on these two things:
1) high levels of leptin
2) highly sensitive leptin “receptors” (which acts as the “lock” to leptin’s “key”)
Now for the bad news…
Anytime you go on a diet and reduce your calorie intake, leptin levels plummet and fat burning is dramatically reduced to a snail’s pace.
Because leptin’s main function is to protect your body against starvation, and in the midst of decreased food intake (i.e.dieting), your body unfortunately views your stored body fat as a huge asset to survival. After all, body fat provides a vast supply of stored energy and warmth, both highly valued resources when food is in short supply.
You see, when you go on a diet, your body isn’t aware of your hopes for a slim, tight waistline or your desire to drop 20 lbs in time for your high school reunion or summer beach season. In fact, the only thing it does know is that your calorie intake is now below “normal”…
and to your brain, that’s a big red flag.
The result: reduced leptin levels and dramatically decreased fat burning. Research has shown that leptin levels drop by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting. That puts you at only 50% of your fat burning potential just one WEEK in to your fat loss plan, and it only gets worse with each passing day.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, with every pound you DO struggle to lose, leptin levels fall even further, making it even more difficult for you to continue to lose fat.
Because, as mentioned, in the face of calorie restriction, your body views stored body fat as an asset to survival. The more fat you lose, the more “danger” your body senses, and the harder it is to strip away that next pound.
Hello, fat loss plateaus!
Now, I hate to continue to be the bearer of bad news, but the scenario I just explained is actually only HALF the problem. The other unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of people are ALSO suffering from a condition known as “leptin resistance” due to years of high body fat levels and a diet full of processed foods.
Leptin resistance simply means that even at high levels, leptin is no longer able to properly signal fat burning to your body, dramatically decreasing its fat loss effects. That’s a pretty disheartening truth for the fat loss enthusiast, but the good news is that there are 4 somewhat odd, but extremely effective strategies you can begin using today that will ultimately end your struggle with leptin once and for all and finally allow you to experience the excitement of seeing a thinner waist, flatter stomach, and a more defined body when looking back at yourself in the bathroom mirror each morning.
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