People strongly believe that fat folks eat a lot! If someone is not able to lose weight, blame goes on not exercising, eating too many calories and weak will power.
Sometimes people with a strong motivation also fail to lose weight. Recent studies reveal that leptin hormone has an important role to play in obesity. Leptin resistance is now one of the biggest reasons of weight gain or inability to shed weight even after sincere efforts.
What exactly is Leptin?
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells. It’s also called hunger hormone or starvation hormone or satiety hormone. The more fat cells a human has in his/her body, the more leptin is produced. It simply means fat folks have more leptin and lean folks have less leptin. We will know in a just a short while how leptin works, keep reading!
How Leptin affects weight?
Leptin focuses on a brain area called hypothalamus. Now Leptin has a job to do. It is responsible for signaling the brain that the body has enough fat reserve stored and you don’t need to eat more. In this case, we burn calories normally as per our metabolic rate.
This simply means that leptin affects hypothalamus, the brain area that decides how much to eat, when to eat, whether we are starving or not, should the body burn calories at the same rate or not!
So loads of leptin means lot of fat stored and body does not need food. Low leptin means fat reserves are low and we can starve.
This simply means when you eat, body fat goes up, leptin goes up, you don’t eat/eat less and burn more.
When you don’t eat, body fat goes down, leptin goes down, starvation mode activated, you eat more and burn less.
This is natural defense mechanism of human body against starvation.
How leptin resistance causes obesity/fat gain?
Leptin resistance means that leptin’s signaling to brain stops working properly. Obese people have loads of fat cells and quantity of leptin. Ideally such people should not be eating and leptin should have communicated the brain that energy stores are high. But this communication signal does not work as expected. In spite of so much leptin, brain does not feel the presence of leptin and it thinks that body can go in starvation mode and the body needs to gain fat. This leads to people eating more food. Their calorie burning rate also drops because that brain tells the body to save energy for survival.
This means that leptin resistance is the cause of weight gain in people, followed by rest of the reasons like food addiction, sedentary lifestyle, eating too much junk etc.
What happens to leptin when you diet against the odds?
When you try to lose weight, the body fat percentage goes down. This also causes leptin levels to go down and metabolism slows down and body again activates its defense strategy. You are trying to lose weight for good and but leptin is telling the brain that you could starve and hence the brain does its best to make you regain that fat that you lost. The brain thinks that it needs to prevent you from starvation and death. I know you’re thinking it’s a vicious circle, sure it is!
Low leptin levels causes hunger and makes us eat more, burn less! That’s why dieters give up dieting after losing few initial pounds. The leptin levels decrease, their hunger increases, they give up, start eating and gain again. Back to the pavilion!
Stay tuned for another post on what causes leptin resistance and how to get rid of it!
Now do you know How Leptin Resistance Causes Obesity and Weight Gain?
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