I wanted to write a post about a Leptin, which is a subject that I’m particularly interested in, but I don’t have a lot of knowledge about it. Whatever this is the case, I turn to my relied source for a definition, Wikipedia, of course. Unfortunately, the definition that they have is: “(Greek leptos meaning thin) 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.” It seems fitting that the root of this word is from Greece, because even that definition is all Greek to me. So…maybe that’s wasn’t the best source for helping me understand the hormone, Leptin.
What I do know about the hormone is that in the average person, it tells them when to “stop eating”. Leptin sends signals to the brain telling it that the body has had enough to eat; it produces a feeling of satiety. As we increase our body fat, our body may stop listening to the leptin signal, and to counteract, even more of it is produced. Soon, an imbalance is created. This is part of the reason that when many overweight people starve themselves, they don’t lose any significant weight.
You might recall my post titled “Sometimes You’ve Got to Cheat to Prosper‘ when I talk about a cheat day and how important that is. Leptin is one of the main reasons. When we have our cheat day, the body says “oh look see she’s really not trying to starve us so I can release some of this fat that I’ve been hanging onto because I know this pattern”. The ever deadly yo yo diet. I really believe that’s what is so damaging about that type of diet is that we really mess up our hormones. Our hormones are balanced until we go on the next diet and starve them thus producing the vicious cycle that can start in our teens and stay with us fifty years.
So along with the cheat days we need to eat slower and listen to our body when it tell us that we’re full. Then, no matter what is still on our plate, we need to stop eating. We no longer need to eat everything on our plate. That’s an archaic idea that has been forced on us since we were young and you now have permission to forget it. Stop feeling guilty about leaving food on your plate!