When weight loss becomes a difficult challenge, despite a healthy, balanced diet along with regular physical activity, it may turn to hormones. Certain hormones prevent some people to lose weight.
Leptin or “satiety hormone”
Leptin is a digestive hormone secreted by fat cells in the body. This hormone sends signals to the brain to increase energy expenditure, accelerates the metabolism of glucose and fats, and reduces hunger pangs. According to a study in Yale University and published in Nature Neuroscience, leptin blocks hunger and controls appetite.
When we gain weight, the body produces more leptin into the bloodstream to create a balance that encourages the body to burn the excess fat. But sometimes, leptin secretion may encounter malfunctions, preventing weight loss. Indeed, many overweight people develop resistance to leptin.
What is the leptin resistance?
Having high leptin levels over a long period of time may cause the body to lose sensitivity to this hormone. This means that when leptin sends signals (stop eating, accelerate metabolism …) to the brain, it ignores them.
Leptin resistance makes healthy metabolism and weight loss difficult or impossible. People with leptin resistance can develop chronic diseases related to accumulation of fat in the belly and acute inflammations.
Crash diets (unhealthy diets to lose weight too fast) could be one of the reasons for developing resistance to leptin. In fact, some people reduce their calorie intake in a severe way to lose weight quickly, but these diets hamper the functions of leptin and cause resistance.
On the other hand, it is good to know that these foods increase the risk of leptin resistance, remember to avoid:
– Foods rich in fats
– Foods rich in sugar
– Refined carbohydrates