Leptin is the main fullness hormone. It’s in charge of sending out a series of messages to your brain that tell it that you’re already “full” and you aren’t hungry anymore.
However, it’s important to explain a small detail. Appetite isn’t the same as hunger.
Appetite is an emotional desire. Because of this it’s not always controlled by this hormone. Instead, cognitive mechanisms, perceptions, and especially emotions are added to the process.
On the other hand, what we define as “hunger” is a physiological need. It is used to fill your nutritional needs, which then allows us to thrive.
As a result, it’s obvious to a that you should eat when you’re hungry.
Your body needs a variety of healthy nutrients. It uses these to maintain cellular structures and functions. They also give you energy. When you get these nutrients, hunger hormones like leptin work as well as they can.
As a result, we’ll take a look at some more information on the main fullness hormone. And, you’ll also see how you can “take care” of it. This will keep it working correctly and accurately.
1. Leptin: the fullness hormone that is abundant in overweight people
It’s possible that this statement grabbed your attention. If leptin is the fullness hormone, why is there an excess in people who are overweight?
Let’s take a look at some data to understand it:
- Leptin is a hormone that is mostly produced by adipocytes (fat cells).
- This is what’s known as a “signal hormone”. In other words, it communicates with your hypothalamus to tell you when you need to stop eating after it realizes that you have already gotten enough fat from the food.
- Now, what happens with people who are overweight is very telling: they suffer from a leptin resistance.
- Obese people have very high levels of leptin in their blood. In other words, it accumulates without acting like it should.
Because of this, it’s normal to take longer to feel full.
At the same time, another problem can affect this resistance to leptin. This is if you have a problem with your hypothalamus. This causes you to lose your sensitivity to this hormone.
What can you do to reduce leptin resistance?
- Avoid inflammatory foods
- Eat foods with good fats: olive oil, salmon, avocados…
- Sleep between 7 to 9 hours per day
- Exercise on a regular basis
2. Leptin, the fullness hormone, has many other functions
We already know that one of the uses of this hormone is to send signals to your hypothalamus to tell it that you’ve gotten enough energy. And, it tells you to stop eating because you’re full.
However, this protein also has other functions:
- It inhibits the production of other hormones and other peptides that increase your desire to eat. This is the case with neuropeptide Y.
- Also, some interesting information is that leptin increases your caloric and metabolic usage. In other words, it accelerates your metabolism to let you lose weight or get rid of excess fat you have.
3. Strict diets reduce your leptin levels
There is information you need to remember: people who follow very strict diets reduce the activity of the main fullness hormone.
- So, diets with a low-calorie value, or those called “miracle diets”, are really a health risk.
- Your levels of leptin fall, your metabolism becomes very slow, your hunger is more intense, and your body’s energy level falls.
4. Stress can make you gain weight because of leptin
We know that there are people who lose weight when they are going through a very stressful time. However, it’s common that those who go through “chronic stress” have the opposite happen to them.
The reasons for this are explained below:
- A greater amount of stress means a greater amount of cortisol in your blood.
- The more cortisol you have, the more leptin’s presence is reduced.
As a result, what happens is something that a lot of people know: you get hungrier, enjoy eating more, and use less energy.
5. Is leptin the best remedy for losing weight?
It’s very likely that more than one person is thinking about how to increase the effectiveness of leptin. This would let you feel full earlier and eat a lot less.
- It’s worth it to mention that the fullness hormone works in sync with your brain.
- As a result, it would never give a signal to stop eating when you need more nutrients and energy.
- As a result, it would work against your health and that wouldn’t be good.
With all of this information, we want to make something very clear. It isn’t good to buy dietary supplements that say that they have leptin to reduce your hunger. Also, it isn’t good to follow miracle or strict diets.
If you suffer from being overweight, you should talk to your doctor. This way you can determine if there is a hormonal problem behind it.
Also, if you really want to take care of your leptin levels and their proper function, don’t wait to change your diet. You should also exercise and manages your stress and anxiety appropriately.
Main image courtesy of © wikiHow.com