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Snacking & Leptin

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  • Snacking & Leptin

    I recently read the 'Perfect 10 Diet' by Michael Aziz who is convinced that the problem with weight gain is leptin resistance. Part of his prescription for controlling leptin resistance and optimizing fat burning is to eat 3 large (600 to 700 calorie) meals a day and allow for 5 to 6 hours between each meal, no snacks, nothing after dinner, and 11 to 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. I have been experimenting with this.

    What do you think? Is snacking a bad thing when trying to control leptin?

  • #2
    So 700 cals at say 7am 12pm and 6pm equals 2100 and eating nothing else. For most Americans they would lose weight doing just that alone without a book written in it right? If the book says further something like "and eat good food during those 3 meals" I think I would laugh.


    • #3
      Snacking is a bad thing when trying to control leptin, however your metabolism is far more complicated than just leptin.

      Do this if it's working for you - but don't be discouraged if there are some other tweaks you need to make in future.


      • #4
        lol good point on the 700 Jackaaron. The author does recommend good food by the way, though I think he would encourage some legumes, but fairly moderate carb intake none the less.

        I'm not sure about whether this is working for me or not. I do know that I am struggling with what I think is a leptin issue. I have been overly hungry, low energy, low libido, stalled weight loss, etc.

        I have been low carbing now for almost a year, calories at around 1800-2000 perday, carbs at 25 or less, with (until yesterday) no cheating. I lost 100 lbs (from 250 to 148), and down to 12% body fat (according to my weight watchers scale-weighing consistently every morning first thing in the morning). However; while in Africa a couple of months ago (I am a missionary serving in West Africa) I started experiencing extreme hunger, and I'm now to the point where I think about food and nutrition nearly nonstop, I plan and replan my next meal and go to bed looking forward to breakfast (after which I look forward to lunch). I've been trying the no snacking thing for almost a month now, and am able to make it to each meal with out dieing. Then I read the post on Mark's Daily Apple about carb refeed and leptin. So I eagerly jumped on board. So on Monday starting at lunch I had 3 sweet potatoes, 250g light cottage cheese, 100g yogurt, defatted peanut butter powder, unsweetened cocoa mixed in, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Same for dinner (except with a small pot of this Bojo low GI non dairy ice cream made with agave). Then yesterday I repeated the same meal plan for my three meals adding in some honey and muesli cereal and grapes. Yesterday came out to 3000 cals, 50g fat, over 500 carbs (including fiber). Today I'm back down to 1900 cals, 20 net carbs. I'm still hungery, though not quite so ravenously, but will wait to see how I feel once I get back into ketosis.

        When I started with the extreme hunger in Nigeria I gained a couple of noticeable pounds. I'm now at around 13% BF, 150lbs, 6foot tall. I would like to get down to 10% bf and build muscle. 3 mornings a week I walk 30 mins to the gym, lift weights (chest, biceps, triceps, and legs), and sit 30min in the sauna while eating 60 grams of flaxseed (cocoa, unsweetened almond milk, and erythritol mixed in) and 2 large eggs (or 3 medium).

        Any tips? I would love to be able to have a snack or two, but I would also like to skip a meal simply because I'm not hungry. I'm thinking of adding in a weekly (once every 7days) carb up (as I did yesterday) followed by an IF until lunch the next day (ie. skipping breakfast after the carb up). However I am one of those low carbers who would like to be in deep ketosis for the health benefits and am concerned with how that will affect getting into a deep state of ketosis. Any tips would be most welcome.


        • #5
          Your extreme hunger may be a result of not getting enough protein and/or fat in your diet.


          • #6

            Thank you for your reply.

            I input my meals into fitday which shows that I average over 100grams of protein per day (mostly from cheese, fish, and eggs), and average about 150 grams of fat.


            • #7
              If you lost that much weight, you probably do not have a leptin problem. My guess is that you started to add carbs back in your diet. If I even take a bite of a bread or even fruit, my cravings are a problem for the whole day. I follow Dr Kruse and his 50 to 70 grams of protein within 30 minutes of getting out of bed, and have no trouble skipping lunch. So I guess I am fasting for 10 hours then 13 hours at night. This works great as long as you do not add any carbs.
              I absolutely do not agree with ANY kind of carb refeed, none. Who started that BS? One day of carb loading will take you out of ketoses and back into the glycogen/insulin cycle that you spent weeks getting out of.Ketoses


              • #8
                Older generations, the ones with just as much access to flour, fat and sugar as us, always held that snacking between meals was a trait of "greedy" people who think about food all the time, are always hungry, and therefore become fat.

                Leaving aside the inherant moralistic tone of that, it seems to me that snacking only became accepted in the low-fat/high-fibre diet booms, as a way to maintain blood sugar levels, and seperately it seems to me that any activity that requires someone to think about food 5 or 6 times a day instead of three is more likely to lead to an increase in appetite for purely psychological reasons. It also makes it abnormal to feel naturally hungry, and might even promote the idea that hunger is best avoided, which is not something I believe to be true for most normal healthy adults or older children.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lady D View Post
                  Older generations, the ones with just as much access to flour, fat and sugar as us, always held that snacking between meals was a trait of "greedy" people who think about food all the time, are always hungry, and therefore become fat.

                  Leaving aside the inherant moralistic tone of that...
                  When I was growing up, it wasn't "greedy", it was more of a self-indulgence thing. Have some discipline, man!


                  • #10
                    LRichard12 - You are now officially in maintenance mode, I would suspect. That is a much different place than weightloss mode. It's a tough transition, you may still think you are an undeserving fat slob who will gain 100 pounds back instantly if you look at a brownie.

                    Going forward, I find it's helpful to get a grip on where your health is, and either improve it or keep it there, and try to keep your weight in a 10 pound band year round. Get some bloodwork done if possible to see where you are on cholesterol, glucose, vit D, thyroid, etc... If you are unhappy with certain factors, eat to improve them. If you are happy with everything, experiment a bit with carbs, meal timing, exercise, fasting, etc... to keep your weight stable and hunger under control.

                    I, too, think you have the leptin monster under control. You may find a potato or two a day keeps you full between meals and doesn't lead to crazy weight gain. The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet is a good book to learn about weight maintenance.

                    I lost almost 100 pounds several years ago and have been maintaining for two years or so, eating potatoes and rice every day, IF'ing until lunch, 2 meals a day, no snacking, and no refined grain/veg oil/sugar.


                    • #11
                      Are you eating enough protein? None of what you posted discusses protein

                      Everyone else seems to have missed the obvious - at 6' and 150lbs you are very thin and probably need to eat more. Protein!
                      Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                      Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine