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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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June 17 2010

A Primal Primer: Leptin

By Mark Sisson
87 Comments

Just about every physiological process occurring under the hood can be attributed to one hormone or another. Hormones are like software programs, directing our bodily processes, modulating our reactions to foods, and guiding energy metabolism and balance. We don’t consciously control our hormonal responses – that is, we don’t think to ourselves, “Hmm, let’s get some testosterone flowing,” or “Insulin: release!” But we can heavily influence our hormonal responses through the things we do, the stress we undergo, the foods we eat, the weights we lift, and the sleep we get.

One crucial hormone that we’re still learning about is leptin. We do know a few things, however. Leptin is the lookout hormone – the gatekeeper of fat metabolism, monitoring how much energy an organism takes in. It surveys and maintains the energy balance in the body, and it regulates hunger via three pathways:

  • By counteracting the effects of neuropeptide Y, a potent feeding stimulant secreted by the hypothalamus and certain gut cells.
  • By counteracting the effects of anandamide, another feeding stimulant.
  • By promoting the production of a-MSH, an appetite suppressant.

Leptin is secreted by fat cells and is received by receptors in the hypothalamus. If leptin is absent, feeding is uncontrolled and relentless. In normally healthy people, if leptin is present and receptors are sensitive, feeding is inhibited. More body fat means less food is required, and so leptin is secreted to inhibit feeding and the accumulation of excess adipose tissue. Overweight people generally have higher circulating leptin, while leaner people have lower leptin levels. Leptin also responds to short-term energy balance. A severe caloric deficit will result in reduced leptin secretion – this is your body’s way of getting you to eat when you need energy. It’s the hunger hormone. Overfeeding temporarily boosts leptin, reducing hunger.

Put simply: long-term, leptin signals that the body has adequate adipose tissue (energy) stores; short-term, leptin signals that the body has had enough to eat. Both are supposed to result in the reduction in appetite.

But why are so many people so overweight? Why don’t overweight people respond to all that circulating leptin and curb their food intake? And if they’re overfeeding, why isn’t the resultant leptin increase having an effect. They shouldn’t be hungry, but they are. There’s a disconnect, a disruption of the leptin pathway.

Something is causing the leptin receptors in the hypothalamus to down regulate (leptin resistance), or something is blocking the leptin from reaching the receptors. Either way, leptin isn’t working as it should.

Why is that? What’s causing the breakdown of the leptin pathway? I mean, take a look at wild animals. It seems to work pretty darn well for them.

They eat varying amounts of food, sometimes gorging, sometimes fasting, but never counting calories. Except for a few special apes given a lifetime of expert instruction and lured with endless bananas, they can’t even count. And yet these animals seem to be experts at maintaining excellent body composition. Unless it makes sense for their environment (like with walruses and hippos, for example), animals don’t accumulate a lot of adipose tissue. For an older dude, I’m happy with my body, but even I get a little envious of that squirrel with the rippling deltoids and bulging, heavily striated glutes who visits my property and never seems to exercise (I even see him eating grains on occasion – what the heck?). My wife doesn’t even let me get near the ape exhibit anymore; I swear the bonobos, with their effortless sub-10% body fat, are mocking me (are frequent orgies really that energy intensive?). How do they do it?

All signs, it seems, point to leptin, leptin resistance, and leptin sensitivity as being dependent on the dietary environment we provide. As long as they do not stray far from their evolutionary diets, wild animals do not have damaged metabolisms, and the leptin pathway is preserved. Most modern humans, having strayed far from their evolutionary diets, are metabolically deranged, with misguided or disrupted leptin pathways.

Much of our knowledge of leptin comes from the study of two brands of lab mouse: the ob/ob mouse, deficient in genes responsible for leptin production; and the db/db mouse, deficient in the leptin receptor gene. The former responds to leptin but produces none, while the latter produces plenty but responds to none. An ob/ob mouse suffers from an uncontrolled appetite. It is literally always hungry and massively obese, because the normal satiety signaling hormone – leptin – is absent from circulation. Researchers typically use the ob/ob mouse as a model for type II diabetes. When you inject an (obese) ob/ob mouse with leptin, it loses weight and its health markers normalize. Its appetite dwindles to normalcy and the energy balance is restored. When you inject an obese db/db mouse with leptin, it doesn’t improve. It already has high circulating leptin, since its considerable fat stores are secreting it, but there is no receptor to accept it.

When leptin was discovered, it was hailed as the key to the obesity epidemic. Researchers figured if they could just administer leptin to the obese, appetite would be curbed and food intake would reduce. It actually worked for some people, but it was expensive (about $500 per day) and unsustainable, and for others, it had no effect. These were the leptin resistant. Like the db/db mice, these folks had dull leptin receptors, and adding exogenous leptin was pointless. If anything, the problem worsened, as chronic exposure to leptin can dull the leptin receptors even more.

Leptin doesn’t just regulate bodyweight and energy intake, though. It’s also important for fertility, libido, immunity, and even puberty. In a sense, we can think of leptin as an overall energy barometer. If insufficient energy is available to the body, the body down-regulates all the “extra” stuff, like reproduction, sex drive, puberty, and immunity, while the presence of leptin indicates sufficient energy, enough to spend on other bodily functions and physiological processes. That might explain why heavier kids reach puberty earlier than leaner kids. The loss of menstrual cycles in women and reduced sex drive in both men and women who reach extremely low body fat levels might also be explained by low leptin levels.

How do we maintain adequate levels of leptin – enough to keep from going mad with hunger – without growing resistant to its effects? There are a few things to keep in mind.

Watch Your Fructose Intake

In rats, fructose feeding inhibits leptin receptors. Rats were given a diet of 60% fructose for several weeks and then injected with leptin. In normal rats, leptin injections reduce energy intake and hunger. The leptin binds with leptin receptors in the hypothalamus and satiety is induced. In the fructose-fed rats, leptin had no effect. Energy intake continued unabated, while normal rats reduced their intake in response to the leptin. Rats on the fructose diet gained even more weight when switched to a high-fat diet.

Fructose appears to affect the leptin pathway in two ways. First, fructose directly renders the hypothalamus resistant to leptin. Normally responsive receptors in the brain have a muted, or even silent, response to leptin when fructose intake is high. Second, high blood triglycerides – brought on by a high fructose intake – block the passage of leptin to the brain. High tris actually physically prevent leptin from passing through the blood-brain barrier, and the leptin that does get through elicits a poor response from leptin receptors.

As we all know, a high-fat, low-carb, low-fructose diet generally decreases serum triglycerides and increases satiety; perhaps the lower triglycerides are allowing more leptin to pass through and inhibit hunger. The fructose found in reasonable amounts of fruit, like berries, shouldn’t affect leptin sensitivity.

Stephan wrote about this some time ago.

Avoid Lectins

Dr. Staffan Lindeberg thinks that lectins, specifically those from cereal grains, are direct causes of leptin resistance. He observes that wheat germ agglutinin, or WGA, (a lectin present in wheat, barley, and rye) actually binds directly with the leptin receptor and prevents leptin binding. The inability of leptin receptors to bind with leptin adequately describes leptin resistance, making lectins a potential aggravator of leptin resistance. Abnormally high levels of WGA were used to bind receptors, though, so it remains to be determined whether normal dietary levels of WGA are enough to induce leptin resistance.

Given the established issues most people have with grains, I wouldn’t be surprised if they share some responsibility for leptin issues, too.

Get Good Sleep

We know that getting adequate sleep is an important Primal law, and that inadequate sleep can lead to excessive levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can induce insulin resistance and (especially in the belly) weight gain, but we also know that sleep deprivation has been linked to lowered serum leptin.

Get your eight-ish hours a night and try avoiding late night electronic usage, which can disrupt sleep patterns.

Avoid Severe Calorie Restriction

Too much dieting inhibits leptin secretion. In fact, drastic reductions in caloric intake reduce leptin levels, faster than could be explained by body fat losses (the same goes for overfeeding, which increase leptin levels faster than can be explained by body fat gain). This can make getting really lean really difficult – the leaner you get and the less you eat, the lower your leptin gets and the more your appetite increases. Anyone who’s dieted knows that sheer intellectual willpower cannot win out against the hormonal urge to eat. Hormones always win.

(In fact, there are ways to tinker with your food intake to produce favorable hormonal responses, especially in regards to leptin. I’ll talk more about that next time.)

I hope you were able to learn a few things with this article. Thanks for reading and hit me up with a comment or questions. Grok on!

jjones123497 Flickr Photo (CC)

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87 thoughts on “A Primal Primer: Leptin”

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  1. I have noticed, in just a few weeks of attempting a Primal diet, when I eat grains I get hungry. I ate bread & quinoa early this week and the next day I was ravenous all day no matter what. If I lay off the grains, I’m full at less than 1200 cal/day.

    1. Thats why the primal lifestyle will always win. Everyday I am incredibly grateful that I stumbled upon (aha!) this blog when I was having digestive problems because of a lot of gluten intake.

      I have been primal for 2.5 months and will NEVER look back. Grains are a bitch! (sorry, but its true)

      1. I am also amazed at how eliminating grains solves so many problems, and so quickly. I really thought my weekly heartburn bouts, other digestive problems and, um, inflamation, blotchy skin, and low energy level after about 3:00 p.m. was just middle age creeping up on me.

        After only one month of about 90/10 primal (gotta have my morning mocha!), I have absolutely no digestion problems, clear skin, lots of energy without the afternoon crash, and no cravings. I have not felt this good in 20 years.

        Quitting the grains was not even as hard as I thought it would be, and I was a confirmed pasta freak with a serious bagel habit. (Whole grain, of course, thanks to CW).

        I also stumbled across this site accidently, from a link from another site. It has profoundly changed my life.

    2. Quinoa is a seed not a grain. Maybe it has the same effect as grains, but it also has protein.

    3. I was under the impression that Quinoa is a seed not a wholegrain – if this is the case – i think it will still be o.k. for you?

  2. Quick note on squirrels.
    At my university, we had a problem with fat squirrels. I’m serious. They were hugely fat – I’ve never seen a “wild” animal shaped like these squirrels were.
    Very humbling to realize that they were just eating our scraps and that’s why they were so huge.
    (They also had absolutely no fear and actually would take your food away from you if you weren’t careful.)
    Maybe their leptin response was messed up?

    1. Hey, i think you might be right. I noticed the same about our raccoons. Those I see in the wild are normal. Those who seems to feast on humans garbage (those that are somewhat ”domesticated”) are huge (high % of fat).

      1. Probably because they are eating human foods like bread, corn, etc instead of natural foods. Both the squirrels and raccoons are getting fat on our foods instead of eating what they would normally be eating.

      2. LOL, they are fat because they don’t have to do nothing to get food, you weirdo number 2, hahahaha!

    2. I’ve seen hugely fat squirrels too – they had been eating birdseed, not human food, but perhaps it has a similar impact on them?

      1. I got a squirrel eattin my bird seed…Maybe I have some squirrel stew soon. They love bird seed.

        1. And french fried ‘Taters, mmm hmmmm…

          A little sorry, but there was just something a little too back-country about your post..

      2. they probably aren’t “foraging” for their food as bird seed comes on a silver platter to them. and I’m sure that trans-fats and squirrels doesn’t mix lol

    3. did you go to ucla? i was once eating a muffin, and a fat squirrel came right up to me and barked at me as if demanding his share.

    4. Ha! Same here. Do you happen to go to a large public university in Los Angeles?

    5. I had a fat squirrel at UCLA mug me for a cookie once. While I normally love squirrels, that was not a happy time.

    6. Did you happen to go the U of Minnesota? I had one of those furry buggers run right up my pant leg (the outside) and stop at my pocket looking at me, silently shouting, “Where’s my food, b*tch?!”

  3. Excellent primer mark.

    While I do know a bit about other important hormones, leptin is one that I know the least about. Thanks for the instructive post.

  4. Awesome overview, I learned a lot. As you noted, much of what you wrote about is just becoming known. Would be interesting to compare the body of knowledge presented in this essay in a few years to see what further insights will appear.

    Now, with that said, if you come out with a new book called “The Bonobos Blueprint” I suggest you sell it wrapped it in plastic.

  5. Finally, some good info on Leptin. And here I thought it was just a brand of tea all along. Oh wait, that was Lipton!

  6. I have heard mention of people who say that eating a slightly higher calorie meal or two once every 1-2 weeks helps stimulate leptin that might have dropped on their regular diet. This is assuming something close to the Primal diet.

    Would the elevated leptin stay elevated for several days to justify this approach, or is it much more transient that this? Is there an optimal frequency to do these “re-feeds?”

    1. I usually just go for once or twice a week. In grok terms, think about it as you just killed some wild animal. You’re definitely gonna gorge because you probably don’t get to eat this everyday. You might go weeks without getting a nice fresh hunk of protein.

  7. Awesome post! I just recently stumbled on leptin so this is a good primer.

    Speaking of squirrels, does anyone know any good recipes for acorns?? I’m kidding.

    Kinda.

  8. Intellectually it all makes sense. One question I would have, if someone is Leptin resistant, how long does it take eating an evolutionally (I think I made that word up) correct diet before their hypothalmus reacts normally?

  9. Mark,

    Maybe you will be covering this in part 2 of leptin, but curious about your take on ‘cheat days’ when dieting to reset leptin levels. I’ve read a lot about this and have actually cycled fasting (few weeks on one day a week, few weeks constant feeding all week)with some good weight loss results. So, it seems to be working for me. Your thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Farley

  10. Thanks for posting my suggestion Mark! Although I’m sure many people wanted to know about this. Much appreciated.

  11. Nice post. I’ve been meaning to read up on leptin. Thanks Mark!

  12. Obviously it’s common sense that the less you eat the more hungry you will get, but this post really helped me understand WHY I got so hungry when I was in a severe calorie deficit, and why refeeds/rest periods are so important. Thanks for the great post, Mark.

  13. Very helpful post, Mark! Lots of new and useful information. Thanks.

    I’ve spent lots of time wondering why achieving a healthy weight with the SAD and CW diets was so impossible for so many people, myself included. Putting those foods that defeat leptin sensitivity at the base of the USDA food pyramid sets us up for failure!

  14. It’s really too bad that the link between dieting and leptin problems isn’t covered more often. Most people can feel when a diet’s starting to become hell. You know, that feeling that World War III is occuring inside of you: you against your body. I say if you start feeling that way it’s a good time for a diet break! Not a junk food break, mind you, but a time to stop worrying about calories and just work on good eating habits.

  15. I want the rest of the story! You are leaving us hanging, Mark!

  16. Nice post, I remember all the body building mags talking about Leptin years ago but nothing panned out (no new supplements that stuck around).

    I just want to comment that I bought the Primal Blueprint a while back and I find it fascinating!

    I thought I knew my stuff but now I realize that I still have a ton to learn. Great work Mark!

  17. Nice – I knew high fructose was a culprit in leptin resistance. I assume the symptoms of leptin resistance are excessive eating and constant feelings of hunger? My sibling has eaten around 10 apples a day for the majority of his life so far and he is piling on the pounds and just never stops eating. Is there any way to reverse the effects of leptin resistance? To sensitise an individual who’s hormones have been sent out of whack from excessive fructose and perhaps lectin intake?

  18. Great primer and good timing as fixing hormonal imbalances is my newest personal passion!

    Also, just another reminder/reason to skip the fructose. I’m not missing it most times, and the longer without and the more I learn about it, the easier it is to stay away from.

    Can’t wait for part 2!

  19. Speaking as someone who has lost a little over 40 pounds in a little over 4 months on a Primal diet (although not anywhere near a perfect Primal diet) I can say that I’ve thought a lot about why this is working for me when nothing else in the last 20 years has.

    When I started I weighed 292 lbs so I think it is safe to say that I was very leptin resistant. And apparently for me at least, it wasn’t that difficult to reverse that resistance even after 20 years.

    As I analyze why this is working for me even though I usually have some form of bread every day (like I said I have plenty of room for improvement in my diet) I’m beginning to zero in on Intermittent Fasting as the best explanation for my success. About 6 weeks in I started doing an 8 hour eating window every day and then one day a week not eating at all. But I was also deliberately varying my calorie intake day to day. Some days I would eat a lot, probably 2500 calories. Other days only 1600 or 800 and, like I said, one day where I ate nothing. I just felt like it would be a good idea to keep my body constantly guessing.

    So even though I am still eating carbs, I keep my fat intake high and focus on getting enough protein so I guess for my genetics I’m still low enough with the carbs that my body stays in fat burning mode a lot of the time.

    So I am curious if the next installment will say something about Intermittent Fasting having something to do with lowering leptin resistance.

    I think this is a great post. Thanks Mark!

  20. Mark, does leptin regulate fat stores independent of appetite? In other words, if one is eating a calorie-restricted diet, but not feeling ravenous or deprived, and continuously gaining fat or unable to lose fat, is this likely to be a leptin problem?

  21. Now I know why IF did not work for me.
    I was already only taking in around 1000-1500 calories a day, but felt I was overeating, eating primal seems like I munch all day but in the end it only comes to around 1k-1.5k calories because everything I eat is real food.
    As soon as i stopped skipping breakfast ( i truly wasn’t hungry and had to force myself to take in some food in the morning hours) I lost weight.

  22. Looking forward to hearing the next post so I can learn how to eat the right food to balance my hormones (though I am sure it goes something like “eat primal!”). Thanks for the great info. Is there any way to test your leptin sensitivity?

  23. If you don’t discuss eicosanoid activity, polyunsaturate balance and its effects on SOCS and cortisol, etc I’m going raw vegan. Don’t let me down, Mark!

  24. “That might explain why heavier kids reach puberty earlier than leaner kids”

    Couldn’t one also conclude the opposite? I.e., heavier kids tend to be leptin resistant, leading their bodies to (falsely) believe they are energy deficient, thereby encouraging frugal expenditure of resources?

    Maybe there are two kinds of “heavy” kids- those with a naturally higher bodyweight “setpoint” and those with SAD induced leptin resistance?

  25. Mark,
    Excellent article, and I’m really looking forward to reading more about, “(In fact, there are ways to tinker with your food intake to produce favorable hormonal responses, especially in regards to leptin. I’ll talk more about that next time.)”

    -ryan

  26. Big ups for the bonobo reference. We as a species can learn a lot from those hippies, haha.

    Leptin resistance plays such a key role in fat accumulation it’s a shame more people don’t understand it. Thanks for getting the good work out, Mark.

    1. When I was in undergrad, I took an anthropology course. Our prof’s husband was an expert on bonobos and she would get into all these crazy tangents about her husband’s work. For example, they are the only members of the animal kingdom who exchange goods for sex (present company excluded). They also exhibit oral sex and homosexual relationships. I apologize in advance for the visuals.

  27. Great post, Mark. The Paleo solution guys talk about Leptin a lot in their podcast (and they give a lot of love to Mark).

    I have found that this system is wholly misunderstood by most people. Now I have somewhere to direct them for a concise, practical explanation. Thanks, Mark!

    I wonder what the high fructose corn syrup folks would think about this!!! Haha

  28. Great post as usual Mark!
    I don’t know how you do it, but you continually put out relevent and informative articles. Thanks for all you do.

  29. Mark,
    Great post. You provide real-world information with enough technical detail to inform without drowning me in biochemistry. Thanks for all the work you do to provide the latest information available to get and stay healthy!
    Jim

  30. I do think Leptin is an important player in metabolism. However, as this article suggests, hormones are truly a symphony and they all work together and affect each other. What do you think about multiple hormone therapies?

    http://www.kerentech.com/?p=4219

  31. Oh man, the follow-up post can’t come soon enough! After spending years (yes, years!) on a very reduced calorie diet trying to lose weight, I had had enough of the “semi-starvation” and a few years back went back to just eating normally (aka eating according to my hunger). It took me 1.5 years to finally have a normal-sized appetite (not having to eat ridiculous amounts of calories to get full). I’m thrilled that I can now eat normal-sized meals and b/c of Primal, can remain satiated for hours. The only thing I’m still dealing with is that when I eat, I get this massive brain fog and HAVE to eat almost right then. It usually happens most significantly in the late afternoon and I can’t usually wait until dinner. I’m hoping something you address in the next post will help!

  32. Why is it that when I eat canned beans I only get hungrier? I’m not obese or anything, I just can’t get enough of them. I feel that my stomach is full (the pain) but my brain keeps telling me to eat. Leptin?

    1. Mr. T there’s probably mononatriumglutamate in the can,to enhance the flavour. It is also known that a lot of people are intolerant to it,resulting in eating till way beyond full. Another obesity factor,who knows jit might cause leptin problems too. It is known to cause neurological damage in the long run.

  33. Another fantastic, interesting and informative post. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now – to part 2!!!

  34. I’m from Wisconsin and we have a problem with enormous squirrels as well. They feed from the cornfields. Funny, we also have a problem with fat cows as well, which eat the same thing…..

    1. Wisconsite here, as well (Go Badgers!) and I would say we have the same problem with many of our people…hmmmmm

  35. Great Post!!! I have been eating primal/paleo foods but doing calorie restriction. I have nipped that in the but now and am feeling much better. The weight is dropping too.

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  37. Look into books by Byron Richards on this subject. Very informative.

  38. As good a summary as I’ve seen.
    Ghrelin may be a counterpart hormone to leptin.
    Fructose is interesting, particularly as high-fructose corn syrup sweetener/sugar substitute used in soft drinks and many processed food,s may be linked to obesity – in other words as “stealth glucose”, and converted to fat.

  39. Great post as always, Mark! I am looking forward to the follow-up. If you can, please give us an idea of how much fruit is acceptable per day. I know the carb recommendations, but clearly, not all carbs are created equal. In other words, just how much fructose does it take to cause leptin resistance?

    Thanks for all you do!

  40. Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and amazing design and style.

  41. No wonder that I’ve lost so much weight switching to an ‘eskimo diet’ of meat, blubber and the occassional berry.
    No vegetables here in this house other than a squash or sweet potato once or twice a year.

    Eskimo Ice Cream is the sh*t 🙂

  42. Hi Mark,

    All of those correlations make sense, such as fructose and grains being causes for leptin problems and subsequent weight gain…

    But the problem is….

    There are literally millions of people around the world that eat grains and fructose, and they are slim.

    Yes, these are the “naturally” slim people.

    But nevertheless, has anyone studied THESE people to see how their leptin profiles look like?

    It seems like all those other things (fructose, grains, sleep, etc.) are certainly involved at some level, maybe in correlation….

    But since others are NOT gaining weight with same bad diet, it seems we’re not hitting on the *causal* or root issue.

    Thanks so much for the post.

    Any ideas as to why the naturally thin people are that way (hormonally speaking)?

    Thanks,

    -Steve

  43. Since long term leptin signals that the body has adequate brown fat, what would happen it some of that fat was liposuctioned? Would it alter leptin secretions or receptors?

  44. Great Post !!! I really enjoyed reading your explanation about leptin. I am wondering how exercise plays a role in improving leptin sensitivity ? Cavemen not only ate a primal diet, but exercised in intervals (high intensity short bursts)to catch food or get out of danger etc. Possibly, the way we exercise may also be linked to improved leptin sensitivity ?

  45. thanks for the great post!!!!this helped me a lot..great explaination about leptin

  46. I used to eat huge amount of PB/J… three sandwiches in the morning (though, I was training pretty hard) and would be ravenously hungry an hour later.

    I eventually cut it down to one sandwich and added three eggs… hunger dissipated immediately.

    Goooo leptin!

  47. I’m a vegan. I eat grain. I prefer to adhere to an Ayurvedic approach to my diet. So far I’m good. I recently read an interesting article about Leptin. I was doing nutritional research and came across it. The gentleman interviewed for the article said when your body is starving it signals for a release of fats for energy. When people are obese, there is a well above normal amount of fats circulation in their body. They still feel hungry because their body thinks they are starving. Historically, there has never been such an abundance of calories and people weren’t fat and/or obese like many are now. The body is still reading the excess leptin (as a result of excessive fat circulating) as a sign of starvation. And to be honest, my opinion is that they are starving. For REAL FOOD. Something with nutrition. MOST of what is stocked at grocery stores is highly processed poison posing as “food”.
    The more I learn, the more I realize the only way to ensure the integrity of your nutritional intake is to eat organic (preferably from your own garden or trusted local source) and make the food from scratch yourself. I know, nobody has the time, right? Think about that thought. You don’t have the time to eat real food. To prepare yourself a real meal. What is taking up your time so you can’t? When you get sick or end up in the hospital, your body makes you slow down to care for yourself. Love yourself and love your body enough to give it a chance to avoid dis-ease.

  48. I found that walking to work and home again (15kms a day) Monday to Friday made me so strong and fit that the percentage of fat in my body dropped from 33% to 14% on it’s own, and I just ate what I felt like.

    Another trick is to reduce plate sizes, because we have been conditioned to clean up the plate.

    I found that eating only three times per day meant that I enjoyed my food more than grazing all day.

    4pm is the time of the day that children can become very hungry, tired and anti-social, and need their blood sugar topped up with a good snack.

  49. I’ve been gluten-free for almost two years and while I believe there are compelling reasons to avoid gluten and will continue to be G/F, I personally haven’t experienced any health benefits (no change in gut, no weight change, no effect on hunger, etc.). My overall weight is good but… since going through menopause, I have belly fat that running every other day, a healthy diet (healthy vegan) has not addressed although… windsprints finally budged some belly fat. I eat very little fruit, being vegan.. read all labels and avoid high fructose (and processed foods in general), so the one change based on the website ‘wellsnessmama’ (which linked to this site) is to avoid cardio exercise for a while since it stresses hormones?

    Anyway.. any thoughts are appreciated on how to budge belly fat. Not interested in eating meat or dairy again, but open to other suggestions. Thanks!

    1. Protein. I don’t care what you say, you likely are not getting enough on a vegan diet. And, no, I won’t go all Paleo on you…read other diets such as “The Hormone Diet” by Natasha Turner and high-quality protein is necessary.

    2. I agree with LLY, you need more protein.
      The way to keep my belly fat is to keep eating grains and beans. Ugh. I really like chili made with beans and corn, however, once I removed those two things it made a HUGE difference in my belly fat from chili. The other parts of my diet were not really grain heavy anyway, except for corn. I loved popcorn, corn on the cob, corn tortillas, corn chips, etc. That had to go as well to get rid of the belly fat. My coworker has only belly fat, she runs marathons and eats a lot of rice. Sometimes if you want to keep eating the same way you can make up your mind to allow for a bit of belly fat I guess. I get most of my nutrition from fat, various forms of protein (no grain/bean) and veggies.

  50. Hello…plz need some help. i think i am leptin resistant, i have normal weight but my body has a fatty structure. I am 80% raw,no sugars, no grain,no salt,mostly hight quality products, i eat quarrel eggs, nuts, seeds some raw fish sometimes, beans like lentils and on. the level of omega3 i control, saw very low recently, but now each at list 1 tea spoon of chia,hemp seeds.
    I am super healthy. i count my proteins and i try to eat min.50 gr mostly vegan quality,today for example i have eaten 101 protein,176carbs,35 fats. it seems a LOT, i count by MyfitnessPal. Am i on the way to higher mu leptin sensitivity?
    I am wandering about fruits, i could not read any much about it, so must ask. By glucose what do you mean? if i eat separately 2 bananas,5 kiwis,300 berries a day, could it affect my leptin resistance?

    Thank you.

  51. I am sure you’re on to something, thanks so much for clarifying this Leptin issue! I am committed to this for a month and I’ll come back and report when the month is over (Feb 2014).

  52. To take just one example, the Telegraph Media Group chief executive Murdoch MacLennan,
    who is leaving No 10 david cameron in May.

  53. With the disease of obesity becoming a long-term problem of both society and economics surely it’s time to give information out that what we eat in the western world is killing us. Times of austerity often mean a re-evaluation of values and the amount we waste on ‘rubbish’ food. Good quality unprocessed food, home grown when possible, will always be a step in the right direction. Marketing quick fix ‘potions and snake oil’ has had it’s day!

  54. Hi
    Hoe csn you tell if leptin resistant, is everybody that is overweight in that category? 6 weeks ago i started eating LCHF, had been paleoISH previously. Im not really losing weight, chamging shape slowly. Struggling to eat breakfast, happy if i dont eat til lunch, but people are telling me i wont reset my leptin if i dont have a big Breaky, but then there is lots of great info on IF…. Im not really craving anything now and very rarely fall off the wagon only at my birthday and a wedding and thats it. Sometimes i worry im not eating enough, other days i know ive eaten too much fat. Any tips? Do i HAVE to have a big breaky to have success on a letogenic diet? Im very confused,
    Thanks
    Jess

  55. I have a question. I was able to lower my leptin levels and lose weight a few years ago using the Leptin Reset diet. Currently within the past few months I have started a new exercise program, and although I have maintained my weight, my RT3 has lowered even more, my leptin has risen from 5.3 ng/mL ro 11.0 ng/mL. In this instance, since I have not gained weight and my RT3 has fallen, is it ok or expected for my leptin levels to have risen?