What is leptin?
Leptin is a hormone produced in your fat cells that basically tells your brain that you have enough energy stored in your fat cells to engage in normal metabolic processes.
Why are balanced leptin levels important?
Leptin is one of the main reasons why low calorie diets are not sustainable and why prolonged caloric deficits can cause negative metabolic adaptations.
This is due to the fact that when you diet and consume less calories, your fat cells lose some fat, which sequentially decreases the amount of leptin produced.
The lower your leptin levels are, the slower your metabolic rate will become.
On the other end of the spectrum, eating a lot of sugars and processed foods can cause your fat cells to flood your body with leptin. This may result in your body being full, but your brain telling you that you are starving, which leads to your fat cells producing more leptin and storing more body fat.
Here are my top 5 tips on balancing your leptin levels naturally within your body.
1) Avoid “grazing” and stick to eating 3-5 balanced meals a day as this will help stabilize your leptin levels by avoiding constant spikes.
2) Prioritize your sleep! I cannot stress how important getting proper rest is when it comes to balancing your hormones! Without sufficient sleep, your hormones will not be in balance!
3) Make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of high-quality water! Dehydration causes hormonal imbalances and staying hydrated is vital for optimal bodily functions!
4) Consume a whole food based diet focusing on high quality proteins, healthy fats, and starchy vegetables. If you believe you have chronic inflammation, I would avoid nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, peppers).
5) Minimize refined sugars and processed foods as these often lead to leptin spikes, sequentially leading to leptin resistance.