Leptin is a hormone secreted by our fat cells and it plays
Leptin’s main function is to interact with the brain and signal how
The more fat tissue we carry, the more leptin we produce. When Leptin acts on the brain, it suppresses calorie intake (reduced consumption of food/drinks) and increases energy expenditure (burning more calories by releasing heat energy). Disruption to the function of Leptin is associated with weight gain and obesity.
Leptin resistance usually develops over time due to three factors: too little sleep, too much stress and too much of the wrong foods. Other factors that can contribute to its development include:
High insulin levels
High triglyceride levels
Too much sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup
High stress and resulting high cortisol levels
Yo-yo dieting (alternating starvation with binge eating, especially)
Too little sun or time spent outdoors
Too little or too much exercise
Excessive snacking, especially late-night snacking and snacking on high-fructose, simple carbohydrate, overly processed foods
As if the leptin resistance wasn't bad enough, if you are struggling with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), Mycotoxin Illness, Biotoxin Illness, or other chronic illness it is not uncommon to have an elevated MMP9 level. Matrix metallopeptidase 9 is an enzyme that is encoded by the MMP9 gene. Proteins of the this family are involved in the breakdown of extracellular matrix in normal physiological processes, such as embryonic development, reproduction, and tissue remodeling, as well as in disease processes.
Elevation of the MM9 value have been found in COPD, rheumatoid arthritis, astherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. To much MMP-9 delivers inflammatory elements in to the blood which then delivers the inflammation into solid organs such as the brain, lung, muscle, peripheral nerve and joint.
The non-negotiable) factors that will help improve leptin response are:
1. Say no to sugar. Eat little to no simple starches, refined foods, sugars, and fructose. Eat quality carbs from veggies instead.
2. Get enough protein and fat. Consuming a large amount of protein and healthy fats with fiber, first thing in the morning, as soon after waking as possible. This promotes satiety and gives the body the building blocks to make hormones. This combination will also help to support your adrenal glands and your blood sugars.
3. Get regular sleep. This step may be more important than all the rest combined. (Yes, really!) Be in bed by 10 (no excuses) and optimize your sleep!
4. Spend time in nature. Get outside during the day, preferably barefoot on the ground, in mid-day sun with some skin exposed.
5. DON’T SNACK!!! When you are constantly eating, even small amounts, during the day it keeps your liver working and doesn’t give hormones a break. Try to space meals at least 4 hours apart and don’t eat for at least 4 hours before bed. This includes drinks with calories but herbal teas, or water.
6. Don’t workout at first. If you are really leptin resistant, this will just be an additional stress on the body. Let your body heal a little first, then add in the exercise. Change how you exercise. When you do exercise, start with movement such as walking, yoga, or swimming. This is not a cardio race, it adds stress to your body. Work up to occasionally doing only sprints and weight lifting. High intensity workouts and weight lifting, on the other hand, give the hormone benefits of working out without the stress from excess cardio and are great after the first few weeks. Also, work out in the evening (but not within 2 hours of bedtime), not the morning, to support hormone levels.
7. Detox. Remove toxins from your life as these are a stress on your body. Get rid of processed foods, commercial deodorants, and switch to natural cleaning products. Grab my Free Seven Reasons I Ditched Candles guide to help inspire your transition.
8. Increase omega-3, lower omega-6. Eat (or take) more omega-3s by eating fish, grass-fed meats, or chia seeds) and minimize your omega-6 consumption (vegetable oils, conventional meats, grains, etc,) to get lower inflammation and help support healthy leptin levels. If you have CIRS, sometimes healthy Omega-6's are incorporated into your treatment plan based on