There are many hormones and chemicals involved in making us feel hungry or satiated. One of the very important chemicals is “Leptins”. These hormones are released from fat cells and then act on the hypothalamus in the brain to make us feel full. The name comes from the Greek word “leptos” which means “thin”. Leptins make us feel less hungry and more satiated.
The more fat we have, the more leptin production occurs. However, there is the concept of “leptin resistance” which means that in many overweight/obese people, even though they manufacture more leptins, their effects are less in curbing appetite.
There are several ways we can increase circulating leptin levels:
- Eat enough fiber
- Limit fructose consumption
- Consume complex carbohydrates when carbs are eaten
- Eat protein for breakfast
- Take omega-3 fatty acids
- Avoid severe calorie restriction
- Perform H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training)
- Get more sleep
There are a number of supplements and nutraceuticals on the market that claim to increase the amount/effectiveness of leptins. These should probably be placed in the BS category (that is NOT Bachelor of Science by the way), as I would bet that if an effective delivery system of leptin or some other way of raising leptin levels was developed, one of the multibillion dollar pharmaceutical companies would have already had a product available by RX. None of these supplements have significant studies behind them.
Posner’s belief: There are many, many other hormones/chemicals present in our body and brains that influence our eating behaviors. Many of these chemicals remain unidentified. Given our ever-growing rise of obesity levels, we, meaning the medical/science community, most certainly do not have a great understanding as yet as to how to master these chemicals.