A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips: How “one more bite” will make you fat(ter)
Ever felt full? You know, the I-just-can’t-eat-another-thing full feeling? Unfortunately, some people only hear “oh hell, what’s one-more-bite going to do?” Those people eventually end up staying fat.
In the mid-1990s, scientists discovered leptin. Leptin regulates those “feelings” of hunger and ultimately, our weight.
Our brain regulates most of what it is that we do (via neurotransmitters and hormones), and the signals we get are often derived from the foods that we eat — and those that we don’t. Lacking essential vitamins and nutrients can — and will — either send signals that will trick you, or none at all.
Why Diets Fail (Usually)
According to a new Australian research study, levels of leptin and gherlin in overweight adults on a strict, successful diet “changed dramatically.” Not in a good way. Their metabolism actually slowed, intensifying feelings of hunger. Turns out, their bodies grew accustomed to their overweight state, setting that as the new benchmark! As expected, they re-gained the weight. More on that study is here.
So, will this cure my Obesity?
The discovery of leptin created a frenzy of possibility surrounding an obesity treatment and maybe even a “cure.” However, it was later discovered that obese people are immune to leptin; the brains of obese people had developed a resistance and were no longer sensitive to the effects of leptin, they actually have high(er) levels of leptin (something to do with endoplasmic reticulum stress in the hypothalamus).
But, and this is interesting, scientists involved with a(nother) study at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, have since observed that “activity in [this] region of the brain, in response to visual food-related cues, changed after an obese individual successfully lost weight.” However, there was no change for those individuals (who lost weight) that were treated with leptin. “The decrease in leptin levels that occurs when an individual loses weight serves to protect the body against the loss of body fat,” wrote Michael Rosenbaum, lead researcher of the leptin study.
Basically, the overwhelming majority of previously obese individuals (75 -90%) regain their lost weight (according to the study), and commentary by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has concluded that “leptin therapy after weight loss might improve weight maintenance by overriding this fat-loss defense.”
Foods that Balance Leptin Levels
Some foods that help the body to manage leptin and balance hormone levels, thereby helping you to control your weight:
- Fish, specifically cod, halibut, sardines and snapper (high in omega-3 fatty acids)
- Vegetables, specifically spinach (broccoli won’t hurt, either)
- Flax, seeds and oil