Losing weight and staying in shape has become even more difficult today thanks to sedentary lifestyle and the dietary shift in man, which is now inclined towards the consumption of processed foods that are high in fats and sugars, and low in nutrients.
Weight gain and obesity are the major health issues today, and these in turn, are linked to other health problems, some of which can also turn out to be life-threatening.
Moreover, the consumption of fat-rich foods can decrease the body’s sensitivity to leptin- an important hormone that helps you ‘feel full’ when you’ve had enough food. The result? You’ll eat more, and in turn, put on weight.
Top 5 Foods High in Leptin
While there are no foods as such that can help you get more of leptin in your body, they can work indirectly by increasing your body’s sensitivity to the hormone. Adding more of these foods can be extremely helpful if you’ve been consuming processed foods and are looking to take active steps into boosting your weight loss results. Read on…
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables pack in a good dose of vitamins and minerals and are very low in fat- the perfect combo for those attempting to lose weight. In addition, they also give you lots of fiber, which is known to help reduce the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body, and increase leptin sensitivity. So on your next trip to the supermarket, make sure you grab some spinach, broccoli, kale and other leafy greens.
Fatty fish are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, and probably the best foods high in leptin, which work towards increasing the sensitivity of the body to leptin hormone, thereby contribution towards better weight control. In addition, omega 3 fatty acids also boost brain and heart health, so add more of these to your diet!
Protein Rich Foods
Foods that are rich in protein can help you feel full for a longer period of time by boosting leptin sensitivity. Also, protein can give you a good energy boost that will keep you going through the day feeling more active and less tired.
Zinc Rich Foods
Several studies have found that leptin sensitivity is more common in those affected by zinc deficiency, which is why, the consumption of zinc rich foods can really help! Add more of foods like beef, cocoa, seafood, nuts and pumpkin- they make for excellent natural sources of zinc.
Plant based foods are best consumed raw- especially foods like carrots, cucumbers, lettuce etc. They work by giving the body a natural dose of fiber, which helps improve the body’s sensitivity to leptin, helping you glide towards achieving your weight loss goals faster!
Tips to Boost Leptin Sensitivity
If you’re unable to control your appetite, and have trouble experiencing any significant weight loss results despite the fact that you’re actually trying your best, following a few simple steps can help you get your leptin and ghrelin levels in check.
- Avoid foods that contain MSG (monosodium glutamate). This compound, which is now being used as a flavoring additive in most store-bought and packaged foods, is the worst thing for your diet- it literally suppresses leptin production, and you end up eating a lot more than you usually would.
- Say no-no to foods that contain high amounts of fructose. Fructose doesn’t allow leptin and ghrelin levels to get back to normal after a meal, which can tempt you to eat more, which spells into more caloric consumption. Packaged fruit juices and fizzy drinks are packed with lots of fructose, so it’s best to stay away from those.
- Keep your caloric intake stable- in the attempt to speed up your fat burning process, you may want to reduce your calorie consumption as much as possible, but doing that isn’t a good idea. Low calories signal the body to go into a mode where you’ll experience uncontrollable hunger, which is followed by inevitable weight gain!
- Consume foods that are high in fiber- just like protein, they will keep you feeling full for a longer time, and improve leptin sensitivity too. Having a glass of fresh fruit juice, or a bowl of salad for your breakfast could be a great idea!
- Eat often- break down your calorie intake into smaller chunks spread throughout the day- this way, you’re less likely to feel hungry and eat more than you actually would. Studies have found that eating a healthy snack every 3-4 hours (keeping in mind the total calorie count) can reduce the levels of ghrelin hormone, which is responsible for the feeling of hunger.
- Sleep well– believe it or not, but sleep has a lot to do with how much you eat. Studies have found that individuals who are sleep deprived and stay up late at night are more likely to binge eat. So make sure you get to bed not later than 11pm, and get atleast 7 hours of sleep a day.
- Take steps to tackle stress. Stress has been linked to several health conditions, and can also increase the production of ghrelin and is associated with higher body weight. Go for a short walk, meditate, play with your pet or read a good book the next time you don’t feel so good, and are tempted to reach out for a bag of chips.
- Get a good dose of probiotics– probiotic foods help heal the gut and creates a healthy balance of the different bacteria in the gut- perfect for people who have appetite issues.
Remember, both gaining and losing weight takes time- follow a healthy diet, be sure to exercise, and stick to a healthy lifestyle if you’re aiming for long term success. Not only will this help you lose weight, but will also bring about amazing improvements in your overall health.