One of the main problems with dieting is that the whole exercise of restricting quantities and types of food produces the direct antithesis of what you are trying to achieve. When you begin a diet your ultimate goal is to lose weight, but as you know this is easier said than done. For the first few days things appear to go well and the pounds begin to melt away but after the first 5 – 10 pounds everything seems to stop and no matter how much we cut back on this or eliminate that, things seems to go nowhere.
Well, the recent discovery of the master weight loss control hormone, leptin more or less explains this problem. You see, as you diet the level of leptin in the body decreases which results in the body storing more food as fat. To avert this fat storing process you must increase leptin levels, but since leptin responds to the amount of food you eat this is difficult to do while you remain on diet. However, some measures of success have been reported with the following strategies:
1. Eat six small low calorie meals each day: Leptin decrement is highly correlated with fasting which signals the body to convert available food to fat. This fat is stored for later use should the fasting continue.
2. Mix cheat-days in with your diet. These are days when you would totally forget about your diet and indulge in all of the so called “sin” foods. This is a double edge sword here – bad for your diet but overall a good thing for bringing leptin back to normal levels. Alternate the days but don’t do it more than once a week.
3. Cheat on carbohydrates: Many diets recommend that you keep carb consumption to a minimum but carbs are essential to maintaining leptin levels. So, eat as much carbs as your diet permits and every now and then, cheat on the amount of carbs you include, especially complex carbs.
4. Eat frequently: As was indicated you should try to eat six small meals a day but in addition you should place these meals strategically throughout the day to prevent feelings of hunger. Strategic meal placement will help you maintain healthy leptin levels.
5. Supplements: Some supplements like irvingia gabonensis have been found to enhance leptin sensitivity and may assist persons whose leptin levels have declined as a result of dieting.
If you have been struggling with weight loss plateau and you feel that leptin may be the problem then these strategies may work for you. Please understand though that weight loss is a gradual process that cannot be accomplished in a week or two. You must be patient and allow your program to work – this may require many months but at the end of the day your body will love you for it.
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