How to control hunger hormone to lose weight

Leptin is a hormone that is produced by the body’s fat cells. Through leptin, the hunger hormone, as it is sometimes called, the fat in your body tells your brain if you are hungry, whether to eat and make more fat.

To lose weight your hormones must be balanced

We always tend to think that diet, exercise, and obesity are completely under our control, and that losing weight is simply a matter of will, diet, and exercise.

These thoughts leave overweight people as they feel that they are simply „weak“, and that there is something wrong with them. These thoughts not only discourage you, but they are also not totally true.

The truth is that weight loss is not simply a factor of diet and willpower, it is also a factor of hormonal balance in your body. Leptin, ghrelin, and insulin are the hormones that regulate fat burning, hunger, and weight loss. If you want to lose weight, it will be necessary to ensure that these hormones are balanced.

How Leptin Affects Your Weight?

In a study on metabolism, scientists found that the most obese individuals are resistant to leptin.

Restoring leptin sensitivity could therefore help normalize healthy energy levels, regulate hormonal function and help improve metabolism.

Energy levels, metabolism, and hormone levels are crucial factors in beating obesity. But what is leptin and how does it really work?

Leptin, the weight loss switch

Without going into much medical detail, ghrelin, leptin, and insulin work like the switches on a thermostat. For example, in a heater, the thermostat monitors the level of heat in the room.

When the room is too cold the thermostat turns on the heater. When the temperature level gets too high, the thermostat turns off the heater and this allows the temperature to drop again. Leptin levels work the same way.

When levels of this hunger hormone rise, it tells your brain to start burning fat and stop storing it. The brain acts as the thermostat, turning off fat storage and turning on fat burning.

When the levels drop too low, like the temperature in the heater, the brain turns on fat storage again. In a healthy person, leptin levels determine how hungry you are and how much fat your body should store.

The leptin system is a system that evolved to maintain our hunger and fat in a balanced way.

Obesity and leptin resistance

Unfortunately, the most obese people have developed a condition called leptin resistance.

Ultimately, your thermostat has stopped working. The good news for obese patients is that this is not entirely due to being too „weak-tempered“ to lose weight, but rather a physiological condition.

The biggest problem with leptin and obesity is that the hormone leptin is produced by fat cells in the body. The fatter cells you have, the more appetite hormone your body will produce.

This creates a viscous cycle for obese individuals and may explain the reason for leptin resistance. Obese individuals have more fat cells and therefore have higher levels of leptin.

The problem is that this can be very high or constantly increasing in the brain and body causing a resistance to this hormone, therefore, your body will not be able to stop storing fat. This will make you hungrier.

The consequences of leptin resistance

Resistance to the hunger hormone produces two basic physiological consequences:

  • You stay hungry.
  • Your brain thinks that the body needs fatter and therefore you eat a lot more.
  • You have low energy levels.
  • Your brain signals your body to conserve energy, reducing your metabolic rate and the rate at which energy is produced.

How can you develop resistance to leptin?

Science has identified a number of factors that contribute to the development of leptin resistance. Contributing factors include:


It has already been mentioned that inflammation can be the cause of all chronic diseases and it also interferes with leptin in the brain and body. In other words, inflammation can cause the brain to not recognize high levels of leptin.


The relationship between what you eat, how you feel, and what your body perceives is complex, and science has yet to uncover all the underlying mechanisms of these factors.

What science has concluded is that high levels of sugars and unhealthy fats in diets activate the reward centers of your brain. This makes you feel good while eating and therefore you want to eat more.

These diets also affect the way the body perceives satiety. These foods are often lacking in nutrients, and the body keeps asking for food. It is interesting to note that weight loss is one of the things that happens to your body when you stop sugar.

Levels of the hormone leptin

High levels of leptin also contribute to leptin resistance. This is more of a chicken and egg situation, and science cannot conclude that it came first, but large amounts of leptin cause increased resistance to it.

For obese people, or even those of us struggling to lose weight, the first two factors – diet and inflammation – represent new hope for overcoming leptin resistance.

How to combat leptin resistance and lose weight?

The key to overcoming leptin resistance is to reduce inflammation and eat a healthy diet that helps reduce leptin levels in your body.

Luckily, a diet, which reduces inflammation, is also the kind of healthy diet you need to help reverse leptin resistance. Here are some related factors to help you reverse the diet cycle:

Avoid refined sugars and processed foods

Foods rich in sugars and processed foods stimulate inflammation within the body. By reducing your intake of these foods, you can help reduce inflammation, which in turn can help reduce leptin resistance.

Choose a high fiber diet

Fiber is essential for a healthy diet, but for obese people, fiber is even more important. Foods high in dietary fiber make you feel fuller.

Fiber also reduces cardiovascular risk factors. Foods that are rich in fiber can also prevent constipation and are even used as natural laxatives.

Choose a high protein diet

When you eat protein, you can feel fuller for longer. Protein consumption has been linked to reduced leptin resistance. Consuming protein also encourages weight loss.

Sleep enough

Sleep has been linked to leptin levels, carbohydrate cravings, and metabolic rate. Good sleep is very important for weight control and well-being. Individuals who do not get enough sleep often desire and consume more carbohydrates and sugars.

Getting enough sleep can therefore help curb the midnight urges to assault the refrigerator.

The bottom line for obesity

Obesity is both a disease and a factor of willpower. The truth is that a diet designed to promote satiety and reduce inflammation can help reverse the cycle of leptin resistance.

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