Hormones are chemically-produced messengers secreted into the bloodstream by glands. There are many types of hormones, each having a specific regulatory function on organs and body tissues, such as triggering growth, mood and hunger. Hunger hormones control the ebb and flow of virtually every facet of body weight gain and loss, from signaling hunger to storing fat. Recent research has shown that there may be ways to take advantage of these chemical messengers, to make the hormones work to help with weight loss, such as with the Leptin Diet or Venus Factor.
Dr. Lena Edwards, M.D., director of the Lexington, Kentucky Health and Wellness Center, states there are several strategies that may be of benefit in helping people control their weight. Edwards says people have a lot more control over their hormones than they typically think and individuals can exert a great deal of influence over most weight-control hormones.
The hormone leptin is produced by fat cells and plays a pivotal a role in appetite suppression. Research has shown surplus body fat can result in a condition referred to as leptin resistance, which can cause the brain to ignore the signals of satiety produced by the hormone. Though it is not known why this occurs, one theory postulates that adipose cells produce inflammatory substances which reduce the effect of leptin, causing the body to think it is starving. In response to the perceived threat to its survival the body slows down its metabolism and the brain starts to send out constant hunger signals that make the body crave high-calorie food. The Leptin Diet seeks to reprogram the body to once again properly respond to the hormone.
The secret is to train the body to start getting more energy from fewer calories. There are just five rules to the Leptin Diet:
- Be sure breakfast that contains protein.
- Eat three sensible-sized meals each day.
- Don’t eat large meals.
- Decrease the amount of simple carbohydrates in the diet.
- Never eat after dinner or just before bedtime.
While the quality of the food eaten is always important, the key factor with the Leptin Diet is that when food is eaten is just as important as what is eaten. This is because the Leptin Diet is designed to reprogram the body, as the release of leptin follows a 24-hour pattern. This also works to increase the production of serotonin, a second weight-loss hormone, which has a calming effect on the body that also helps lead to reduced hunger.