Leptin is a hormone that is tied closely to regulating energy intake and expenditure, including appetite, metabolism and hunger. It is the single most important hormone when it comes to understanding why we feel hungry or full. When present in high levels, it signals to our brain that we’re full and can stop eating. When low, we feel hungry and crave food. It does this by stimulating receptors in our hypothalamus, the part of our brains which regulates the hormone system in our bodies. When leptin binds to receptors in this part of our brains, it stimulates the release of appetite-suppressing chemicals. People with leptin disorders eat uncontrollably.

Calorie loads aside, the sugars make your brain less sensitive to leptin, which causes you to eat more and pack on the pounds. Conversely, some foods have been shown to increase leptin activity and sensitivity. The biggest connection scientists have found is between Omega-3 Fatty Acids and leptin. Researchers found that a group of people who ate a high proportion of fish every day had lower leptin levels despite eating the same calorie loads and having the same body fat as their fish free cousins – suggesting that a fish-rich diet increased their bodies’ sensitivity to leptin.

If you feel sluggish or need to lose a few pounds, you may need to boost your body's production of leptin. A hormone that helps regulate appetite, leptin lets the brain know when there is enough fat stored in the body. When you gain weight, the leptin in your body stops working properly, and you become resistant to the signals leptin sends. This resistance leads to additional weight gain, and makes weight loss all but impossible, says Dr. Scott Isaacs, author of "The Leptin Boost Diet." Balancing this hormone may lead to weight loss, greater vitality and improved health.

Eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to boost leptin. People who are overweight release too much of a group of molecules that the body uses to combat inflammation. These molecules reduce leptin's ability to communicate with the brain and are the primary cause of leptin resistance. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the production of these molecules by reducing inflammation in the body.


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