Have you ever wondered how after losing weight-after months of dieting when you finally lose few pounds than having had that well-derived meal-we put int all back? WHY?????

Have you ever heard of- leptin and Gherlin?

Body weight is regulated by a complex system. Two of the hormones that seem to play an important role in the regulation of food intake and body weight are leptin and ghrelin. Both originate in our body and signal through different pathways to the brain.

Leptin is a hormone that helps manage appetite. The word leptin comes from the Greek word leptos, which means “thin.” It is produced by the fat cells in your body and cells in the small intestine, and works by telling your brain how much you have in your fat reserves. Its job is to signal your brain when you’re full, triggering you to stop eating. Leptin controls your metabolism, hunger, and energy expenditure. 

Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced and released mainly by the stomach with small amounts also released by the small intestinepancreas and brain.

It is termed the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage. In addition, it affects your sleep/wake cycle, reward-seeking behavior, taste sensation and carbohydrate metabolism.

Ghrelin also stimulates the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland, which, unlike ghrelin itself, breaks down fat tissue and causes the build-up of muscle.

Yet regardless of how much body fat you have, ghrelin levels increase and make you hungry when you start a diet. This is a natural response by your body, which tries to protect you from starvation.

During a diet, your appetite increases and your levels of the “fullness hormone” leptin go down. Your metabolic rate also tends to decrease significantly, especially when you restrict calories for long periods of time .These trends suggest that the longer you diet — and the more body fat and muscle mass you lose — the higher your levels will rise.

This makes you hungrier, so it becomes much harder to maintain your new weight.

For obvious reasons, these adaptations can make it significantly harder to lose weight and keep it off.

Your hormones and metabolism adjust to try to re-gain all the weight you lost.

Why can’t we just ingest leptin to lose weight?

Unfortunately Leptin, a polypeptide, cannot be administered orally 

And, its not that simple. It’s not only the amount of leptin which is present in our body, also important is our body cells sensitivity to leptin. In fact there is high levels of leptin present in overweight people which indicates leptin resistance. If too much leptin builds up in your blood, you may develop leptin resistance. When this occurs, the leptin in your body may not do its job effectively, resulting in weight gain. The exact cause of leptin resistance is unknown, but obesity and stress may play a role. Cortisol, a hormone that’s released when you’re under stress, may make your brain less receptive to leptin and cause you to overeat.

Good news-there are ways to increase leptin sensitivity and there lies our solution to the problem.

It is nature’s own way to manage the stressful situations, when we loose body fat during sickness, leptin mechanism helps regain our body fat.

1. Fiber rich diet

Increase your daily dietary fiber consumption by eating fibrous foods such as whole grains, legumes, and oatmeal. Fiber gives you a feeling of fullness, causing your intestinal tract to send a signal to your brain to release more leptin.

2. Decrease or stop fructose consumption

Fructose inhibits your leptin receptors, especially high-fructose corn syrup. The main culprits are processed goods because fructose is inexpensive and often used in sodas, cookies, and other sweet snacks. The easiest way to cut fructose from your diet is to eat whole foods – foods that most closely resemble their natural state.

3. Consume complex carbohydrates

Say no to simple carbs (refined, sugary, processed, and generally white) because they spike your insulin levels, which leads to insulin resistance and disrupts your leptin production. Increase your daily consumption of complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. They are great sources of fiber and water and eating more will tell your brain that you are full – without a high calorie intake. You can also include whole oats and pastas, quinoa, and brown rice in moderation.

4. Eat protein for breakfast

Protein will not only fuel your body for the day by making you feel fuller, it will also kick-start your leptin levels. Try not to rely too heavily on cereals because they contain lectin and bind to your leptin receptors, thereby hampering leptin’s ability to do its job.

5. Take omega-3

Increase your omega-3 essential fatty acid consumption either through supplements or by eating more foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines. Omega-3 can help increase leptin levels by supporting a healthy inflammatory response. It also increases your body’s sensitivity to leptin, making it more receptive.

6. Avoid severe calorie restriction

If you’re not getting enough nutrients, your body will start shutting down and disrupt your hormone production. Your metabolism will slow, as will your production of leptin.

7. Perform H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training)

This will stimulate large secretions of human growth hormone, which boosts fat-burning mechanisms and helps regulate leptin levels.

8. Get more sleep

If you do not get enough rest, your body will make less leptin and more ghrelin (the hormone that tells your body you’re hungry). Without enough rest your body starts producing ghrelin and not producing leptin.

Foods that Decrease Leptin Sensitivity

Eating excessive carbohydrates and snacking may be your biggest hurdles to re-establishing leptin sensitivity. High carbohydrate foods that contain simple starches like white flour and potatoes, along with highly processed foods containing sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, all contribute to decreased leptin sensitivity. Eating large meals or eating too frequently can also lead to a decrease in leptin sensitivity.

The problem is that 90–95% of people who lose weight subsequently regain it. Weight loss in obese and lean people produces the same response, decreased leptin and insulin, and an increase in ghrelin. The obese person tends to regain weight because the lower leptin started from a different setpoint and is now lower than what the body views as required to be stable in terms of the amount of fat. The ghrelin response also makes it more difficult by stimulating appetite. When energy expenditure, food intake, and body weight are in balance, leptin and ghrelin are at a level consistent with a set point determined by this balance. With weight loss and loss of fat, leptin decreases, and ghrelin increases, causing an increase in appetite and a decrease in energy. This is great when you lose weight with an illness, but not good for an overweight person trying to lose weight. Whenever a perturbation occurs, leptin and ghrelin levels change to restore the original status quo, making it difficult for overweight people to maintain weight loss. With both sustained weight loss and persistent weight gain, hormonal mechanisms, as well as energy adjustments to maintain lower or higher body weights, eventually, lead to new set points. However, in the short-term, weight loss can be maintained only by a strict diet or an increase in physical activity to overcome the body’s attempt to restore the original set point. Circulating levels of leptin are correlated with the percent body fat. In other words, increased body fat increases the expression of the LEP gene in fat cells. The amount of leptin in the circulation, therefore, is a measure of the amount of adipose tissue in the body. For this reason, neither baseline levels nor initial changes in leptin predict whether weight loss can be maintained. A reduction of 10% in body weight is associated with a 53% reduction in serum leptin. This would stimulate an effort to regain the weight. The key question is what happens if an individual can successfully maintain a lower weight. In a longitudinal study of obese people, when weight loss was maintained, leptin levels remained low. Whenever a perturbation occurs, leptin and ghrelin levels change to restore the original status quo; these responses work against attempts to lose weight. A change in energy intake causes a change in leptin levels. The body then changes appetite and energy expenditure to conform to the new leptin level. A 10% increase in body weight is associated with a 300% increase in serum leptin. The basic purpose is to conserve energy during periods of fasting and to avoid obesity during periods of excess. When caloric intake is reduced, the basal metabolic rate is reduced in a regulatory compensatory adaptation that makes maintenance of weight loss difficult.

It is well documented that women have a greater prevalence of obesity compared with men. One reason may be the fact that women have a lower metabolic rate than men, even when adjusted for differences in body composition and level of activity.

 Another reason that more women gain weight with age is the postmenopausal loss of the increase in metabolic rate that is associated with the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. The difference between men and women is even greater in older age. Unfortunately, the basal metabolic rate decreases with age.28,29 After age 18, the resting metabolic rate declines about 2% per decade. The age-related decline in basal metabolic rate is not observed in women who continue to be involved in a regular endurance exercise program.30 A 30-year-old individual will inevitably gain weight if there is no change in caloric intake or exercise level over the years. The middle-age spread is both a biologic and a psychosociologic phenomenon. It is, therefore, important for both our patients and ourselves to understand adipose tissue and the problem of obesity.