When was the last time you took a look at our nation’s population? Most individuals, like me, who live in areas like Hollywood may not notice the influx of obesity that has become an epidemic. With the rate of obesity on the rise, the search for a common thread takes over. Before we were told that if we simply restrict our calories enough we are bound to lose those pesky pounds. Unfortunately, more recent studies have found that strict calorie reduction actually does more harm than good.
What is Really Stopping You?
The latest research has found that there are a few hormones that seem to be at the heart of our inability to lose and keep those unwanted pounds off. One of the key hormones throwing our simple approach to weight loss is Leptin. Leptin is a hormone that is predominantly produced by fat cells. Once produced it travels through our bloodstream to the hypothalamus which regulates our metabolism. This hormone imbalance is one of the most common hidden drivers behind weight gain.
One of Leptin’s jobs is to tell your brain to use up the body’s fat stores for energy. Leptin’s main role is the long-term regulation of energy, including the number of calories we eat and use, as well as how much fat we store in our bodies. Unfortunately, an excess of fat storage can produce too much Leptin in the body which can lead to Leptin resistance. It is at this point that things start to get out of hand quickly.
How Does Leptin Resistance Occur?
Leptin resistance occurs when the hypothalamic cells in the brain stop recognizing Leptin’s signals. This can be caused by a number of things. The two most common culprits that contribute to Leptin resistance are inflammation and excess Leptin production. When this happens the brain tells the body to activate the hunger hormone Ghrelin. Ghrelin then falsely perceives a food deficit. Because our bodies don’t actually need additional energy, everything we eat is then directly converted into fat to be stored as a latter energy source.
Stuck In A Vicious Cycle?
In cases of obesity, the individual is stuck in a vicious cycle. The increase in fat stores produces an excess of Leptin. High levels of Leptin then reduce the brain’s receptor’s sensitivity to this hormone. Which in turn causes the brain to think there is not enough food forcing the individual to crave sugary or high-calorie foods. But the body doesn’t need any more fuel which is why it ends up storing it for later use. If you have ever felt that just looking at food can make you gain weight there is a high chance that you are Leptin Resistant. Even worse Leptin resistance is next to impossible to reset by yourself.
Don’t Give Up!
Before you throw in the towel and decide to give up. I am writing this article to help provide you with the tools you will need to help reset your body’s sensitivity to Leptin. The focus of this article will be on the signs and symptoms that can indicate Leptin resistance and the best nutritional options to reset your Leptin sensitivity. Let’s start by a few quick questions that can help determine if you are at a high risk of Leptin resistance. If you answer yes to more than one of the following questions you are at a high risk of Leptin resistance.
- Is it difficult for you to lose weight?
- When you go on a diet, can you lose weight, but still look flabby?
- Do you hold onto weight in your midsection, no matter how hard you try to lose it?
- Do you have trouble keeping weight off?
- Are you constantly hungry?
- Do you crave sugary foods?
- Do you get “hangry” if you don’t give into your cravings?
- Are you stressed out a lot?
- Do you have high triglycerides?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
What To Lookout For
If you answered yes to more than one of the questions above, the following signs and symptoms may sound familiar to you as well:
- Weakened Immune System
- Hypothyroid Symptoms
- Trouble Sleeping
- Craving Sugary or High Calorie Foods
- Digestive Issues
- Histamine Intolerance
- Slow Metabolism
- High Blood Pressure
- Trouble Losing & Keeping Weight Off
- Never Feel Full
- Weight Gain (focused on midsection)
What is Really Going On?
All of these signs and symptoms are interconnected. Several hormones interact with one another to produce these health issues. For example, high levels of Cortisol (stress) can force our bodies to hold onto fat stores which then raises Leptin levels. Low levels of Melatonin can increase inflammation which lowers the brain receptors sensitivity to all hormones including Leptin. Our bodies are just one domino away from success or failure it all boils down to our hormonal balance. Luckily, when we use our hormonal knowledge to our advantage we can see results quickly.
Inflammation The Secret Killer
Due to the fact that the bulk of these health issues are all affected by inflammation one of the best and most effective ways to reset our Leptin sensitivity is through an anti-inflammatory diet. Inflammation can dull the brain’s receptors making it difficult for them to sense any hormones. This is one of the biggest reasons most doctors suggest switching to an anti-inflammatory diet to reset your body naturally. There are tons of foods and herbs you can integrate into your daily routine that are high in anti-inflammatory properties. For this post we will focus on the top 10 foods and I will throw in some of the best herbs to fight inflammation.
Inflammation Fighting Foods
The majority of foods that can help fight inflammation are plant based. One of the best things you can do for your health is to eat whole foods (this means there is no ingredients list attached to them). Here are some of the best foods to start you off on the right foot.
- Chia Seeds
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Flax Seed
A Little Spice Is Nice
It may be easier for you to start by integrating in some of these inflammation fighting herbs into your cooking. I would suggest adding these herbs to the food list above to maximize your results.
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
Get Ready Cause Here It Comes
There are tons of foods that can help you in your never ending battle against inflammation. Because I believe that an anti-inflammatory diet is one of the best things you can do for your health I will write up a few articles breaking down its advantages and the best foods to reach for. As an added bonus I will also put together a free ebook loaded with some of my favorite anti-inflammatory recipes. Be sure to check back often, I will be sure to let you know once everything is ready. Until then, here is a great recipe featuring some of the anti-inflammatory heros. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Inflammation Fighting Broccoli Soup
- 1 Stock of Broccoli
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 12 Mint Leaves
- 1 Scallion
- 1 Cup of Frozen Peas
- 1 Sweet Potato (large Pre-cooked)
- 2 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tbsp Better than Bullion Vegetable Stock
- ½ tsp Cayenne Powder
- Salt & Black Pepper to Taste
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- In a large saucepan heat olive oil. Add minced scallions and garlic, cook until soft. Add in chopped broccoli and peas. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Next add in vegetable stock and bullion. Bring to a boil and add in potato let cook for 5 minutes or until broccoli is soft. Remove from heat and add all remaining ingredients. Using a wand blender (if you don’t have one let cool and blend in traditional blender) blend until desired texture is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place back on heat until desired temperature has been reached and enjoy.
Need a Helping Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at DrDeeandMe@gmail.com or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!
Jana Short says
Dr. Dee, this inflammation, fighting broccoli soup was amazing! I love that you add in all the nutritional facts around your recipes and how it relates to our wellness. I also started using some of the herbs you recommended
Dr. Dee says
I love this soup! Not only is it super easy to make, it is also crazy tasty! Whenever you can eat your way to better health you want to make your food work for you not against you. You do enough work all day why not make your food choices do a little of the heavy lifting for you?