Leptin was discovered about ten years ago and it is an appetite-suppressing hormone. In a way, Leptin reports your nutritional status to your brain and directly manipulates the feel of hunger.
The Leptin levels produced in our bodies are controlled by two factors:
– Leptin is secreted by the fat cells in the body, so obviously the level of body fat plays a vital role in secreting the hormone.The higher the body fat percentage, the higher the leptin levels in your body.
– The second factor of blood leptin levels is your calorie intake. Lower your calorie intake and leptin will fall, independent of body fat.
So this is what basically happens when you lower your calories:
First your leptin levels drop (by 50% in just one week of dieting), which is followed by your brain getting a signal that you are not getting enough calories and you are starved.Your brain then slows down the metabolism and creates a hormonal environment that is very suitable for FAT GAIN. Cortisol levels increase and thyroid levels decrease.
This is when hunger also kicks in and before you know it, you didn’t create a fat burning, but fat STORING environment.
It would be really great if you could keep the Leptin levels high while you lower your calorie intake.This way you could have an ideal hormonal environment for building muscle and losing fat.
As we said, leptin levels decrease by about 50% after only one week of dieting, but it doesn’t take nearly that long for to climb back up with a substantial increase in caloric intake.According to some research results, it only takes 12 to 24 hours for Leptin levels to climb back up.
And this effect is multiple times greater when you consume large amounts of carbs.Research shows that when only fats and protein are consumed, they have very little effect on leptin.
So the answer is high calorie and high carbohydrates cheat meal in the middle of your diet week (and yes you can eat all your favorite foods like pizza, chocolate and ice cream and still lose fat).
This maybe is the answer why IF (Intermittent Fasting) diets like leangains and The Renegade Diet really work wonders for the ones using them.