Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Low fat foods and obesity: Leptin Resistance

People often tell me things like "I hardly eat and can't take off any weight". "I only eat one meal a day and still can't lose weight" or "I try to diet, but I'm hungery all the time". There are many causes of weight gain and the inability to take off weight. Today I want to focus on a key mechanism of weight gain and one that can be quickly reversed and it will speed up your fat burn (weight loss) and improve your physical and mental state.

Many researchers feel that in the era of multiply snack food and drink and the marketing practices of food producers “low-fat” nutrition labels increase food intake by (1) increasing perceptions of the appropriate serving size and (2) decreasing consumption guilt. Three studies show that low-fat labels lead all consumers particularly those who are overweight to overeat snack foods.

Most of these snack goods sold as low-fat have contain lots of sugar either in form of enriched flour or as high fructose corn syrup among other additives.

Fructose, which is a type of sugar has a very unique effect on the brain leading to causes fat gain. It does this by it's effects on a Leptin receptors in the brain. Leptin is a hormone made by fat tissue that acts on brain to regulate food intake and body weight. And the bigger the fat store the greater the amount of leptin produced into the BS. It is this very signal the brain reads when determining how much fat is required to be stored for a rainy day (fat is like the gold in terms of caloric currency).  When the brain senses the increased Leptin, it “sees” that we have enough fat stored and that we don’t need to eat more.

Increased leptin also makes us release more fat from our fat stores and raises the metabolic rate. This feedback mechanism is perfectly designed to help us feel satiated and eat less especially when the brain has read it has plenty of fat in the our fat cells.  This is how it’s supposed to work, but if the brain becomes resistant to leptin (doesn't “see” the leptin in the blood) then this regulatory mechanism won't work.

Researchers have hypothesized that over-consumption of fructose or HFCS products leads to Leptin resistance. Basically, the brain is blocked to a degree from knowing that the fat cells are full so its doesn't generate a signal to stop eating the brain send signals to increase calorie consumption.

This is how leptin resistance makes us fat. Trying to exert “willpower” over the powerful leptin-driven starvation signal is next to impossible. This is why most people can’t just simply eat less. In order to be able to eat less, we have to get rid of the leptin resistance.


Having this information allows us to make better choices. Always read the packaging, know what you are putting in your mouth.

Some resources advise to keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day, but if you want a magazine sexy body it would also be wise to limit your fructose from fruit to 15 grams or less, as you're virtually guaranteed to consume "hidden" sources of fructose if you drink beverages other than water and eat processed food. Remember, the average 12oz can of soda contains 40 grams of sugar, at least half of which is fructose, so one can of soda ALONE would exceed your daily allotment.

Fifteen grams of fructose is not much -- it represents two bananas, one-third cup of raisins.

Here's a quick reference list of some of the most common fruits that you can use to help you count your fructose grams:

Once I implemented a low fructose diet the fat began to melt away, and my sleep, my mood and energy levels were amazingly improved, but it took about 3 months before I noticed a difference. Two plus years into this and the results are staggering. 

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