Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells that decreases your appetite.
Levels of leptin tend to be lower when you are smaller and have a lower body fat and rise higher with increasing body weight.
Obese societies may build up resistance to the appetite-suppressing effects of leptin.
Leptin is anorexigenic meaning it suppresses appetite.
Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite and regulates body weight.
This appetite-increasing hormone is released in the stomach and sends hunger signals to the brain.
If someone undereats, levels of ghrelin tend to increase and levels decrease along with overeating.
Grehlin is orexigenic meaning it increases appetite.
We believe that leptin helps to regulate ghrelin.
Keep Leptin and Grehlin Balanced:
Keep saturated fat balanced - A diet which is too high in saturated fat may lead to leptin resistance, meaning the body becomes less responsive to leptin’s appetite-decreasing effects, so it is important to keep fat balanced within your diet.
Focus on wholegrain carbohydrates and high quality protein - A well balanced diet that contains complex wholegrain carbohydrates (oats, rye) and high quality protein (meat, dairy, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes) may help to keep ghrelin (appetite-increasing hormone) balanced.
Sleep - Sleep is crucial for keeping leptin and ghrelin balanced. In one study, men were sleep deprived (compared to sleeping 10 hours a night) which was found to be significantly associated with an increase in ghrelin (hunger and appetite).
Well balanced diet & sleep are still crucial for a healthy diet
Whilst it’s useful to understand how YOUR body responds to particular dietary and lifestyle choices, the over riding take away message is still that a well balanced diet and plenty of sleep can help to support a stable appetite and a healthy weight.
1) Ideally you should eat a meal or snack every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Be guided by your own appetite, but you should be prepared for around 3 meals and 3 snacks daily.
2) Avoid leaning on caffeine when hunger strikes as this can temporarily curb your appetite but seriously disrupts your energy levels later through the day. Refined and processed snacks such as sweets, crisps and chocolate are best avoided too.
3) Make complex snacks by combining carbohydrate (wholegrains, fruit, vegetables) with protein (nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, eggs, dairy, meat, fish) and healthy fat (nuts, seeds & their oils, oily fish, olives, avocado).
Ideas for balanced snacks:
Boiled egg, spinach & avocado Handful of plain nuts & fresh fruit Falafels & raw pepper sticks Crudités & sliced cheese Oatcakes with nut butter or cream cheese, sliced banana & ground seeds
Rice cakes with houmous & pumpkin seeds / mashed avocado & cream cheese Berries & live yoghurt
***article adapted from Nutri Advanced's practitioners.