Leptin Guide: What is it and How Does it Affect Your Weight?

Leptin Guide: What is it and How Does it Affect Your Weight?

Weight loss is a growing concern for millions of Americans, especially since we have one of the highest obesity rates on the planet. Losing weight can be easy for some but seemingly impossible for others, primarily because some people are hundreds of pounds overweight. 

We can make several lifestyle adjustments to turn weight loss into a genuine possibility. Unfortunately, some people lack the resources to commit to an effective weight loss regimen or are not fully versed in the process. Certain aspects of human biology contribute to our ability to lose or gain weight which must be considered depending on your goals. 

Some aspects of biology and morphology are more important than others, but the basic principle is that you must have a cursory understanding of them to ensure an effective regimen.

One aspect of our biology with a potential effect on your weight is leptin, which you might not have heard of before beginning your routine. Leptin can impact your ability to lose or gain weight depending on your current weight and metabolic disposition. Without knowing about leptin (among other things), you might struggle to reach your weight goals since part of your body will rebel against your endeavors. 

That said, there is no shame in not knowing what leptin is or how it affects your weight. It is never too late to learn, and this article will focus on answering those questions so you can reach your dream weight without any trouble.

What is Leptin?

In 1949, the Jackson Laboratory produced a strain of obese mice born into a colony where the previous generations were at healthy weights. This aberration from the parent generations indicated a hormone mutation (dubbed the ob mutation) that altered hunger and energy expenditure in the new generation. 

These new mice were noted to have an almost insatiable appetite and quickly became morbidly obese due to extravagant diets. In 1960, a second mutation occurred and was observed by Douglas Coleman, a researcher at Jackson Laboratory's Bar Harbor branch. Coleman noted the mutation (dubbed the db mutation and later identified as diabetes) bore a similar phenotype to the one discovered 11 years earlier.

It was not until 1994 that a molecular geneticist named Jeffrey Friedman discovered and named leptin after 40 years of research by the Jackson Laboratory and its rival institutions. Friedman discovered the hormone was generated and released by adipose tissue (body fat) and was released to help the organism maintain a healthy and consistent weight.

Woman Eating a Healthy Meal

Leptin manages weight by producing the sensation of feeling full, preventing the organism from eating more food when it does not need any. The mutation in the mice colonies resulted from the mice not expending as much energy and eating increasing amounts of food. As a result, their bodies developed higher caloric tolerances, leading to them only feeling full after consuming large quantities of food. 

In 1995, a researcher for the Institute of Scientific Information named José Caro confirmed Friedman's discovery. He also discovered that the mutations seen in the mice do not occur in humans and that the ob gene was more pronounced in obese humans. This indicated that humans develop a resistance to leptin that allows obese individuals to continue eating long after the body attempts to signal that it is full. This can cause us to overeat because our bodies cannot physically resist the urge, and we consume thousands of calories more than we need. 

It was eventually determined that leptin affects the brainstem and hypothalamus to regulate hunger and energy expenditure. While leptin receptors exist in other areas of the body, the ones in our brain are significantly more powerful. We ultimately rely on leptin to know when to stop eating, especially since our brains tell us when our body is in a specific state. 

The question of the hour is: how does leptin affect our ability to gain or lose weight? Considering leptin's efficacy diminishes in obese individuals, the question is valid and could revolutionize your weight management techniques.

How Does Leptin Affect Weight?

The basic explanation of leptin can be misleading to the average person since people believe that more leptin means we eat less. In the most simplistic sense, this explanation is accurate but significantly more complex. Leptin does not affect our hunger levels on a meal-by-meal basis but instead attempts to maintain a consistent daily food intake and energy expenditure. This helps us maintain a consistent weight since we eat the same amount of food and use the same amount of energy daily. 

As a result, adding more leptin to your body might not inhibit your immediate hunger but reduce your overall tolerance for food. Additionally, little to no evidence supports that leptin affects our weight. Instead, evidence suggests that our weight affects our leptin.

Our bodies need to maintain a certain amount of reserve fat to energize us when food is scarce. When our fat levels get too low, and we are not eating enough, our bodies enter a crisis mode that tells us we are starving. The human body can survive up to 2 months, but going even a few days without eating can cause serious damage to your appetite and metabolism while introducing health issues.

Person Examining Their Stomach

Insofar as leptin is concerned, weight loss has a major impact on how our bodies release leptin. When we are obese, our bodies are more liberal with leptin release, and we release more to keep us from eating more than we need. When we lose weight, the opposite happens, and our bodies do not release as much leptin because it thinks we are starving.

Sudden or major weight loss causes our bodies to enter the same crisis mode we mentioned earlier, and our appetites skyrocket. This is our body trying to tell us to eat more to return to a healthy weight and maintain the energy levels we need to survive. Unfortunately, this has led people to believe that leptin can be used to improve weight loss. 

While leptin does react to our current weight, introducing more does not accelerate our metabolisms or improve the rate at which we lose weight. It is little more than a notification from our bodies that we are hungry or full, depending on our physical state. However, leptin can make it somewhat easier to resist the urge to snack on junk food between meals. This is especially effective for people who have developed leptin resistance. 

When we lose weight and our leptin levels decrease, it does not change pre-existing resistance, so our ability to register as being full does not reset. If you are trying to lose weight while leptin resistant, you might be better off investing in an appetite suppressant.

Consider Using Green Tea

The leaves of Camellia sinensis are some of the most widely distributed plants on Earth due to their role in steeping multiple types of tea. The C. sinensis plant produces leaves that can be refined into green, yellow, white, oolong, and black tea. The most passionate tea drinkers generally have a preference based on flavor and oxidation, but health enthusiasts have extra reasons to love tea. C. sinensis leaves are renowned for their concentrations of essential vitamins and nutrients, each having a distinct effect on the human body. 

Green tea, in particular, has developed an almost sacred reputation amongst tea and health enthusiasts for its high nutritional value. Furthermore, green tea has a relatively high caffeine concentration for its class. One of the lesser-known benefits of green tea is that it doubles as an appetite suppressant.

No official research has investigated green tea's ability to suppress appetites, but there is significant anecdotal evidence alleging that green tea reduces appetite. This effect appears to reach its highest value when combined with additional ingredients, but consuming green tea can help you avoid snacking. While green tea does not generate leptin nor undo leptin resistance, it can make getting from one meal to the next easier without snacking in between. Fortunately, green tea's appetite suppressant effects are not its only benefit for people trying to lose weight. Research shows that green tea can help enhance our metabolisms and improve weight loss.

Current research suggests that caffeine is one of the main reasons green teas can help us lose weight. Caffeine is one of the most powerful stimulants in circulation and one of the few legal for recreational consumption. Caffeine has been scientifically linked to moderate metabolic enhancement, meaning it can make our bodies burn fat faster and more effectively without reducing it to unhealthy levels. 

Caffeine's ability to help us lose weight makes tea an incredibly valuable addition to any dieter's regimen. The impressive thing is that caffeine is not the only substance in green tea that can improve weight loss. Green tea is an excellent source of catechins, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG, when combined with caffeine, creates a powerful cocktail of metabolic-enhancing substances that compound with each other. Studies have confirmed that these 2 compounds work together to help the body burn more calories at a more efficient rate. This improves our ability to lose weight even if our leptin levels are not where they should be. This effect was further proven by a study that was conducted in 1999 on 10 healthy subjects, with the test group being given an EGCG and caffeine mix. The study showed that the test group enjoyed a 4% increase in calorie burning compared to the control group.

A Cup of Green Tea

Green tea's abilities to suppress appetite and improve weight loss are impressive but can be further enhanced by ensuring you have a high-quality blend. While traditional green tea is highly effective for this purpose, there is an alternate subspecies that provides significantly more powerful effects. 

We are referring to matcha, an extremely potent green tea variant renowned for having a higher concentration of the same nutrients that make its traditional cousin so effective. This means substituting green tea for matcha can yield better results than normal green tea. That said, matcha is bound by the same quality levels as its counterpart and cannot be relied upon if you use a low-grade blend. Unlike normal green tea, there is a well-defined hierarchy for matcha:

  • Ceremonial Grade Matcha: Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality matcha and was originally used in Buddhist rituals in their sacred temples. Since then, ceremonial matcha has become more widespread but retains its religious value in Buddhist society.
  • Premium Grade Matcha: Premium grade matcha is not religiously significant but is the highest quality matcha after ceremonial grade. Premium grade is exclusively used to brew tea and is never squandered on lesser products.
  • Culinary Grade Matcha: Culinary grade matcha is the lowest quality matcha and is exclusively used for cooking matcha foods. Culinary-grade matcha should not be used for health improvement purposes.

Whether you use green tea or matcha, the catechins and caffeine within make it possible to improve your weight loss despite your leptin resistance. Unfortunately, neither one can undo leptin resistance or increase your body's leptin levels.

Finding the Right Blend

Leptin is an important part of our body's ability to register when we have eaten enough and helps us avoid overeating. Unfortunately, today's society and love of fast food have made it easier to develop leptin resistance and promote overeating. While increasing leptin levels will not alter this issue, nor will losing weight, there are methods and tools you can use to avoid gaining weight. 

While leptin does not increase or reduce weight, leptin resistance can make it easier to gain weight despite your best efforts. On the other hand, it is possible to use green tea or matcha to improve your weight loss regimen. The trick is finding a high-quality tea or matcha from a reliable vendor.

Teami Matcha Powder Tins

We at Teami have always maintained that natural products are the best resources for enhancing our health and appearance, so we have dedicated ourselves to making them. We have developed a vast catalog of natural products that can help improve your appearance and physical health. Among our products is our Matcha Powder Tins, which contain ceremonial grade matcha and come in 4 delicious flavors. We encourage you to visit our website and try your preferred flavor today to reach your preferred appearance. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.

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