The human body is full of hormones. Hormones control your feelings, keep you safe, tell you what your body needs to stay healthy, determine your height, weight, physical attributes, and they can also be the reason your weight is out of control.
Society typically views people who are overweight as impulse eaters. They also are under the misconception that every person who is overweight or obese has made poor decisions that were under their control. This is not always the case! Yes, there are some people who are overweight because of their own choices, just like there are some people who are unbelievably thin for the same reason.
Because of certain hormones, not everyone who carries around excess weight has made the decision to consume the necessary amount of food to get to this point. In some, only the choice of the type of food can be controlled. No matter what you are eating, if your body is constantly demanding food, you are going to put on excess weight. What is really going on inside your body to cause this weight gain? Read the Leptin story below…
What Is Leptin?
Leptin is a hormone in the body that helps to curb your appetite. It is also responsible for controlling metabolism.
The weight loss industry wants you to believe that it is the obesity hormone. The truth is actually quite opposite. Leptin is a starvation hormone, a protein that is created in fat cells. This protein circulates through your bloodstream and makes its way to your brain. It tells the brain that your body has built up enough energy storage in your fat cells to function on a normal level. It is believed that the actual level of energy your body sees as normal is genetically determined.
When you are on a diet or your body has slowly built a resistance to leptin, you do not take in as much food. You are no longer raking in the levels of “energy” your brain is used to receiving. It goes into starvation mode instantly. Your brain is not receiving the amount of leptin it expects, which is referred to as your personal threshold. Your brain sets out to bring your level back up to a point it is used to.
Your brain sends out a signal which first targets the vagus nerve, or the energy storage nerve. This nerve runs between your brain and your abdomen. Once this nerve is activated, you begin to feel hungry. The longer your brain is ignored, the hungrier you get. Your brain’s intention is for you to take on more food and store more fat, which creates more leptin to bring levels back up to your personal threshold.
So if your body is supposed to shut off hunger when you are full, why do you keep gaining weight?
Just like with any hormone, your body may not produce enough to trigger the “full” response. It can also build up a resistance to this hormone, which means that your brain is not able to process the hormone levels to trigger the “I’m full response.”