Leptin Resistance and Obesity…is this the problem in losing weight? What can we do about it?

There was a study that came out recently.  In a nutshell:  Research subjects were then given diets intended to maintain their weight loss. A year after the subjects had lost the weight, the researchers repeated their measurements. The subjects were gaining the weight back despite the maintenance diet — on average, gaining back half of what they had lost — and the hormone levels offered a possible explanation.  Their hormones were working against them!


One hormone, leptin, which tells the brain how much body fat is present, fell by two-thirds immediately after the subjects lost weight. When leptin falls, appetite increases and metabolism slows. A year after the weight loss diet, leptin levels were still one-third lower than they were at the start of the study, and leptin levels increased as subjects regained their weight.

Other hormones that stimulate hunger, in particular ghrelin, whose levels increased, and peptide YY, whose levels decreased, were also changed a year later in a way that made the subjects’ appetites stronger than at the start of the study.

It was determined that the dieters are putting their bodies into a circumstance that it will resist.

A solution might be to restore hormones to normal levels by giving drugs after dieters lose weight. But, researchers just do not know enough about obesity to prescribe solutions.  GREAT!??!


SO, what do we do?

Dr. Mercola (well-known writer/doctor) writes about Leptin resistance.  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/29/leptin-resistance.aspx

Dr. Mercola’s Leptin Resistance Summary

Insulin and leptin resistance are core factors in obesity, which in turn is a risk factor for cancer and may boost tumor growth. But the answer lies not in a pill. To reverse insulin and leptin resistance:

  • Avoid, sugar, fructose, grains, and processed foods
  • Eat a healthful diet of whole foods, ideally organic, and replace the grain carbs with:
    • No-to-low sugar and grain carbs
    • Low-to-moderate amount of protein 
    • As much highly quality healthful fat as you want (saturated and monosaturated). Most people need upwards of 50-70 percent fats in their diet for optimal health. Good sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats. Also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil

Similarly, while researchers investigate the pharmaceutical avenues to convert white fat cells to brown in an effort to reduce the potential for cancer growth, other research has already shown that this can likely be achieved through exercise.

80 percent of the health benefits you reap from a healthy lifestyle comes from your diet, and the remaining 20 percent from exercise – but it’s a very important 20 percent, as it acts in tandem with and boosts the benefits derived from a proper diet. For maximum benefits, you’ll want to make sure to include high-intensity interval training.

Can you take leptin or supplements to stimulate leptin to help?  There is no proof of it helping, except in very rare cases.  The suggestions are rather than taking supplements that haven’t been fully proven to help, overweight people have other options to aid leptin functioning.  So therefore, you have to reduce resistance to insulin (a hormone that controls blood sugar) and to bring down high levels of triglycerides (a blood lipid).

Insulin resistance generates leptin resistance. The practical advice is: Get your insulin down by cutting the sugar down, and your insulin resistance would improve and that would help with the weight loss.


So, we are back to sugar again as the enemy.  CUT OUT SUGAR AND cut down on UNHEALTHY carbs.  Stick with only natural healthy carbs! And watch the amount of fruit you eat.  Fruit has fructose (sugar).

Processed Foods Can Cause Weight Problems


I have put food items on my blog that are “processed foods.”  But, when losing weight and you are NEW to changing your lifestyle, it is very hard at first to give up everything.  I do believe in making the changes and not worrying too much about processed foods until you hit a point where your sugar cravings have disappeared and you are used to eating smaller portions of proteins six times a day, with two small servings of fruit and four small servings of veggies.

So, let’s assume you are used to your new eating plan.  What are processed foods and how are they bad?

Processed food has a bad reputation as a diet saboteur. It’s blamed for our nation’s obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. But processed food is more than boxed macaroni and cheese, potato chips and fast food. Whole-wheat bread, homemade soup or a chopped apple are also processed foods.


Different types of processed foods:

Minimally processed foods :

  • bagged lettuce, spinach, etc, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — are often simply pre-prepped for convenience.

Moderately processed food, processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness:

  • canned beans, tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna.

More than moderately processed foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture:

  • sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
  • Ready-to-eat foods, like crackers, granola, and deli meat, are more heavily processed.

The most heavily processed foods:

  • frozen or pre-made meals like frozen pizza and microwave dinners.

worst procssed foods


Some processed foods are ok:

Processed food can be beneficial to your diet.

  • Milk and juices are sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. Canned fruit (packed in water or its own juice) is a good option when fresh fruit is not available.
  • Some minimally processed food like pre-cut vegetables are quality convenience foods for busy people. Bagged vegetables and salads are helping people eat more vegetables.  They’re more expensive, but if your choice is between paying less and chopping it when you know you’re not going to do that, and paying a little more for the bagged vegetable you know you’re going to eat, the [bagged vegetable] is a better choice.

You need to read the ingredients list and review the nutrition facts panel.

Look for Hidden Sugar, Sodium and Fat

Eating processed food in moderation is fine, but consumers should be on the lookout for hidden sugar, sodium and fat.


Sugar isn’t just hidden in processed sweets. It’s added to bread,pasta sauces and cereal. The number of carbohydrates on the nutrition label also includes naturally occurring sugars which may be a significant amount in foods like yogurt and fruit. Instead, review a product’s ingredients list and look for added sugars among the first two or three ingredients such as sugar, maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrate.

Most canned vegetables, soups and sauces have added sodium. We need some sodium, but we often consume much more than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended 2,300 mg a day (1,500 mg a day for those over 51 years of age, or African-Americans, diabetics and those with hypertension or chronic kidney disease). High sodium intake is linked to hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Three quarters of our sodium intake comes from processed foods.  Only 20 or 25 percent of it comes from salting our food.

Canned vegetables, soups and beans can be packed with nutrients, so don’t cross them off your shopping list entirely. Instead, look for reduced or low sodium on labels. Also, always rinse canned beans and vegetables and reduce sodium content by about 40 percent.


Some fat in your diet is good for you.  It isn’t the fat that is the problem in weight gain….it is SUGAR and CARBOHYDRATES.  Your body needs fat.  It doesn’t need sugar or carbs.  But, your brain and body can get addicted to sugar and carbs.



Tossing everything in your pantry out all at once is a good way to waste money, but gradually replacing processed foods with fresh alternatives helps curb cravings and hunger. Highly processed foods are low in nutrients, causing the body to seek more food to find the nutrients it needs, which leads to a vicious cycle of overeating.

  • You don’t have to empty the pantry all at once, but slowly start making swaps like fresh fruit and yogurt for protein bars (which can contain as much sugar as a candy bar) or hummus and fresh veggies instead of nutritionally devoid pretzels.
  • Eat fresh food.  Fresh meat, salads, fruits and vegetables.
  • Learn to Cook!  It isn’t that hard.  Find time. Your iPAD games or Playstation is not more important than your health.  You can prepare foods and have leftovers for days.  Some things take little time to cook.





  • Learn about Genetically Modified Food and how it is ruining your body and keeping us overweight and sick.  Start to read labels on whether the items you are purchasing are organic, grain fed or not.

Genetically modified food is a huge problem for people and has been, since it was introduced 30 years ago.  Notice the obesity rate has increased since they started messing with how they grow or raise our food?!  There are also more stomach and colon issues because our intestinal balances are completely being messed up. GMOis a whole other Oprah and perfect for another blog day.  If you want to read more, Foodbabe.com and Fooducate.com!


New Rules: Your Doctor is Going to Tell You to Lose Weight Next Year

obesity (1)


Expect to hear more about your weight issues from your doctor in the near future. The medical profession is asking their doctors to get their clients on board with weight control.  The new medical insurance out there will provide counseling and programs for people to lose weight.

Obesity is a huge medical problem  There are so many diseases that it can cause.  Losing just 10 pounds and having regular exercise can lower the risks for almost all of the issues.

Here are 10 things that could hurt or kill you, unless you take weight control SERIOUSLY!

medical complications of obesity

1. High Blood Pressure — is the primary cause of death among Americans older than 25. About 75 million people suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

2. Diabetes Obesity is considered one of the most significant factors in the development of insulin resistance, and insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.

3. Heart Disease — Obesity is a major risk factor for developing coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. People who are overweight are at a greater risk of suffering a heart attack before the age of 45. Obese adolescents have a greater chance of having a heart attack before the age of 35 than non-obese adolescents.

4. High Cholesterol levels — High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart attacks. Cholesterol is transported through your blood in two ways: the low –density lipoprotein (LDL), which transports cholesterol to the cells that need it, and the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the healthy cholesterol that reduces your risk for heart attack.


5. Cancer — Being overweight increases your chances for developing cancer by 50 percent. Women have a higher risk of developing cancer if they are more than 20 pounds overweight.

6. Infertility — Being obese can cause changes in the hormonal levels of women, which can result in ovarian failure. Women who are 15-25 pounds overweight are at a higher risk of suffering from infertility and ovarian cancer. Our bodies need to be at an appropriate weight to produce the right amount of hormones and regulate ovulation and menstruation. Don’t think men are immune to infertility. Overweight men have a greater chance of developing motility and a lower sperm count.

7. Back Pain — Obesity is one the contributing factors of back and joint pain. Excessive weight can cause injury to the most vulnerable parts of the spine, which carries the body’s weight. When it has to carry excess weight, the odds of suffering from a spinal injury or structural damage increase. Being overweight also raises the risk of developing osteoporosis, lower back pain, arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Losing 10-15 pounds can help you decrease the risk of developing these problems.

8. Skin Infections — Obese and overweight individuals may have skin that folds over on itself. These creased areas can become irritated from the rubbing and sweating, which can lead to skin infections.

9. Ulcers — Obesity can be a contributing factor to the development of gastric ulcers.Overweight men are at a greater risk of developing gastric ulcers than women.

10. Gallstones — Being severely overweight increases the risk of developing gallstones, especially in women. Gallstones are caused when the liver releases excessive amounts of bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. Gallstones are more common in older women and those with a family history of gallstones.



Please consider starting to exercise and lose weight by following the RULES:


The New U.S. Healthcare is Focusing on Obesity and Counseling

Starting in January 2014, any insurance plan you can buy in your state’s Marketplace includes a free obesity screening test. Your health care provider will use your weight and height to find your body mass index, called your BMI. A BMI of 25 or higher is overweight. A BMI of 30 or more is obese.


If you get the screening test and your weight is in the obese category (BMI 30 or more), you will qualify for free counseling to lose weight, between 12-26 sessions.

The type of counseling differs depending on the plan. Some people might get one-on-counseling in person or on the phone. Others might get counseling in a group or through existing programs, like Weight Watchers.

Check your plan’s summary of benefits to see the details on what’s offered.

Whether healthcare plans will cover weight loss treatment, medications, surgery, etc.  depends on the state. Each state has to cover certain essential benefits, but they get to decide what’s included in them. Some states include obesity treatments in their essential benefits. Some don’t.  You may have to have a BMI of 40 or higher to qualify. Or you may be able to qualify if you have a related condition — like diabetes– and a BMI of 35 or above.

Check with your state coverage:  http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/state-marketplace-map

Honey, You Might Be Killing the Kids!

I know someone who came to my office this weekend with his son. This man wants to lose weight and he wants his children to lose weight too. He says he is watching what they eat, and they were late to my office that morning and came in with “breakfast drinks.” What were they drinking that was “good” for them, as he put it?

Nestle Strawberry flavored milk (30g of sugar) and Naked Juice (38g of carbs). There are approximately 4g of sugar per sugar cube. So, I pulled out my sugar cube box and I showed him 7.5 sugar cubes and asked him if he would give them to his son. Of course, he declined, but I told him he was with the chocolate milk–as that is how many sugar cubes are in his drink. And there were about 9 in Dad’s drink.

But, milk and juice is healthy!? Not so much. A balanced amount of milk as a protein, each day, is good for you. However, flavored milk AKA SUGAR milk is not good for you. And, the juice is overkill. FRUIT is good, the pulp and the fiber is needed and NOT in that juice. So, in his juice is 1/2 a banana, 1/3 of a mango and 21/2 apples. If you had to eat that many pieces of fruit in one sitting, you could not really do it. So, EAT fruit, don’t drink it. It is less fiber and too much sugar. Plus, both the milk and the juice were in huge containers and they were both trying to drink the whole thing. They should have just had a little bit of it.

So, what should dad have fed himself and his kid for breakfast? Sure, they were in a hurry that day and they wanted something easy and quick. So, what could Dad have done instead?

Parents need to educate themselves. No wonder there is a problem with a large amount of childhood obesity, and more adults are obese now than ever in the history of the United States. So, here are some ideas!

Quick Low-Sugar Breakfast Ideas:

1. Hard-boiled eggs (pre-made) or just scramble some eggs–quickly.
2. Microwaveable STEEL cut oatmeal (there is some at Trader Joes and at Costco) and put some blueberries in it.
3. A low-carb protein bar.
4. Low-fat string cheese or mini baby bells.
5. Worse case scenario–fast food place, just order scrambled eggs and bacon.
6. Turkey or chicken slices with low-fat cheese or microwaveable turkey bacon or sausage
7. A low-carb protein drink.
8. Put ONE piece of fruit in a blender with some ice and some veggies (there are recipes online) and make a small smoothie.
9. A glass of low-fat milk, low-carb Greek yogurt.
10. Low-carb pancake mix and syrup.

(yes, some of that is processed meat, and nothing is perfect, but it won’t add to your waistline like sugar drinks will.)


Can a Plate Help You Lose Weight or Stay Skinny?

You can gain weight eating healthy foods!  Why is that?  Because if you look at our mothers or grandmothers, their average calorific content a day was about 1800 calories a day on average.  Today, woman are eating about 2200 calories a day.  Since the 1950s, portion sizes have increased for women and men.

plate sizes

Portion size is key to staying slim.

Six things you can do to eat the right portion size.

1.  Don’t use the regular sized meal plates.  If you use a smaller one or use older ones from an antique store, you will fill your plates and subconsciously think that it is a lot because your (smaller) plate is full.


2.  Use a plate that doesn’t match the color of your food.  You are more likely to eat less asparagus (for example) on a white plate vs. a green plate.

3.  Don’t go to buffets.  Very dangerous and filling up those large plates again and again is going to make you gain weight.


4.  When you fill your plate, the right way to do it for your diet, your body and your health and nutrients is to fill half of the plate up with vegetables, then the other half is divided into two parts–one part starchy vegetable and one part meat.  And you can foresake the starchy vegetable because most of us get enough carbs in other foods, so just get more vegetables.


5.  Don’t fill your plate with pasta or rice.  If you must have those things (hopefully, not often), use the whole-wheat version (not white) and put it in the quarter where your starchy vegetable would go.  But, a whole plate of pasta is not the right portion size and this is why you are having weight issues.

6.  Eat slowly and chew well.  Give your body time to get the signal to your brain that you are full.

Try these ideas and see how well it works for you!

Obesity May Change Your Brain!

Obesity may change how the brain is hardwired, impairing the blood-brain barrier and affecting memory and learning skills, indicates a study from American University in Washington, D.C. According to the data, the changes in the blood-brain barrier may encourage overconsumption of fatty foods and those full of refined sugar, resulting in what researchers call “a vicious cycle.”  And at some point, the damage can be permanent.

“What I think is happening is a vicious cycle of obesity and cognitive decline,” Terry Davidson, director of American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, said in a statement. “The idea is, you eat the high fat/high calorie diet and it causes you to overeat because this inhibitory system is progressively getting fouled up. And unfortunately, this inhibitory system is also for remembering things and suppressing other kinds of thought interference.”
Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/obesity-brain-learning-skills/#ixzz2EyRyU6qf

I can’t help but think of the line from Animal House about being fat, drunk and stupid.  I had no idea that obesity could actually result in cognitive decline.  This might be even more of a good reason to lose weight.  You will be healthier and STAY smart….and don’t add in drinking either!