Leptin is a hormone found in our fat cells. It is released from the fat cell, sends messages to the brain, and tells the hypothalamus gland in the brain that we are full, satisfied, and we have energy to do the work our body requires of us. If leptin is not released from the fat cells, or if the hypothalamus gland doesn’t receive the information properly, we are still hungry.
Insulin is another hormone that works directly with leptin. It tells the fat cells to store energy that is coming in from our food, while also at the same time, tells the brain to stop the hunger. In properly working metabolisms, when we eat well, we get fidgety and active afterwards. If the signals get mixed up, we don’t get the information, and the body keeps feeling hungry. We then feel lethargic, kind of like a couch potato because we are still hungry. Our bodies think we should not move that much when we are hungry, in order not to starve. We save our energy. If we starve our cells with drastic dieting and lower quality calorie habits, our body and brain get the message to be a couch potato.
This is called insulin resistance. This is when our body’s metabolism, or energy output, is reduced. In fact, the data shows that the same effort in physical activities will burn less calories (less energy output) if we aren’t eating enough good quality food. This especially is affected if we aren’t eating nutrient dense, good-fat containing, and satisfying foods. Refined sugars, processed carbohydrates, and junk foods all fall into that category of deregulating the body’s system of balance, or homeostasis.
So, to be in balance in our body's systems we need to fuel ourselves with high fiber, good fats, lots of vegetables, and healthy protein choices. Even a vegetarian or vegan can make highly nutritious food choices. With the amount of real food available in the world at reasonable prices, we can take steps towards our superior selves.
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