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( Part 2 of Sports Nutrition and Weight Control )

By Dr. Deborah Baker 2007 2012 ©

leptin Click Here for Part 1




XXXXXXX The type of diet or plan you follow, I believe is very personal..and needs to "fit" with your food likes and dislikes. In order to change habits of a long time, one must be able to look at weight loss as a "lifestyle" change..not simply a "diet"..which at best has negative connotations to it.

Having said that, I think the most common complaint (and negative factor) from people trying to lose weight is their predominant craving for carbohydrates. (Things sugar or starch based, ie. junk food, sweets, bread, pasta, etc.)

Eating these foods creates the craving and there is now a veritable mountain of information regarding the negative health effects of too many "simple" carbohydrates in your diet.

Ingesting all these "carbs" leads to a myriad of symptoms triggered by the fact that your body becomes resistent to your insulin (the hormone you need to take glucose up into your cells for the production of the energy molecule ATP).


Now it is also evident that another hormone, leptin has recently come into light in the research, leading to further "sweet cravings". In fact the science now known on leptin hormone is even more powerful in our understanding of the strong association between obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

The Insulin Story - Improving Insulin Resistance in Diabetes Type 2 :

Basically your cells "poop out" with respect to the response they have to insulin/ leptin because of "over sitmulation" and subsequent "indifference".  So what?  Well, because your cells are not responding...your body in its infinite wisdom pumps out more insulin/leptin. In doing this, it tends to go into "over-kill" and then there is too much insulin/leptin around.  The end result of that is hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin in the blood) and impaired glucose other words "Non-insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus" or NIDDM.


The resulting collection of symptoms associated with insulin resistence is clinically referred to as "Syndrome X" and its not uncommon to find this in over 25% of a non-diabetic population.  It primarily consists of hypertension, coronary heart disease, impaired storage of the fats we are supposed to store (triglycerides) and increased insulin resistance which ultimately develops into NIDDM.

Now as far as obesity goes, one must remember that insulin is the hormone of "fat storage".  So, with your body now secreting also means you will tend to store more fat, rather than breaking fat down for energy.  As one becomes fatter, you do not increase the number of fat cells but the size.  These larger fat cells make it much more difficult for your insulin to "lock on" to your cells to glucose can be transported inside.

High blood insulin also leads to lower HDL (the good cholesterol).  It does this by increasing the removal of a part of the HDL molecule to VLDL (bad cholesterol) and the higher the triglycerides (TG) the more this happens.

High insulin also plays an important role in stimulating the liver to make more cholesterol.  More recent research is showing that insulin in excess will increase the rate of thrombus or clot formation..encouraging the possibility of stroke.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) a prehormone very important in wellness also helps protect us again arterial plaquing and sclerosis.  As this molecule falls, we see more obesity, atherosclerosis and diabetes.  It is now apparent that this has an inverse relationship with insulin..that is as insulin goes up, DHEA lowers.

At one time, it was thought that intake of salt was a major cause of hypertension (high blood pressure) but actually intracultural studies have shown that in fact salt may be a causal factor for only a small number of susceptible people.  In fact, it seems that high insulin may be the problem in that it increases sodium retention within the kidney.

So the best way to lower circulating insulin??  Eat a diet higher in protein, GOOD fats and complex carbohydrates.  That sounds say?? Not at all!

First there was the Atkins Diet.  High fat, protein, low carbs.  Well the science was there ( sort of ) but what was forgotten was the KIND of fats and protein.  That all those saturated fats, trans fatty acids (particularly in processed foods), polyunsaturates could kill a person..but not ALL fats are bad.  Some such as monosaturates and some unsaturated fats actually keep you healthy and help you to lose weight.  Organic extra virgin olive oil, canola and coconut oil are good examples.

Proteins should be lean and unprocessed such as chicken, lean beef, turkey and of course BUFFALO!! ( See my newsletter - Volume III - Issue 8 )

The simple story on carbohydrates is just this..the longer they take to digest and metabolize, the better they are because you won't get spike of insulin pouring into your bloodstream..therefore none of the negative effects of high insulin as mentioned above. 

Glycemic Index

Dr. David Jenkins and his team at the University of Toronto devised a scale to describe the speed and amount any food would increase your blood sugar and hence spike your insulin.  Obviously the lower glycemic index a food has the better.  The baseline is white bread with a score of 101 and is considered high and bad.  Ultimately you want to keep to the foods below 50..indulging in the others infrequently and not at all during the weight loss part of your programme.

The Leptin Story- Obesity and Fat Control:

In their book, The Rosedale Diet, Dr. Ron Rosedale and Carol Colman have, I believe, put the whole picture together. Due to the fact that obesity (even morbid obesity - "life threatening") and fat control is on a spiraling rise in North America, the UK and Europe, this book could not be more timely. The medical problems with child obesity are now of critical concern for the first time ever in history for today's youth.Insulin and leptin are both hormones..and hormones are chemicallmessengers that direct and orchestrate all your body's activities. These two in particular govern when you are hungry, when to stop eating, what your body should do with its glucose and it or burn it...and I know which one I'd rather have happening!!I've discussed insulin above.

Leptin on the other hand is a hormone, produced by your fat cells. It tells your brain when you should eat, how much and WHEN to stop. It also has other critical functions such as regulating blood circulation, preventing blood clots, enhancing new bone growth, regulating body temperature and reproduction. (Hence..women athletes who have too little body fat..produce next to no leptin and don't menstruate).Its not simply a matter of whether it should be low or high..but WHEN it is high or low. Fasting leptin (taken in the morning before breakfast - a simple blood test) should be low.

If its high..its not working right and your body is probably de-sensitized to it and responding incorrectly (As is the case for insulin)High fasting leptin indicates that your body will sabotage your weight loss efforts but also and possibly more critically, it means you are not aging well and the various health concerns mentioned above are likely to become a problem for you.Leptin is responsible for appetite control and fat storage..but not only also is very important in telling your liver what to do with its stored glucose.

Our cells are like the people of a country called "Your Body" and messages must get to the people so they can act for the greater good, together for the country in perfect harmony. Lepin is one of the "king pin" organizers of getting messages from your fat stores to your tell it how much energy is available and what should be done with it.

Leptin plays a HUGE role in the development or not of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, and in aging.High, poorly controlled leptin levels are very pro-inflammatory and plays a key role in other pro-inflammatory biochemicals manufacture - which leads to inflammatory disease such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.You know...leptin is so much more important to your heart health than cholesterol..yet very few practitioners know anything about it.

It seems there are no known drugs to manipulate there is no impetus for "Big Pharma" to study it..hence the lack of information to the typical medical physician. On the other hand, we in natural medicine are very excited about the research that has been done...knowing there is a way to help our patients. And the answer is choices...and YOU can do that!!

Its known that diabetics commonly suffer more from the "diseases of aging" more than most of the regular population. These would include: arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, and even Alhzeimer's types of dementia...and all at an earlier age than most. Leptin and its effect on glucose metabolism now appears to have a major role in this phenomena..which again makes it possible to deter this from happening in your life..if the proper dietary habits are followed.

Dr. Ron Rosedale explains this in great detail in his book "The Rosedale Diet" (above) which I HIGHLY recommend.

He goes on to explain how the "low fat, high carbohydrate" diet has failed. The "high fat, low carbohydrated diet" has failed. Although both have resulted in weight loss for many....when the person goes back to normal eating, the weight comes back on ...AND....these diet do not lead to improvement in health parameters which protect you from developing the "diseases of aging" !!!

Low Fat, High Carbohydrate Diet:

When it was discovered that there was a relationship between high cholesterol and heart disease, it was assumed that a low fat, high carbohydrate diet would be best to offset this..particularly with diabetics who seemed to suffer more from heart disease. Of course at that time leptin wasn't known, nor was the difference between "good fats" and "bad fats" or even the phenomena of desensitizing to insulin.

Hence there was a BIG push to put diabetics on this regime..and lo and behold...they did worse!...and were hungry all the time so couldn't keep to their diet plans.

They even developed more "fat" problems such as high triglycerides and abnormal lipid tests..and were on a "low fat" diet...go figure! Why? Because carbohydrates in ANY form other than fibre, converts ultimately to sugar..which stimulates leptin to cause you to either burn the sugar or store it...and NOT burn fat!

High Fat/Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diet:

So if the high carbohydrate approach doesn't work..what about high protein? Unfortunately, any protein your body doesn't immediately use to repair or make new cells gets converted guessed it...sugar!

And even worse..protein itself promotes the manufacture of insulin, which makes insulin resistance more of a problem, so is VERY counterproductive.

High "Good Fat" Diet - Insulin and Leptin Resistance Treatment

What Dr. Rosedale ultimately found is that a diet high in "good fats" ( monosaturated (olive oil) and omega 3) was the one! Patients literally "dropped" the extra weight and many diabetics could completely go off their medications....and they weren't hungry!

I would like to quote from Dr. Rosedale's book:

Good Bye Food Cravings...Hello Taste Buds....

When your cells can't "hear" leptin's messages, you will not only be hungry all the time, but you will crave sweets. Why? Leptin resistance desensitizes your taste buds to sugar. That means, the more sugary foods you eat, the less likely you are to discern a sweet taste, so you will need more and more high-sugar snacks to fell satisfied. Whereas once almonds, blueberries or cinnamon tea would tase sweet enough to be treats, you now require multiple sugar hits - cookies, cake, candy bars, soft drinks, or a pint of ice cream - before you feel you've had enough. Once leptin sensitivity is resotred and your taste buds shift into high gear, you will get much more pleasure from eating. You will rediscover the natural sweetness in food and will actually find that the supersweet snacks you once craved now taste sickeningly sweet.!!


Treating high blood sugar or high cholesterol is simply treating symptoms..not a "disease" and so obviously doesn't work because it is not getting to the route of the matter.

Leptin in a Nutshell:

Well, then you say.."Why not just give obese people supplementary leptin?"...

Nope..wrong. In fact what they have found is that most overweight/obese people actually have HIGH circulating leptin. Which means that the overweight are not low in the hormone..but like Type 2 diabetics, their bodies' cells are insensitive to their leptin, causing more and more to be secreted..which of course worsens the problem, because, as mentioned before, more leptin means it takes more and more food before your brain says you have had enough and more sugar cravings and more storage of fat, not buring of fat. The BIG deal here is that only fat cells makes your body makes more fat cells to make more leptin and the vicious cycle is set up!!

Carbohydrates are the worst food to fuel this that they cause a huge surge in leptin production. (breads, grains, cereals, pastas and starch vegetables (corn, potatoes). Remember they convert to sugars and given the choice, your body will burn sugar over your fat stores don't move. And what is worse is that the sugar you don't use from these foods is stored as heavy saturated fat which is even MORE resistance to burning.

What to do? Once you lower leptin levels and regain leptin sensitivity...then leptin can begin to do its job of turning off the hunger switch and turn on the fat burning switch.

That's just what the Rosedale Diet does!!!

Get this book!!


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