LEPTIN RESISTANCE AFTER DIETING/ IN EATING DISORDER RECOVERY

.

Are you suffering from uncontrollable hunger and appetite?”

Do you feel that you could eat massive amounts of food and never feel satisfied?”

.

This is what happens after a period of dieting, a history of an eating disorder, or even after a period of over exercising.

.

The reason for it is our hormone Leptin. Leptin is a hormone produced in the fat stores of our body. Its main job is to signal our brain when we’re full, triggering us to stop eating. Leptin also supports our metabolism by encouraging it to work efficiently.

.

.

Leptin travels through our blood via our circulatory system, to the appetite center in our brain. 

.

.

There, it binds to the receptors that are responsible for making us feel hungry. This helps to drop our appetite, curbing our desire to eat. Leptin also travels through our nervous system, stimulating fatty tissue to burn off fat and calories. 

.

.

If too much leptin builds up in our blood, we may develop leptin resistance. When this occurs, the leptin in our body no longer does its job effectively; resulting in weight gain caused by an uncontrollable hunger and appetite.

.

.

The problem with dieting is once we start restricting our calories or cut out specific food groups (such as restricting carbohydrates), our leptin level drops. The longer we stay on a diet, the probability rises of a resistance to leptin. The thing with leptin resistance is that it is hard to reverse and usually takes time to repair our disrupted hormones. 

.

.

When we stop dieting and start eating more calories, our hunger signals are completely out of whack since our leptin is not able to work properly. This leads us to uncontrollable binges and weight gain after dieting, over exercising, or an eating disorder.

.

.

Youtube Video for Extreme Hunger after Dieting / in Eating Disorder Recovery.

.

6 Responses

    1. Hi and thank you for your comment.

      Well, yes there is medication available for increasing your leptin level. These supplements actually don’t contain leptin hormones themselves but they contain ingredients that shall help to produce more leptin hormones.

      However, by taking those supplements it is not guaranteed that leptin resistance can be reversed as the main problem is not specifically the low leptin level, it is the disturbed communication between the brain and the leptin hormones which leads to our body’s not using leptin hormones efficiently. This in return leads to a low level of leptin.

      I would always recommend trying to reverse leptin resistance in a natural way with the right nutrition and turning your back on extreme dieting and calorie restriction.

      I hope that helps you. If you have any further questions, you’re very welcome to ask.

      All the best
      Christina

      1. Thank you for your response….
        I am in a complicated situation right now, that’s why I was asking.

        I recovered from dieting, being underweight and HA, and got my period back. Everything was awesome! 2 months later, I went on holiday and long story short I unconsciously ate less and ended up losing 4-5 pounds…..my period didn’t come anymore…..but in terms of hunger, everything was quite ok. I maintained that weight, but 2 months later I started being a bit hungrier ….so I started eating more. But I would eat and eat and eat and the hunger wouldn’t stop! It wasn’t painful or anything, I just couldn’t feel satisfied. I was eating even more than when I was extremely underweight, during my first recovery. Even back then I could feel full at some point. I was gaining weight extremely quickly. In 2 weeks I put back on what I had lost…..and still, I could not get to that point of “comfortably full”. I wasn’t ravenously hungry, just not satisfied.

        It was too much for me…so I decided to take a break from recovery. For a month, I quite maintained. The hunger hasn’t been such a big issue. I still wasn’t satisfied, but not hungry. But the last week, hunger kicked back in. I will try and eat more….although I am really scared because I feel like no matter how much I eat, I ‘m still not satisfied, so what’s the difference anyway? I am so scared I will become overweight because right now I am already at the weight at which my previous recovery stopped. And still no period. I suppose this would have been my set point if I wouldn’t have lost that 4-5 lbs 3 months ago.

        I am so scared because I can’t feel satisfied…I am scared I will become overweight and still not able to feel full.

        So that’s why I asked about leptin, because I think I have very low leptin levels.

        I have done some research and found out that the loss if period also happens because of hypoleptinemia (which perfectly makes sense) and I found some studies that leptin replacement can cure hypothalamic amenorheea, rebalance other hormone deficies, and contribute to bone mass gain. So I thought that if artificial leptin could be found, it would be a win-win because I would solve my issue with hunger, and also reverse my amenorrhea

        1. Hi Louise,

          I understand your concerns. The thing is, once you stop your recovery and go back to restriction no matter if it is happening consciously or unconsciously, you will immediately lower your hormones and metabolism again. In every new recovery attempt your body will gain more weight as your body remembers your previous starvation periods and therefore wants to protect itself. In my own recovery I relapsed several times and went back to restricting calories and every time I started a new recovery attempt my hunger increased even more as well as my weight gain. In my first recovery I only gained 10 pounds (I didn’t start recovery by being underweight), in my second recovery I gained 20 pounds and in my last and third recovery I gained 40+ pounds although I wasn’t so extremely restricting as before my first recovery attempt.

          This is because our metabolism has some kind of a “starvation memory”. This is due to our body’s survival mode as starvation threatens our health and our body wants to prevent us from starvation death. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend you to go back and forward between recovery and restriction too often as this will disrupt your hormonal balance and damage your metabolism more and more.

          The problem that you describe, that you are not hungry but you never feel satisfied. This can be for many reasons, but the 2 important reasons are:
          1) your mental health and 2) the food you eat.
          1) Your mental health: What I see in many of my clients is that they recover physically (they eat enough food) but they still remain in a “mental starvation”. Which basically means that they are still afraid of eating food, gaining weight and don’t like their bodies etc. I really hav to emphasize that our mind plays a very very important part in our eating behavior. That being said, the more you worry about your weight gain, how much you eat and how uncomfortable you feel in your body, the more your stress hormones (Cortisol) will increase and that will eventually make you eat more.
          2) The food you eat: If I may ask you, what kind of foods are you eating? It can also be that your problem is a nutritional problem. If your body doesn’t get the proper nutrients it needs, it will long for more and more food as you have some deficiencies. It can also be that your body doesn’t produce enough stomach acid (which happens after food restriction) and therefore is not able to absorb nutrients properly.

          Of course, your hormones are tremendously important when it comes to hunger and your eating behavior and even gaining/losing weight. Have you done a blood test and checked your hormone levels?
          By taking leptin supplements you will cover the surface of your problem but not the root. Because once you stop taking the supplements your levels will automatically go down again as you don’t address the root cause – which is how your body produces and uses its hormones. Artificial medication will only solve this problem temporary but not forever unless you take them forever.

          All the best,
          Christina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *