Leptin Resistance illustration

There is a condition we call “leptin resistance”.  In this condition your brain does not respond normally to the satiety signal, provided by leptin released from fat cells, when you have eaten – so you tend to overeat.  I am not sure how you correct this, but I suspect that a higher fat lower carbohydrate (Banting) diet, conscious under-eating for a period and fasting may be a good option for you to try.  There is good evidence that the persistently elevated insulin concentrations (hyperinsulinaemia) that occur in those with insulin resistance eating high carbohydrate diets, interferes with leptin’s satiating effects in the brain.  In this way hyperinsulinaemia promotes hunger and the overconsumption of calories.

So, I think the answer is to only eat when you are really hungry – eat slowly and stop the instant you don’t feel hungry.  Then try to eat again only in a 6-8 hour “window” followed by 16 hours in which you do not eat. This is now termed intermittent fasting.


Written by Prof Timothy Noakes OMS

MBChB, MD, DSc, PhD(hc), FACSM, (hon) FFSEM (UK), (hon) FFSEM (Ire)

April 2019

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