Insider Secret #3: Diets Will Make You Fat? We need to Understand Hormones!
I want to introduce you to a hormone called Leptin.
Leptin is a hormone responsible for keeping you from starving yourself and to monitor how much fat you have on board to remain healthy.
Leptin communicates with the Hypothalamus gland, which is found in your brain. Your Hypothalamus gland then communicates with your Thyroid and tells it to either speed up or slow down. Depending on what is happening with our fat stores.
Lets look at two specific cases. And let me explain why dieting SUCKS and why most people fail.
For the ease of remembering how this works, I will give each hormone a title. We will use MR. (Disclaimer: hormones are not either a Mr, Miss or Mrs!)
Scenario #1: When someone embarks on a calorie restricted diet fat stores drop considerably.
MR Leptin then gives Mr Hypothalamus a call to let him know we have a problem. And we need to preserve fat to be used as energy when needed.
MR Hypothalums tells Mr Thyroid to slow down your metabolism and to increase your appetite. So we can return to normal as soon as possible.
The last thing our body wants when you are restricting calories is to have a fast metabolism and to feel hungry.
Your body simply switches into survival mode.
Remember your body does not know that you are on a fancy new diet, and that you would like to lose a few kilos and be a size 12.
Your body has one role only.
Now when the famine breaks and your new fancy diet is over.
This is why 90% of dieters regain all of their lost weight.
Your body feels like it has just been through a famine, and it doesn’t want to go through that process again.
Your fat stores are now crying out to be filled adequately. And so this process takes place.
So you guessed it.
Those extra new calories you start to consume are going to be stored straight into your fat stores as insurance in case this happens again..
As your fat stores get replenished, Mr Leptin will rise again and call Mr Hypothalamus, who calls Mr Thyroid so we can now normalise your metabolism and appetite.
Remember Mr Leptin is responsible for keeping you from starving yourself and to monitor how much fat you have on board to remain healthy. And that’s exactly what he has done.
You can’t outsmart Mr Leptin, he is as smart as Mr Google, he will always have an answer. (Round of applause for Mr Leptin)
This process has been referred to as the starvation defence system. As you go on and off diets, time and time again, your body can see a diet coming a mile away.
So when you eventually regain what was lost, it will store a little extra for some insurance in case this happens again. Making you fatter than when you first started.
You just need to look at the TV shows like the biggest loser for this to make sense.
Here is scenario #2: Which really displays how cool Mr Leptin can be if you treat him nicely.
Lets say on Saturday night I decide to eat a full family sized pizza and a litre of ice cream.
Que Mr Leptin.
Mr Letpin will see this and call Mr Hypothalums, who then tells Mr Thyroid to speed my metabolism and decrease my appetite, so that I can get my fat stores back to normal again.
This is why you do not need to cut out all your favourites when embarking on a body transformational journey.
The key is to know when to hold em and know when to fold em.
The word I will use here is MODERATION.
But when Mr Leptin is abused too many times, with constant pizza after pizza, and cake after cake and so on.
Mr Hypothalamus gets fed up with Mr Leptin ringing and he becomes Mr Leptin resistant. He isn’t answering the call!
This is a great time to use the “You Blocked Me On Facebook” song analogy.
My Hypothalums has blocked Mr Leptin…..
Enter the DANGER ZONE!
When the brain become Leptin resistant it thinks it is dealing with a thin person with low fat stores and low Leptin levels.
So what does it do?
Yes, you guessed it. It tells your metabolism to slow down and increase hunger.
A slow metabolism and increased appetite is the last things you want when you are already overeating.
Lets throw in another player.
When Mr Leptin is low or resistant. The hormone Mr Cortisol skyrockets.
Mr Cortisol is a catabolic fat storing, muscle wasting hormone. (He is not very good)
Reduced amounts of Mr Leptin also trigger a stomach hormone Mr Ghrelin.
Mr Ghrelin is responsible for increasing your appetite.
And to make matters worse Mr Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is also out on the hunt.
This hormone is responsible for the cravings of Carbohydrates CHO. (And not the good types of CHO). The type of CHO that drives up Mr Insulin.
Mr Insulin is the main hormone responsible for the accumulation of fat.
Sounds like a hormone party that you never want to attend.
Lets recap so you can gain a better understanding of exactly what happens.
You go on a calorie-restricted diet…. Then -
- Mr Leptin declines due to reduced fat stores, or when Mr Hypothalumus has had enough of the abuse of bad foods.
- Low levels of Mr Leptin inhibit Mr Thyroid from being able to keep your metabolism humming along. Therefore resulting in a slow metabolism.
- Low Levels of Mr Leptin will increase Mr Cortisol, which stores fat and burns muscle.
- Low Levels of Mr Leptin increases Mr NPY, which makes you crave bad CHO.
- Low levels of Mr Leptin will increase Mr Ghrelin, which increases your appetite, making you constantly hungry.
Then what happens?
- Your slow metabolism will decrease your energy levels. Stopping you from exercising (only because we feel lazy).
- You will also feel like eating for two or maybe three. And will begin to overeat.
- It’s at this stage you will admit defeat as you have failed your fat loss program.
- Due to the fact you have been restricting calories, your body will store the extra calories now consumed, as much needed collateral - in case you try and do this again.
- At some stage you will decide to embark on another wiz bang diet.
- Then you will be back to square one. The Yo Yo effect will take place.
This, my friends is why diets will make you fat.
The majority of diets are either.
- Based off hype and not scientific facts
- More of a marketing program than a nutritional one
- Down right ridiculous