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9 Foods to Keep Slim on a Busy Schedule

The Ultimate Secret Women Should Know: Leptin

Is it possible to lose weight on a busy schedule?

Is it possible?

Imagine this: you're a mom with three kids and a jam packed schedule, or maybe you're a college student with barely any spare time to hit the gym. Let's face it, as women, we have a lot to maintain between responsibilities, appearance, a social life, and men. You may wonder, "Is it possible to lose weight with my lifestyle? Maybe I'm just too busy..." The answer may surprise you. Of course it's possible! It all has to do with one key hormone in your body that you can easily activate with these nine inexpensive foods.

The Secret

All women have a hormone in their body called leptin. It comes from the Greek word leptos meaning "thin or fine." Leptin is "the hormone of energy expenditure," mainly made by adipose (fat) cells to regulate the body's energy balance by decreasing the hunger hormone, ghrelin. It also helps to regulate things in women such as the thyroid, menstrual cycle, bone mass, metabolism, appetite, and energy level. Leptin increases the heart rate, activates immune cells, and decreases glucose-simulated insulin. It was first reported in 1994, by Jeffery M. Friedman. Some bodily functions that produce it include white and brown fat (adipose tissue), the placenta, ovaries, skeletal muscle, stomach, etc.

In order to work properly, leptin must be maintained in the energy balance cycle correctly (see graph below). In the average human body, leptin levels are supposed to be higher than ghrelin levels. This results in a higher catabolic level and a lower anabolic level, breaking down more molecules while decreasing the food intake at one time and weight gain. Subsequently, the amount of times a day that you eat will become more in order to keep ghrelin levels low. A healthy diet would consist of about six small meals a day, with snacks in between, around every two to three hours. Granted, all foods would have to be natural or unprocessed. The stomach is only about as big as your fist, hence the small meals. When done correctly, it maintains a steady energy level and promotes weight loss, keeping leptin levels high.

But what happens in an obese person's body? One of the things that raises leptin levels is obesity, along with sleep deprivation and short-term fasting. You would assume that high leptin means weight loss, right? Well, there's an interesting explanation. When studied, it was discovered that most obese people have a resistance to it, likened to type 2 diabetes. Either they make a lot or not enough. Both ways, leptin doesn't properly function since the body isn't accepting it. However, there are certain foods that can counteract this and bring back leptin levels to their normal state. It is also how you can lose weight, even if you aren't obese, but want to burn some extra pounds and improve your overall health. Whether you're a busy bee or not, these foods are common, inexpensive, and convenient. So, keep reading to find the ingredients to the new, slimmer you.

The Energy Balance

Credit: Wikipedia

9 Foods That Increase Leptin

1. Unprocessed Oatmeal

When made with milk, unprocessed oatmeal is a good metabolic stimulator, containing fat soluble fiber, and lowering cholesterol. You can flavor it with cinnamon to ease your taste buds.

2. Grapefruit

Eating a grapefruit after a meal can help lower insulin levels, helping the body process food more rapidly and effectively. This burns more calories and fat.

3. Hot Peppers

Peppers decrease leptin resistance and boost the metabolism. With or after a meal, they'll burn calories long after you've eaten and keep the pounds off.

4. Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt has a high content of protein and calcium, providing you energy and developing lean muscle. It also speeds up the metabolism and regulates digestion.

5. Green Tea

The caffeine in green tea speeds up your heart rate and metabolism. It also contains a substance called EGCG, which stimulates the nervous system and burns calories faster, decreasing leptin resistance.

6. Almonds

A small amount everyday can increase sensitivity to leptin and stimulate the metabolism. They also contain good fatty acids, proteins, dietary fibers, and zinc.

7. Eggs

These have tons of protein, which makes your body work harder to digest them. They also contain Vitamin B12, that breaks down fat cells. You have to be careful though, and limit your intake to two a day, as eggs are high in cholesterol. One egg has 187 mg and the recommended limit is 300 mg per day.

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil melts fat and keeps your cholesterol levels down. It also makes a great cooking alternative to vegetable or canola oil.

9. Apples

They are the best food source for pectin, which is said to fight leptin resistance. Sour apples and crab apples have the most abundance of it.

A Better, Easy Life

Now that you have a good list to start with, incorporate some of these in your day-to-day life and notice the difference. These are perfect for on-the-go snacks, and will benefit you greatly. As you just learned, weight loss is easy for you AND your lifestyle. So pick these things up today at your local grocery store and go get 'em! Take this secret to go unlock the better, healthier you!

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