3 Steps to eating like a king and burning heaps of FAT!

Leptin

So you’re into your diet for a good few weeks now, sticking to everything precisely. Your weight is dropping and results are showing. All of a sudden, next weigh in nothing changes. Have you ever been in this position, carb depleted and all?! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. When you’re having a good run of progress this tends to happen and it’s due to something so simple. Leptin.

This is a hormone has many functions but in terms of weight loss it acts as a savior to the bodies survival. When you’re in a caloric deficit with minimal or less carbs, your body thinks your dying or getting starved at the least. Doing this for long enough what happens is your leptin levels decrease which results in a halt of  fat burning. Since fat is a valuable source of energy, the body wants to keep it just in case this “starvation” goes on any longer. This is purely a survival mechanism. Through evolution humans have gone through times of starvation and famine. Even though you’re trying to get toned and lose weight, your body doesn’t know this.

So in short, leptin levels are controlled by the amount of fat your have on your body and the amount of calories you consume. If both of these are high, leptin levels will be high. Leptin levels being high means you’re able to burn more fat. The body will think food is in abundance and you’re not dying. If these levels are low, leptin levels will decrease as you lower your calories and drop body fat. So, we need leptin levels to be high to continue to burn fat.

 

How to keep leptin levels high!

So you need to let your body know your not dying and you're trying to lose fat. How do we do this? We introduce a re-feed meal also known as a cheat meal. What this does is it lets the body know that food is available and no, you're not dying. The idea behind this meals is to elevate calories high enough (typically over your daily expenditure) so that your body releases leptin. Doing this will allow us to continue to burn fat and boost metabolism. As you continue to stay in a deficit, leptin levels will lower again. And so the re-feed will be required again. Your re-feed will be weekly at minimum. This is not only a crucial meal to have in your diet but it's a must! You will not continue to burn fat without it. Best case if you don't, you stay in a caloric deficit and leptin levels continue to decrease. Metabolism slows and cortisol rises, in turn you hold onto belly fat! When you're body fat drop, so will your leptin levels which will require you to have more re-feed meals.

Having this re-feed will do many important things things:

  • Boost leptin levels to continue fat burn
  • Curb appetite (at least for the next couple of days)
  • Replenishes energy in muscles (glycogen in muscle cells)
  • Boost metabolism
  • Keep menstrual cycle regulated for women (this is only a concern at low body fat 14% and under)
  • Helps immunity
  • Keeps you sane and hopefully satisfied enough to continue another week

3 Steps to soaring Leptin levels!

  1. Pick your cheat day and time: Now lets say you have a get out jail free card, pick a time that makes sense. Something like going out on a Friday night with some friends, perfect! Go nuts, or should I say go carbs! Don't look like the weirdo as some may see you on your new restricted diet. Let loose.
  2. Make sure the meal is high fat and high carb: Studies show that high carbs and fats are the perfect cocktail for soaring leptin levels. As insulin levels rise higher than they have been in a week or more, a signal gets sent to the brain that food is in abundance. And fat burning gates open... Aka bring on the fat burn.
  3. Rinse and repeat: Do this weekly as needed. Try stick to the same day every week. Make sure that you stay true to your diet and make yourself deserve the cheat meal. It's normal to feel tired and low on energy.

When to introduce the re-feed?

You should be able to last a good two weeks starting your diet without a re-feed. If you still have energy and your results keep coming keep going. This means that your body is allowing you to burn fat so let it. If you think the results have stopped dramatically or you're so hungry you're going insane, this is when you can introduce your re-feed. As long as you deserve the re-feed, go for it. And, have fun! Make it count!

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