In my last diet post I went through what leptin is, how it works and the effect it has on body composition. My reading and experimentation have now brought me to leptin resistance and how to restore leptin sensitivity. Very simply, leptin resistance is when the hormone isn’t working properly, causing the leptin receptors in the hypothalamus to down regulate or when something is blocking it from reaching the receptors.
How do I know if I’m leptin resistant?
I’m glad you asked. Dr Jack Kruse tells us that the easiest way is to look in the mirror. “If you’re overweight by more than 30 pounds then you will have some degree of leptin resistance”. What I also found interesting, is that you can be leptin resistant if you’re underweight by 20lbs too.
I currently weigh 68.2kg, I’m not sure that I would say I’m 13kg ‘overweight’ but by looking in the mirror I can clearly see that my body fat percentage is too high. Given my previous lack of results and considering all the other factors, I can safely assume that I am leptin resistant ‘to a degree’.
Dr Kruse does also suggest blood tests if you are in any doubt, specifically the Reverse T3 and HS CRP. I would have liked to get these for a complete picture and tracking purposes but unfortunately I have been unable to find a lab locally that offers these tests. He does suggest other blood tests but I have decided to proceed without on this occasion.
Getting in touch with your sensitive side
This is where these things tend to get complicated with weird schedules and food combinations but in this case it’s actually very simple. Here’s what you do:
- Follow a strict paleo diet.
- Eat breakfast immediately upon waking and in any case it must be within 30 minutes.
- Breakfast should consist of 50g–75g of protein.
- Little to no carbs throughout the day, the maximum allowed is 50g for the whole day.
- No snacking at all. Ever.
- No training before or directly after breakfast
- Allow 4–5 hours between dinner and bedtime
I’m kind of in a hurry, how long is this going to take?
Isn’t everyone? Dr Kruse’s answer is that for 68% of people it takes between 6–8 weeks depending on just how damaged your metabolism is and how willing you are to stick to the ‘rules’.
When do we start?
I actually started on the 12th March 2012 and although I hope I’m in that 68%, I plan on going for 12 weeks then evaluating.
As I couldn’t get the blood tests I wanted, I did have a DXA total body scan before I started so I do have some data to compare at the end of the period.