New Castle News

January 16, 2014

Lori Brothers: Tell your body to quit storing fat — and start burning it

Lori Brothers
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — I just found out how to make your body become a fat-burning machine.

It may require a major “flip of a switch” in your brain. This can take some determination and persistence.

There is a hormone called leptin that was discovered in the mid-1990s. Leptin is a natural regulator of body weight because it is the substance that tells the brain that the body is well nourished and it’s time to stop eating. Both men and women have this chemical in their bodies. Women actually have two times the amount leptin in their systems than men.

You would think there’s an advantage for woman to have two times more of an agent telling her body to burn fat. Unfortunately, too much leptin in your body creates leptin resistance.

Researchers have uncovered one of nature’s cruel tricks. An overabundance of leptin cuts off the communication of leptin to the brain. The results create urges to eat, cravings and fat storage, instead of fat burn.

Reports show that accumulating fat will actually produce more leptin, creating a vicious cycle of weight gain, while disconnecting the hormonal communication to burn fat. This holds true for both men and women. However, women are already predisposed to the condition.

According to Health Information Directory, leptin resistance is associated with the inability to lose weight and is characterized by excess abdominal fat. This has been discovered to be a chronic inflammatory condition that increases the risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, strokes and dementia, obesity, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases and reproductive disorders.

If you find yourself feeling hungry, even when you know you should feel full, and fat stores keep accumulating, you may be leptin resistant. The good news is if you can reset the brain to register leptin levels in your body, you can begin to burn fat.

“In humans, it’s a little-known fact that leptin resistance precedes the development of obesity, insulin resistance, and impaired glucose tolerance,” said Dr. Stephen Guyenet writes at

“There’s something about the modern lifestyle that causes leptin resistance. As usual, my microscope is pointed directly at industrial food.”

This suggests that when you are intending to re-set your leptin receptors, besides a healthy exercise plan and stress management, you must eliminate as much refined and packaged foods from your diet as you can. All fast foods, sugars, simple carbs and junk foods should be avoided. Eat more raw and fresh foods to work toward flipping that switch.

Lifestyle changes have been clinically proven to eliminate the hormonal havoc that is causing weight-gain and weight-retention. To reverse your own body’s wish to sabotage your efforts at weight control, there are key foods that can unlock the connection between leptin and the brain’s signal to burn fat.

Make sure, if you are not going vegetarian, that you eat only lean meats. One of the best animal products to trigger leptin sensitivity is fish, because of the large amounts of essential fatty acids. Include salmon, cod, halibut and tuna regularly in your diet, or take a fish oil supplement.

Try to get more protein and fiber from beans and legumes into your diet daily.

Raw veggies are also food that carries leptin communication triggers, especially celery and spirulina. If your digestion is sensitive to raw veggies, eat them steamed. Eat flax seed, and walnuts. Include brown rice and other whole grains in your daily diet.

“The hardest part of overcoming leptin resistance is that you go through the rigors of exercise and the self-discipline of a healthy diet without any encouragement from your body,” said eHow contributor Joshua Roberts.

Roberts suggests working with a trainer or accountability partner. This will help you move beyond cravings and stick to a consistent exercise program until you reach a healthy weight. The research shows only then, when you reach a healthy weight, will your leptin resistance stabilize.


Baked Halibut Steaks

Lightly spray non-fat spray on a medium baking dish. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat, and stir in zucchini, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Remove saucepan from heat, mix in tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.

Arrange halibut steaks in single layer in prepared baking dish. Spoon equal amounts of the zucchini mixture over each steak. Top with feta cheese

Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes.