Written by: Drew Canole
Do you feel like one of those people who loses 20-30 pounds (and you worked your butt off to do it - literally), only to have the weight come back (with a vengeance) within a year? Maybe even less!
If you answered yes, then you’re not alone. Turns out 65% of dieters who lose weight rapidly gain it back within a few years .
A rather grim statistic!
My purpose here is not to make you depressed or tell you to throw in the towel. There is a REASON the majority of people are unable to maintain their weight loss goals . Luckily, there is also a reasonable SOLUTION to keep this from happening to you!
Let me explain to you WHY 65% (or more) of you are losing weight and gaining it back over and over again.
Meet Leptin And Ghrelin - The Hormones Controlling Your Hunger
Let’s get the facts straight: you have an absolutely amazing body. Your body is doing millions of things every day to keep you functioning, balanced and alive!
Your body creates the hormones LEPTIN and GHRELIN to create appetite, or the lack thereof. They decide when you’re feeling hungry or satisfied based on what will maintain homeostasis for your body over the long term.
Leptin in particular is most concerned with how much fat you have and if it is enough for you to survive on. Ghrelin is more concerned with whether or not you are hungry right now.
These hormones don’t react well to “crash dieting” or sudden changes in lifestyle every few months because these throw off homeostasis and cause your hormones to go wonky, doing crazy things with your body (weight gain, insane cravings, mood swings, insomnia, fatigue, just to name a few). Often the exact opposite of what your goals are!
This is why when you go on diets or start a sudden lifestyle change - it feels like you are fighting yourself every step of the way. The kitchen becomes a freaking battle ground.
How Leptin And Ghrelin Work
It’s fairly simple; leptin is responsible for decreasing hunger and ghrelin is responsible for increasing hunger. Both hormones respond to how “well-fed” you are.
Both hormones also affect both the body and the brain.
What happens when something throws off these hormones and they aren’t functioning properly?
Obesity’s Biggest Obstacle: Leptin Resistance
The amount of fat you have seems to correlate with how much leptin you produce. When you have a certain number of fat cells, leptin is created and sent to the hypothalamus to tell it that there is enough fat in the body so we don’t need to eat as much. So in theory, more fat = less hunger (the right kind of). Fat does NOT make you fat. Sugar does.
With this logic you would assume that people who are fat would have lots of leptin and a small appetite and lose weight naturally and easily. However, obesity (too much fat) seems to cause a problem where some people become resistant to leptin. 
Basically, you will have a lot of fat cells making a lot of leptin and sending it to your brain, but your brain ignores it (or can’t hear it). Despite the leptin being sent to the brain to alert it of your sufficient fat stores, your appetite remains the same and your metabolism doesn’t increase.
In some cases, your brain might even assume you’re starving, because it can’t process the leptin and assumes there isn’t enough. So instead of a decrease in appetite, you experience an increase.
It is actually quite similar to insulin resistance, where your body becomes unable to listen to the signals of insulin because there’s too much sugar/simple carbs triggering insulin to the point where the body just starts ignoring it.
Not surprisingly, insulin and leptin resistance often occur in the same people. 
Basically, when you experience a significant amount of weight gain, you are likely to develop leptin resistance and start a vicious cycle of increased appetite, crazy cravings and an extremely difficult time losing weight.
I know. Not fair. Not even a little.
Diet’s Worst Energy: Ghrelin Imbalance
Ghrelin is produced by the stomach when it’s empty. It is the highest when you haven’t eaten for several hours and the lowest just after a meal.
Ghrelin is sensitive to changes in your usual routine. Remember, your body is constantly striving to MAINTAIN HOMEOSTASIS (balance). When you try to change things up, it freaks out a little. When you are trying to lose fat, for example, your body will start shifting hormone levels to make you HUNGRIER so that you will eat like you did before.
Thus, helloooo CRAVINGS. Those moments during a diet when you are suddenly STARVING and even the thought of a doughnut or a giant pizza gets your mouth watering and sends you into a frenzy.
This Is Your Problem:
So imagine this…
You weigh 250 pounds and have weighed that much for long enough that is has become your body’s homeostasis (natural balance). You then successfully lose 100 pounds over the course of a year or so. You look great… maybe feel great for a while… but your hormones are still acting like you should weigh 250 pounds! 
In other words, although you now only weigh 150 pounds, you WANT to eat like you are still 250 pounds!
So the weight slowly creeps back on… and you end up back where you started… or maybe even worse.
Is There A Solution?
What can you do to help your body LOSE weight and also RESET the hormones to stop making you feel so hungry? How can you teach your body to keep the weight off for good?
We’ve found a few evidence-based solutions. You ready for this?
#1, Increase Protein Intake
There seems to be better hormonal balance in those who lose weight and focus on a high-protein, high-fat and low-carb diet. 
Protein appears to help decrease the body’s natural appetite, helping you feel full for longer periods of time and delaying the production of ghrelin.
Protein also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. 
So if you are losing a lot of weight, focusing on eating more protein can help to “reset” your ghrelin levels and keep your cravings under control.
What does your breakfast look like? Unfortunately, a typical american breakfast contains a large percentage or carbs, but not a lot of healthy fats and protein.
Studies have found that eating a high-protein breakfast prevents body fat gain by decreasing hunger throughout the rest of the day. 
Lucky for you, we have spent the last year creating the most delicious, nutritious and top-notch protein supplement on the market! It’s organic, vegan, gluten-free and creamy as ice cream. Not only that, but it doubles as a multi-vitamin. I’m not joking! Check out Organifi Complete Protein here.
#2. Take Fish Oil
Research has found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are linked to decreased appetite. 
#3. Get More Sleep
Sleep has a powerful influence over your hormones and too little sleep will really throw them off kilter. Studies have found that lack of sleep is linked to increased ghrelin levels (you’ll feel hungry when you’re really just tired) as well as disrupted glucose and insulin metabolism. 
Recipe: Gluten-Free Chocolate Protein Pancakes
- 1 ripe banana
- 3 eggs
- 2 scoops chocolate Complete Protein
- Handful of dark chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions:1. Mash up the banana in a bowl. Add the eggs and protein powder and stir together thoroughly. You can also just throw all the ingredients into a blender for this step!
2. Heat small amount of coconut oil or grass-fed butter in a skillet on medium heat. Pour batter into desired sized pancakes. If desired, put a few chocolate chips onto the pancake. Flip once bubbles begin to appear on surface.
3. Serve plain or with honey, maple syrup, strawberries, homemade jam, peanut butter, etc.
The Bottom Line
Your body is quite incredible and complex. There are not a lot of quick-fixes when it comes to improving your health, but the answers are within your reach. Be willing to focus on LONG-TERM LIFESTYLE changes. You are already on the right path by doing your own research and by being on this website!
There is a lot of information out there and a lot of people trying to tell you how to eat, how to exercise and how to lose weight. It can seem confusing and maybe even overwhelming.
What matters the most is that YOU feel in control of your health and wellness. If something isn’t clicking with you and really helping you become the best person you can be, then it probably isn’t the right answer.
Remember, we’re in this together!
- Woods SC. The control of food intake: behavioral versus molecular perspectives. Cell Metab. 2009 Jun;9(6):489-98. Review.
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- Wycherley TP, Noakes M, Clifton PM, Cleanthous X, Keogh JB, Brinkworth GD. A high-protein diet with resistance exercise training improves weight loss and body composition in overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2010 May;33(5):969-76. Epub 2010 Feb 11.
- Ramel A, Martinéz A, Kiely M, Morais G, Bandarra NM, Thorsdottir I. Beneficial effects of long-chain n-3 fatty acids included in an energy-restricted diet on insulin resistance in overweight and obese European young adults.Diabetologia. 2008 Jul;51(7):1261-8. Epub 2008 May 20.
- Pejovic S, Vgontzas AN, Basta M, Tsaoussoglou M, Zoumakis E, Vgontzas A, Bixler EO, Chrousos GP. Leptin and hunger levels in young healthy adults after one night of sleep loss. J Sleep Res. 2010 Dec;19(4):552-8
- Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index. 2004. PLoS Med 1(3):e62
About The Author
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.