Leptin Diet: Pros, Cons, And What To Eat

Weight loss has become one of the biggest trending topics in recent decades, particularly due to the consistent rise in obesity. When comparing statistics from 1975 to the current rate of obesity, there is an increase that draws close to 300%. The World Health Organization (1) states that at least 650 million individuals are currently obese and an additional 39% of the global adult population are overweight.

When it comes to reducing body fat, there are several factors that play a role. While insulin is often a focus for many people, it is important not to overlook the role that leptin plays. This hormone plays a major part in the regulation of body weight.

Its functions can be reduced through leptin resistance, as well as poor lifestyle choices. This is why the Leptin Diet was developed, providing an effective protocol to help you improve leptin levels and make the hormone more efficient in your body.

What is Leptin?

Leptin is a natural hormone that is present in the human body. The hormone is quite unique, as it is produced by fat cells that are distributed through the body. Many people refer to leptin as a satiety hormone. When fat cells produce the leptin hormone, it targets the brain. In particular, the hormone moves toward the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that is known to play a role in satiety, hunger, and even cravings.

Leptin essentially sends a message of satiety to the brain. When there is a sufficient amount of fat in the body, the hormone tells the brain that no more food is necessary. The hormone also signals the brain that calories can be burnt normally without an immediate need for additional nutrition or food.

At a basic level, this means that the hormone has control over the number of calories you consume. If the hormone is unable to communicate effectively with the brain, then you won’t feel satisfied after a meal. This means you’ll still feel the need to feed your body – which makes it harder to lose weight.

Leptin does not only play a role in the regulation of satiety, however. Apart from its function to signal sufficient storage of body fat, it is important to realize other parts that this hormone has to play. The hormone has been found to be involved in fertility, as well as overall brain function. According to some studies (2), leptin also has an important part to play in maintaining a healthy immune system.

Leptin Resistance and Its Impact on the Body

In recent years, researchers have found (3) that leptin resistance may play a large part in the increasing number of people who are obese. Even when these individuals aim for weight loss, their ability to reduce their fat content can sometimes feel nearly impossible. This may be due to high leptin levels in the body, which ultimately results in the development of leptin resistance.

To better understand leptin resistance, we need to look at how it develops and why. As mentioned previously, leptin is a hormone released by fat cells. The more fat a person has stored in their body, the higher leptin levels will be. This is because leptin is released in proportion to the size of the individual. This eventually causes the hypothalamus to develop a resistance to the presence of leptin.

In this case, there are two major behavioral changes that you may experience. First, your brain is not getting the signal it needs to tell your body that it is no longer hungry. This results in higher consumption of food – which also increases the number of calories you obtain.

In addition to this effect, the brain also starts to reduce the amount of energy you exert. The leptin resistance causes the brain to slow down the metabolism, with the aim of conserving the energy that has been stored.

This means that an increase in eating and a reduced physical activity level may be related to leptin resistance. In this particular situation, weight loss would not be possible before this problem is effectively addressed.

What is the Leptin Diet?

The Leptin diet has been around for some time, but may not be as familiar compared to some of the other dieting options that people use to lose weight. It is important to note that leptin, the hormone, was only identified in the year 1994. Since this time, a significant amount of research has been done on the top – which led Byron J. Richards to develop a specialised diet that focuses on improving leptin sensitivity in the human body. Byron J. Richards is a clinical nutritionist that has been board-certified, as well as a professional businessman. He is also the owner of Wellness Resource, a company that focuses on the production of natural supplements.

The Leptin diet was created by Byron J. Richards to be used alongside the range of weight loss support supplements offered by Wellness Resources. The diet is relatively simple to follow. The basics of the diet have been made public, including the five main lifestyle changes that are needed to be successful with the program. This makes it easy for the average individual to gain access to the diet.

Is the Leptin Diet the Same As Keto?

One of the biggest focus points of the leptin diet includes a reduction in carbohydrate intake. This is a feature that is shared by some of the other popular diets out there as well, with a particular focus on the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet focuses on placing the body in a state of ketosis. This means the body stops using glucose as a way of fueling cells with a source of energy. Instead, the ketosis state rather results in fat being burnt to produce energy.

While both the leptin and the keto diet consist of lowered carbohydrate levels, it is important to note that they are not the same. To better understand how the two compare, we should really take a look at the macronutrient makeup in each of these diets.

With a ketogenic diet, your intake of carbs is significantly reduced, while you will be eating mostly healthy fats in your diet. The typical makeup of a keto diet consists of 60% fat, 30% protein, and 10% carbohydrates.

Even though the leptin diet also focuses on reducing the intake of carbs, it is important to note that the macronutrient makeup is different. With this particular diet, there is a larger focus on the consumption of protein, compared to fats and carbohydrates. When following a leptin diet, the macronutrient profile will look like this:

  • Protein: 40%
  • Fat: 30%
  • Carbohydrates: 30%

Does Leptin Come in Pill Form?

Due to the benefits that leptin provides, many people are looking to increase their intake of the hormone through a supplement. While there are supplements that help with weight loss, it is important to note that leptin as a hormone cannot be added to a pill.

The main reason for this is the fact that leptin is a type of digestible protein. The hormone does not actually enter the body’s blood circulatory system, but rather just communicates with the hypothalamus. Thus, if leptin is added to a pill, the body won’t be able to utilize it.

Benefits of the Leptin Diet

There are several benefits that you may gain should you choose to follow the leptin diet. One of the major advantages is the fact that the diet does not only focus on what you eat. In addition to providing guidelines on nutrients and meals, the diet also focuses on providing you with important lifestyle changes that you should make.

These lifestyle changes can be used to create long-term adjustments in your life. In turn, your ability to lose weight only forms one of the benefits offered by the leptin diet. By adopting all of the five essential factors in the program, you’ll be able to keep the weight off more effectively afterward.

By enhancing leptin sensitivity in your body, you may also experience a number of other benefits. This would result in improved satiety, which makes it easier to be in control of your own cravings. You’ll also be able to eat smaller portions at each meal, yet still, feel satisfied and gain the nutrients your body needs to function properly.

It is also important to take note of the roles that leptin plays in other parts of the body. Onestudyshows that leptin is involved with the survival of immune cells, as well as with cell proliferation. Leptin helps to increase the cytotoxicity of the NK cells, also called natural killer cells. The hormone also has a role to play in the activation of macrophages and granulocytes. These are all important parts of the immune system that help your body fight more effectively against invading pathogens.

Leptin Diet Drawbacks

While the leptin diet does hold promise, it is also important to consider any potential drawbacks or risks that you may face while following this type of program. First of all, note that there are restrictions on what you can eat, as well as how much and when. This can make the process of sticking to the diet difficult. If you constantly switch from this diet to others, it may adversely affect your leptin levels. If you usually eat large meals, it can also be difficult to suddenly adopt the smaller meal plans that come with the diet. You’ll rather split your meals throughout the day – this usually means eating three meals.

Additionally, the leptin diet may not be the best long-term solution. It has been found that long-term use of a diet that is high in protein may result in adverse effects – particularly when looking at kidney health.

What Do You Eat on the Leptin Diet?

A typical leptin diet plan focuses on changing your food intake, with a particular focus on your macronutrients. The calories you consume on a daily basis will consist of 40% protein, with the remaining 60% divided equally between fats and carbohydrates.

Fortunately, the diet is relatively versatile. You are able to structure your own meals, as long as you follow specific instructions that are offered in the program. There are also several meal plans and recipes available, which can make your life easier if you are not sure where to start.

There are five specific lifestyle habits that the leptin diet focuses on. By following these five, it becomes easier to adapt to the changes imposed by the diet. These include:

  • Breakfast becomes a priority and should consist of 20 grams to 30 grams of protein.
  • Your dinner is the last day of the meal, which means there is no snacking or eating after you had dinner. Your dinner should also not fall within a three hour window before you go to bed.
  • Three meals per day are sufficient to sustain your body. There is no snacking between each meal. You also need to ensure there is a window of at least five hours before eating the next meal.
  • You need to reduce the number of carbohydrates you consume, without eliminating carbs completely from your diet.
  • Portion control is a major part of the diet. You need to learn how to control the amount of food you eat. Avoid eating until you feel stuffy, but rather stop just before you notice that you feel full.

What Should You Avoid on the Leptin Diet?

While there are several meal options and foods that you can enjoy, you should also take note of specific factors that you need to avoid on this diet. You need to stop eating foods that are highly processed or filled with a lot of sugar. Instead of regular carbonated energy drinks, rather switch to a diet soda. A diet soda will usually be sweetened using artificial sweeteners, which contain fewer calories compared to real sugar.

It is also important to focus on specific elements that may adversely affect leptin sensitivity – and this does not only include your diet.

Here are a few important factors that you need to keep in mind when you are trying to make the most out of this diet:

  • A lack of physical activity has been linked to a higher risk of leptin resistance. If you do not exercise alongside the diet, your program may be less efficient in producing the results you expect.
  • If you fail to sleep enough or get quality sleep, then this is another potential reason for a reduced leptin sensitivity. Make time for sleep – you need at least seven hours of sleep each day.
  • If you have high triglyceride levels, then this makes the transport of leptin harder. Consider testing your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you have high levels, implement appropriate methods to regulate these substances in your body.


The leptin diet focuses on restoring the optimal function of this particular hormone in the human body. The leptin hormone plays a role in the regulation of body weight. While there are some similarities to the ketogenic diet, restoring functions of this hormone through the leptin diet may be a more efficient approach for people with leptin resistance. This may yield more successful and faster weight loss results.


  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight
  2. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413113002003
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23359004
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