When your hormones are unbalanced, losing weight (sustainably) is literally impossible.
It all starts with imbalanced blood sugar levels and the impact this has on our insulin production/response.
A standard Western diet of sugar, gluten-containing grains, processed foods, simple carb overload etc leads to a constant spike of blood sugar, which HAS to be accompanied by a constant spike of insulin.
Repeated blood sugar spikes, leads to repeated insulin spikes…not good.
Your body rapidly gets desensitized to this – and each time there is a blood sugar spike you need more and more insulin just to cope.
When this is repeated – the outcome is called insulin resistance.
And if you need to lose weight – this is a disaster.
Let me introduce the hormone known as leptin.
Leptin is the hormone in your body that tells you when you’re hungry. Lots of leptin, and you don’t feel so hungry. No leptin and you ALWAYS feel hungry.
However, it’s not quite as simple as trying to ‘get more leptin’.
This is the news that broke the heart of the pharmaceutical industry in the late ’90s when leptin was first discovered. ‘HOORAY – we can invent leptin pills – we have the ultimate weight loss drug!’
Well, not so simple.
You see, and I need you to concentrate here – this is important – it is not the AMOUNT of leptin that is IN the body.
IT IS THE AMOUNT OF LEPTIN YOUR BRAIN RECOGNISES
As it turns out, in studies looking at the effects of leptin, researchers found that in overweight and obese subjects there was actually a GREATER amount of leptin circulating in their body compared to others – BUT – their brain was not able to recognize it was there.
No leptin pills then.
Having constantly high blood sugar spikes, and thus high levels of insulin actually block the part of the brain that recognizes leptin.
And just like insulin resistance – this situation is called leptin resistance…
In order to recognize leptin, we need to control our blood sugar…
And this smoothie is a MASSIVE WIN towards doing that.
[Note: I’ll be writing to you about leptin’s next-door-neighbor – ghrelin – in a few days. Those who are overweight or struggle to lose weight ALWAYS have zero leptin and massive ghrelin – meaning you’re always hungry and never feel full. Not a good combination – lookout for that post very soon].
This is a recipe I’ve been working on for a while, and I hope you absolutely love it.
And if you are trying to lose weight – I hope this really helps you move forward toward your goals.
Leptin Balancing Smoothie
350ml unsweetened almond or coconut milk
150ml filtered water
A handful of almonds, soaked overnight* (or for minimum 2 hours)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp cashew butter
1/2 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger OR 1cm fresh ginger, grated
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 scoop of plant-based protein powder
Rinse the soaked almonds, add to the blender with the nut milk and water, blend until they’re smooth, and then add the remaining ingredients.
If you’re using protein powder, I recommend a plant-based product – and if you’re on a weight loss journey, adding a little protein to this smoothie is certainly not a bad idea.
Serve as is, or over ice. It’s REALLY delicious!
*for the almonds, if you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix or Nutribullet you can throw them in as they are, but if you have a ‘regular’ blender I definitely recommend soaking them first.
[Note: If you’re not strictly watching the sugar intake, you can add a teaspoon of rice malt syrup per serve.]