The discovery of the hormone Leptin in 1994, changed our understanding of obesity and the most effective way to lose weight. It was found that slim people generally have a good response to Leptin and the messages it sends to the cells. Leptin works with the brain when we have enough fat in the body. It signals the brain when levels of fat are dangerous.
With staggering obesity levels in the UK - one of the highest in Europe - it is no wonder that more and more health professionals are becoming aware of this hormone's impact on our health and well-being.
When under stress, the body reverts to instinct. Thousands of years ago when we hunted for food, our stress levels naturally rose with the onset of winter. We would have to face a long, cold period with less food and sustenance. No wonder the body went on high alert.
At such times the stress we experienced led to 'leptin resistance'. In other words, the cells did not 'pay attention' to the leptin messages that were sent to the brain. We needed the extra fat to survive till the beginning of spring.
But today, even though our stressors are different: divorce, bereavement, unemployment etc., the body still creates 'leptin resistance'. And this usually leads to obesity.
Many studies have been done that show the power of visualisation to change behaviour as well as physiology. By using visualisation and guided imagery we can send different messages to the brain and retrain it to become 'leptin responsive.' By teaching the body how to handle stress, it will feel less driven and more responsive to the messages the Leptin hormone is sending.
Going on a diet may lead to temporary weight-loss, but if we work with the mind and its power, we find that we drop weight easily, often without following a strict regime. We naturally veer towards the foods that are better for us. The results are long-lasting because we have got to the root of the problem. And we have got there without stress and with peace of mind.
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Tara Guthrie-Knight BA(hons), DHP HPD MNCH(Lic)AFSFHMay 16th, 2017