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Leptin (often referred to as the fullness hormone) activates signaling pathways which tell
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The mid-winter bulges and blahs. From the holiday treats that you want to burn off, to the frosty weather that keeps you indoors, chances are everything has conspired lately to make you feel
heavier and sluggish at times.

Now it’s time to turn the tables and make things work in your favor, to help you improve your mood, gain energy and lose weight.

As I will explain, it’s about the remarkable weight-loss hormone called leptin. And so you can get started right away, I have included plenty of links for free recipes, resources and more information.

If you have tried restrictive diets but failed to make the scale budge, you know there is more to the weight-loss equation than calories taken in minus calories used.

Chances are your weight problem is not a matter of will or discipline, but a hormonal imbalance. While many still think that losing weight is simply about willpower, eating less and exercising more,
the latest research on obesity indicates the problem is far more complex, involving many factors.

One key area of obesity research focuses on how the hormone leptin influences the body’s ability to shed excess pounds. What could a hormone have to do with weight loss?

According to the latest research, leptin plays an important role in appetite control, metabolism and weight loss. It is your body’s natural weight control mechanism. And the great thing about leptin
is that it is produced naturally in the body.

Leptin Regulates Metabolism And Appetite
It lets your brain know how much fat is in your body. As leptin levels rise, your appetite diminishes. As leptin levels fall, your appetite increases.
It regulates the rate of fat breakdown. As leptin levels rise, your metabolic rate increases. As leptin levels fall, your metabolism slows.
The number of calories you burn is regulated by thermogenesis, a process in which the body makes heat, mainly in the muscles. According to recent research from Monash University in Australia,
the hormone leptin can substantially increase thermogenesis, helping to burn fat.

Leptin Resistance
The body doesn’t always listen to the leptin message and leptin resistance occurs. The leptin signal isn’t being heard, so it cannot stimulate your metabolism or suppress your appetite. Leptin
resistance can make losing weight very difficult if not impossible.

What causes leptin resistance? The typical modern lifestyle contributes to leptin resistance; fast food, little or no exercise, too much stress and not enough sleep. Read my article The Standard
American Diet (SAD) to learn more about the alternative to the typical lifestyle.

For example of what can impact leptin, research done at the Laval University in Quebec found that 7-8 hours of sleep each night, on average, was associated with relatively higher levels of leptin. In
contrast, getting less sleep meant lower levels of leptin and higher body mass index in the study.

Making Leptin Work So You Can Lose Weight
Unfortunately most doctors aren’t yet fully aware of leptin resistance, or the way to combat it with nutrition and lifestyle.

But my experience practicing nutritional medicine and my exploration of the scientific research provided me with unique insights into how to make leptin work and help people lose weight.

So I put this knowledge together and created a breakthrough program in my book The Fat Resistance Diet.”

The goal of my program is to make leptin work properly and help you lose weight. It includes changes such as switching to a healthy eating plan with recipes that feature a combination of
inflammation-fighting foods, getting enough sleep and reducing stress.

Using the nutritional guidelines I provided, my son Jonathan Galland created meal plans and recipes with flavors inspired by his time living in Italy and Japan. We have been very gratified by the
enthusiastic response from our readers about the food. Try the free one day meal plan with recipes at my website.

Once you make this change — adding the right fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and protein sources, and cutting back on sugar and unhealthy fats — you’ll notice a remarkable change. Not
only will you feel better and look better and find the pounds dropping almost effortlessly, but you’ll also stop craving unhealthy foods.

Increase Your Resting Metabolic Rate
It’s well known that exercise burns calories. In addition, regular exercise stimulates the activity of fat-burning enzymes. The exciting news is that the hormone leptin also stimulates these enzymes,
which can increase your metabolic rate even when you’re not exercising. This is important because for most people, the resting metabolic rate accounts for two-thirds of the total number of calories
they burn each day.

Five Steps To Increasing Metabolism:
1. Maximize flavor and nutrition. Choose food that give you the most flavor and nutritional value for the calories you consume. These foods are rich in one or more of the dietary elements that help
your metabolism such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Foods with appetite-satisfying flavor and lots of nutrition top our list, such as blueberries, tomatoes,
ginger, onions and fresh herbs.

Get a selection of my favorites here List of Healthy Food Choices.

2. Benefit from Omega-3 Oils. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are essential to the healthy functioning of the body and brain. Omega-3s help heal inflammation as well as promoting a wide range of
cellular activities, and improving or preventing depression, Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders. Plant sources of Omega-3s include: ground flax seed, walnuts, and beans — especially navy,
kidney and soy. Animal sources include fish, especially oily cold-water fish such as salmon or tuna.

3. Up Your Fruit and Veg Servings to 9 or 10 a Day. Find delicious ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal. Choose those fruits and vegetables with deep colors and intense flavors
that reflect their high content of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, like carotenoids and flavonoids. The deepest red and blue flavonoids belong to a subgroup called anthocyanins, found in the
jewel-like colors of blueberries, cherries and pomegranates.

4. Skip the Artificial Sweeteners. The use of artificial flavors and sweeteners deprives you of the potent anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in herbs, spices and naturally sweet fruits. Studies
show that artificial sweeteners interfere with weight loss. So steer clear of these sugar substitutes and enjoy fruit, fruit juice and fruit concentrates for their flavor and nutrition. A recent editorial in
the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) also raised concerns about the use of artificial sweeteners. See more in my article “Artificial Sweeteners, Not So Sweet.”

5. Enjoy Healthy Snacks and Desserts. Snacks satisfy hunger, and desserts add fun and satisfaction to a meal. Indulge, but in healthy choices only. Enjoy delicious snacks such as crunchy walnuts or
almonds, and dessert treats made from fruit and yogurt that will excite your palate while keeping you satisfied.

In addition to weight loss, the important role that the leptin hormone plays in maintaining health is still being discovered. For a look at leptin and the brain, read my article: “Leptin Fights Alzheimer’
s Disease.”

Leo Galland, M.D.
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The name of the satiety hormone leptin originates from the Greek word leptos meaning thin. Leptin hormone is made up of adipose cells and its function is to control energy levels by
inhibiting hunger (1).

The "hunger hormone" or ghrelin opposes actions of leptin. Both of these hunger hormones exert their effect on hypothalamus through receptors in arcuate nucleus to regulate hunger to
attain energy homeostasis (2).

During obesity, sensitivity to leptin is decreased, as a result satiety is not detected in spite of presence of high energy stores (3).

Functions

Even though regulation of energy levels is deemed to be the principal function of leptin, it also has a role in other physiological processes, because it is produced at multiple sites other than fat
cells, and other cells types besides hypothalamic cells (1).

Leptin is a complicated hormone that aids in controlling food intake and body mass. A portion of your brain controls leptin concentration in juxtaposition to your body fat weight (4).

As leptin curbs appetite, it may seem advantageous to elevate your level. However, things are more complex than that.

Low leptin levels in blood are in fact allied with a healthy body weight.

The more leptin you have in blood, the more important the leptin resistance tends to be.

So the target is not to increase leptin in your blood but to consume foods that perk up leptin sensitivity so that your body reacts better to its signal.

This hormone transmits information to your brain that you have adequate energy stored in your adipose or fat cells required to carry out daily activities and metabolic processes.

Therefore when leptin levels reach a particular threshold - for every individual, the threshold is probably genetically predetermined - when your leptin level crosses that threshold, your brain
knows that you have ample energy stores, which means you can consume energy at a regular pace, eat normal amount of food and engage in physical activities.

But when you are on a diet, your food intake is decreased and your fat cells lose some fat, which then lowers the amount of leptin hormone being produced.

Let us suppose you starve, let's say your energy intake has decreased and you have lost weight.

Your leptin hormone level sinks below your personal leptin threshold. When this happens, your brain senses starvation. This scenario can take place at any leptin level, depending on what your
leptin threshold is.

Then multiple processes commence inside your body to raise leptin levels back up. One such process includes stimulation of the vagus nerve, which has a course between abdomen and brain.

The vagus nerve is also known as energy storage nerve. When the vagus nerve is activated, you get hungrier. Each action of the vagus nerve is fashioned to make you ingest extra food and
energy and store it up in your fat cells.

It increases hunger and makes you eat so that you can get your leptin back to where it belongs and reestablish a leptin threshold.

Scientists have as of yet not gained full knowledge regarding mechanisms by which this hormone regulates energy levels, but they do know that leptin curbs effects of an appetite-enhancing
hormone known as neuropetide Y (5, 6, 7).

Leptin also speeds up metabolism to help regulate body mass and weight. This hormone is secreted from adipose cells, and its levels are associated with body fat percentage.

When body fat levels decrease, leptin levels also decreasecorrespondingly and appetite is stimulated; when body fat levels rise, the opposite process occurs. In this way it helps your body
maintain healthy weight.
Insulin and leptin work together

Insulin is a hormone that functions to regulate blood sugar levels.

It teams up with leptin to metabolism and food intake, according to an article that appeared in the Endocrinology journal (8).

Whenever you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal, your blood sugar increases and signals your pancreas to release insulin.

The presence of insulin in the bloodstream fires up neuronal pathways in the brain that indicate your body to lower food intake.

According to the writers of this article, leptin and insulin have a conjoined effect where suppressing appetite is concerned, and these two hormones act together in the brain to diminish food
intake.

Foods that increase leptin sensitivity (decrease leptin resistance)

1. Oatmeal

Eating unprocessed oatmeal is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism and decrease leptin resistance (9).

Oatmeal is a low glycemic carb and it decreases insulin levels and is rich in fibre (10).
A brilliant breakfast food, oatmeal also lowers cholesterol and reduces the danger of heart disease, which is a serious problem for overweight or obese people.

This wonder food has abundant amount of fat soluble fiber, which needs a lot of calories to metabolize.

Pick out wholegrain, rolled oatmeal that is unsweetened and free of any additives.

Prepare the oatmeal with milk, to supplement calcium, itself acting as a good metabolic stimulator.

The complex carbohydrates help lower insulin levels, which decrease the amount of fat that your body has. You can make your oatmeal taste even better by adding a dash of cinnamon that will
help stabilize blood sugar levels and even satisfy your appetite.

2. Grapefruit

Experiments have shown that eating grapefruit can lower insulin levels (11).

Reduced insulin levels after meals can facilitate your body process food more rapidly and effectively.

This results in burning of more calories and storage of more fat.

3. Hot peppers

Adding some spice to your food can help decrease leptin resistance and boost metabolism.

Hot peppers such as jalapenos, contain a chemical called capsaicin, which gives these peppers their spice and heat and cause a rise in your metabolism (12).

This chemical also keeps calories burning long after you have finished your meal.

4. Lean proteins

The protein present in turkey, chicken and other lean meats takes a great deal of energy to metabolize.

Hence, your body breaks down a lot of calories during the digestive process.

Protein is also a key ingredient in building lean muscle mass, which uses up more calories than fat (13).


A brilliant breakfast food, oatmeal also lowers cholesterol and reduces the danger of heart disease, which is a serious problem for overweight or obese people.

This wonder food has abundant amount of fat soluble fiber, which needs a lot of calories to metabolize.

Pick out wholegrain, rolled oatmeal that is unsweetened and free of any additives.

Prepare the oatmeal with milk, to supplement calcium, itself acting as a good metabolic stimulator.

The complex carbohydrates help lower insulin levels, which decrease the amount of fat that your body has. You can make your oatmeal taste even better by adding a dash of cinnamon that will
help stabilize blood sugar levels and even satisfy your appetite.

2. Grapefruit

Experiments have shown that eating grapefruit can lower insulin levels (11).

Reduced insulin levels after meals can facilitate your body process food more rapidly and effectively.

This results in burning of more calories and storage of more fat.

3. Hot peppers

Adding some spice to your food can help decrease leptin resistance and boost metabolism.

Hot peppers such as jalapenos, contain a chemical called capsaicin, which gives these peppers their spice and heat and cause a rise in your metabolism (12).

This chemical also keeps calories burning long after you have finished your meal.

4. Lean proteins

The protein present in turkey, chicken and other lean meats takes a great deal of energy to metabolize.

Hence, your body breaks down a lot of calories during the digestive process.

Protein is also a key ingredient in building lean muscle mass, which uses up more calories than fat (13).

Unlike coffee, which has very high caffeine content, green tea does not cause insulin to spike.

8. Broccoli

This veggie is rich in both vitamin C and calcium and decreases leptin resistance.

These two nutrients work in conjunction to help you burn calories rapidly and more efficiently (21).

Calcium stimulates your metabolism, while vitamin C facilitates body in calcium uptake.

9. Almonds

Consuming a small amount of nuts everyday can help in increasing your leptin sensitivity (22, 23).

Zinc, protein, essential fats and dietary fibers found in nuts are vital for stimulating leptin production and increasing your satiety.

Almonds might be high in calories, but they are also full of essential fatty acids which are great metabolism stimulators.

10. Eggs

Eggs are jam packed with protein which human body has to work hard to digest and which also boosts your metabolism (24).

Vitamin B12 in eggs is also known to aid in the breakdown of fat cells (25).
Eggs should be consumed in a moderate amount though. Do not over do their use.

11. Fruits and vegetables

Water-based fruit are effective in boosting metabolism.

Give watermelon, berries, grapefruit, grapes, apples or pears a shot as a snack.

Besides being a source of vitamins and minerals, fruits are full of water and are low in calories and they increase satiety and curb hunger, which is ideal for your weight loss goals (26).

Raw vegetables are also helpful in this regard. They are low in calories and fun to munch on.

Partner a dish of radishes, carrot, lettuce or raw zucchini with your favorite low calorie dip for an odd hour snack.

12. Skim milk

Calcium present in milk can aid in cranking up your metabolism and individuals with a high calcium intake are known to lose weight faster than those who skimp on it.

The carbohydrates in milk also regulate your insulin levels at a low level thus checking your body from storing fat (27).

13. Beans

Beans have high protein content which helps your body build up muscle (28).

Muscle cells burn calories at a much faster rate than adipose cells so even a trivial increase can really help you burn away the fat.

It is said that fiber in beans is also a useful aid in preventing your body from storing fat. Try Lima, kidney, navy, and white beans but don’t use baked or refried beans.

14. Whole grain cereal

Consumption of whole grain cereals is an excellent way to increase leptin and they are great sources of fiber but the real profit comes from the complex carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates don't cause your insulin levels to rise (29).

15. Olive oil

Olive oil not only destroys fat but it also keeps your cholesterol level low (30).
Many people use it instead of their regular cooking oil making it a very simple way to make a positive modification to their diets.

16. Pork

Pork uses up a lot of energy from your body during its digestion and if it is lean, it is certainly a great fat burner and is helpful in fighting leptin resistance and in decreasing leptin levels in
blood (31).

17. Lean beef

Lean beef helps in burning fat as it has protein which requires your body to work hard to break down (32, 33).

Lean beef also helps you bulk up muscles and the more muscle bulk you have, the more calories your body can burn.

18. Turmeric

Turmeric is a yellow root prized for its therapeutic properties.

Its active element, curcumin, has been known as a natural remedy for everything from allergies to arthritis, and now studies suggest we might soon be able to include yet another item to the
already extensive list of health benefits accredited to curcumin: enhanced leptin sensitivity (34).

In one research, curcumin was proven to improve leptin sensitivity as well as insulin sensitivity in rats that were fed in fructose (35).
In another article, published in the Swedish Journal of Preventive Medicine, similar effects were seen in rats that had been given high-fat diets (36).

19. Maqui berries

Purple sweet potatoes are not the only source of anthocyanins, there are also many other blue, purple and blackish foods that contain considerable amounts of anthocyanins, berries being one
of the most well-known sources of these leptin sensitivity boosting flavonoids.

However, when it comes to plant based foods that pack a real anthocyanin punch, one berry plainly stands out.

According to a research article published in the Chinese Journal of Agricultural Research, the maqui berry, which is grown in southern part of America and distributed as super food powder in
the United States, has several times more anthocyanins than other anthocyanin-rich berries such as saskatoons, elderberries, blueberries or wild blackberries (37).

20. Apples

Apples are one of the best known whole food sources of pectin, and there is some research-based evidence that pectin might help battle leptin resistance (38).

Also Dr. Leonard Galland’s much-acclaimed book, The Fat Resistance Diet: Unlock the Secret of the Hormone Leptin, enlists apples as one of the best 30 super foods that can help re-establish
your body's sensitivity to leptin.

To gain the most benefits, opt for sour apples or crabapples - which are said to be chiefly rich in pectin.

21. Purple sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are available many different colors. Those having a purple skin get their color from anthocyanins, flavonoid pigments that are the subject of several scientific studies.

In one such research, published in the magazine Food Science and Biotechnology, Chilean researchers gave a group of rats purple sweet potato anthocyanins.

The researchers observed that the rats that were given the anthocyanins lost weight faster than the rats in the control group, and further experimentation showed that the observed effects
were associated to the capability of the sweet potato anthocyanins to alter the effects of leptin in the brain and to decrease oxidative stress (39).

22. Spirulina algae

Spirulina is an algae blue-green in color that has been linked with numerous possible health benefits, such as reduced cholesterol levels, shield against allergies and anti-viral activity.
Furthermore, there is at least one human research that postulates spirulina might also have weight loss benefits.
While more studies are required to prove the weight loss advantages of spirulina, it is not difficult to imagine that this aquatic super food might turn out to be an effective natural weight loss
remedy: according to research data, dried spirulina algae is an ideal dietary source of leucine, an amino acid that is known to perk up leptin sensitivity in rats in a research article published in the
journal Food & Nutrition Research in 2013 (40, 41).

23. Sesame seeds

To prop up leptin production, add one or two spoons of sesame seeds to your diet.

Sesame seed is an excellent source of zinc. It is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids and fibers. All these elements help in boosting leptin production. Besides this, the anti-oxidant activities of
sesame seeds help in lowering leptin resistance (42, 43).
Keep in mind that the ideal way to shed weight is to combine a healthy diet with daily exercise. But including these leptin friendly foods into a healthy diet will give your weight loss plan a boost
and help overcome leptin resistance.

The bottom line

Leptin is an important hormone, which regulates appetite and body weight. Leptin resistance is very common in obese and/or overweight people. It is usually manifested by increased leptin
levels in blood.

Leptin resistance can be dealt with in two ways - by increasing leptin sensitivity and/or increasing leptin production by the body.

There are some foods, which may be helpful in increasing leptin sensitivity by boosting our metabolism. Some of them promote leptin production, while others just decrease leptin resistance
by lowering the amount of leptin in blood.

There is some scientific evidence that these foods really help to deal with leptin resistance but more research needs to be done to confirm the actual benefits and effects.

While consumption of leptin sensitivity increasing foods, such as apples, broccoli, oatmeal, lean meet, turkey, sesame seeds, etc. will probably not cause any harm in your body you should
know that only a licensed physician may help you deal with your health problems.

Therefore always see your doctor if you want to lose weight or decrease leptin resistance and ask him/her for dietary advice and consent before eating any of the foods above in larger quantities.