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What is the Leptin Diet®?

Nicole Madison
Updated Feb 06, 2024
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The Leptin Diet® is a meal plan that makes leptin, a fat hormone the body creates, its focal point. Leptin plays a role in controlling metabolic function and appetite. When a person follows the Leptin Diet®, he alters his food consumption and increases his activity level to help balance the levels of leptin in his body. This is said to work as a natural appetite suppressant and an energy booster. To facilitate weight loss, a person on this diet changes the timing of his meals, avoids trans fat, eats smaller meals, and incorporates at least some exercise into his daily routine.

A person who follows this diet changes the way he eats carbohydrates and proteins. He typically chooses whole grain selections when consuming carbohydrates. He also limits the amount of carbohydrates he eats to 50 percent or less of his daily calories. When he eats a carbohydrate, he usually eats a protein along with it. For breakfast, a person on the Leptin Diet® typically eats a meal that is high in protein; this helps to maximize his energy until his lunchtime meal.

Timing and size of meals are typically very important for a person on this diet. Those following this diet are not supposed to eat anything after dinner and are supposed to wait at least 11 hours before eating their breakfast meal. The reason for waiting this long is to encourage the body to burn fat. Dieters are also supposed to eat smaller meals that are packed with nutrition three times per day, waiting five hours between each meal. This is said to boost fat burning and prevent insulin resistance.

Exercise is an important part of following the Leptin Diet®. A person who follows this diet is supposed to engage in moderate exercise each day. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours on a treadmill or in a weight room, however. Even 15 minutes of brisk walking or a few laps around the pool may help. The general idea is to get the body moving to boost metabolism and maximize the burning of calories.

Fat reduction plays a role in the Leptin Diet® as well. Instead of eliminating fats, however, dieters opt to eat healthy fats. For example, a dieter may use olive oil for cooking and sesame oil for salad dressings. For optimal health, trans fats are excluded from this diet. A person following it typically checks food labels to ensure they do not contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon230787 — On Nov 21, 2011

Well, my husband and I gave it a week and planned to keep on chugging if we felt any better or lost any weight at all. I felt pretty much the same, except I got pretty sick of egg whites for breakfast. I'm not a big meat eater. It seemed arbitrary not to get to have an apple in the afternoon, and I noticed without any snacks, I was eating a bit more at mealtime because I knew I couldn't have anything all night.

Well, mostly we just found it inconvenient to schedule our meals around the time rules (and it didn't jive with our kids' schedules). We both exercise most days, and after one week, we didn't lose even 1/2 pound, so I've given up on this. I'd love to know if it worked for anyone else?

By musicshaman — On Nov 18, 2010

I have a sister who tried a diet like this -- she had been doing a lot of research on leptin sensitivity, and apparently this diet can increase that.

According to her, increased leptin sensitivity makes you realize easier when you're full, and it makes your body respond better to food, and basically it gets your digestive system back into shape.

She saw some pretty decent results with it, but when she stopped following the diet in a very strict way, she gained some of it back.

So although I wouldn't say that it's a bad diet or anything, and my sister did say she had more of a sense of when she was really hungry and when she wasn't, I would still take all the leptin diet reviews with a grain of salt.

By CopperPipe — On Nov 18, 2010

One thing that is important to realize about the whole leptin/ghrelin therapy thing is that a lot of the leptin research is very new, and there are a lot of unsubstantiated claims being thrown around.

Now I haven't tried the leptin diet, and I'm not a scientist or anything, but I've just heard a lot of articles talking about how all these new leptin weight loss diets haven't been shown to be all that helpful.

I would be really interested to hear from anybody who has tried this diet, and what your experience was with it. Did it work, did it not, what did you experience, etc?

Any input?

By Charlie89 — On Nov 18, 2010

OK, so I'm no dietitian, but how does this differ significantly from other diets? I understand how the diet is supposed to center around leptin function and maintaining specific leptin levels, but if you look at what is actually involved in the diet, it's pretty much just your average diet.

I mean, not an exorbitant amount of carbs, a decent caloric intake balanced with good fats and exercise? That sounds like pretty much a general healthy eating plan.

I don't know if the timing of the meals or whatever makes the difference, but its just kind of bizarre to me that this is a trademarked thing. It seems like common sense to me -- maybe I'll do some more digging into the diet and see if I missed something, but really, isn't this just a healthy diet with a fancy name?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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