T Nation

Leptin: Hows?


#1

I've been reading all the buzz about leptin lately.

I had a few questions that maybe I had missed in the articles

  1. Does any certain macronutrient determine leptin levels (i.e. if you ate a P+F meal would it trigger a raise in leptin, or a P+C meal, or a P+C+F)? Or is it caloric based?

  2. How often does one need to eat a "cheat" meal designed to stimulate leptin? Can you do it during the meal following a training session? Every other day? 2 days a week. 2 days a week concurrently?


#2

1) You definitely missed a lot in the articles. Go back and read them again. It is glucose that seems to directly affect leptin levels.

2) Again, read the articles. On a cheat day, it would be optimal to train in the morning and refeed for the rest of the day as insulin sensitivity should increase.


#3

I'm sure Joel Marion will be on here to answer the question in more detail, but off the top of my head...leptin levels have a direct correlation to the amount of fat you have. Meaning, the more fat you have, the more leptin floating around in your blood and vice versa. So basically when someone goes on a hypocaloric, low carb diet and their fat levels drop...their body is basically going into "we are starving mode"...and metabolism drops and fat loss tends to stall. However, in regards to caloric intake...the whole premise behind a carb re-feed is to bring leptin levels back up, which will help to boost metabolism. As for which macronutrient combos stimulate leptin production the most...I'm not sure, but I would have to think P+C. And in terms of when to "carb up"...I know that you should def do it on a training day for either; one all out, eat what the hell you want meal. Or for 8 hours...where you eat "sensibly". And as for frequency, that is HIGHLY individual. I know for leaner individuals...they can get away with more frequent carb re-feeds. But for the most part, most people tend to stick to once per week, usually on the weekend.

Anyways, I hope I was atleast somewhat helpful and more importantly...on the right track..haha. As I said earlier..I am sure Joel will be on this question like white on rice. Tony G


#4

My current protocol seems to be working good. I do 3 days of lo-cal/lo-carb, I spike my insulin a little (1 apple for instance) and do a Bodyopus style circuit until I'm nauseated (probably about 4-6 circuits), then I start pounding the carbs. I probably eat like 5000 cals that day with a heavy emphasis on carbs. I'm losing fat and not strength so this must be working for me.


#5

Probably to be a little more specific:

3 days "on":

Lo-carb/Lo-cal
1600-1800 cals of protein and fat.

1 day "off"

High-carb, moderate protein
5000 (approx) cals. Basically I eat all day and eat a lot.

My maintenance based on lean body mass is probably about 2400 cals (resting).

My workouts are about 4 "heavy" a week, with the 1 circuit thrown in there. I play soccer and ice hockey once per week and do about 3 HIIT sessions. I figure it adds up so I don't really care about doing what on what day relative to diet. The end result is probably the same. I find that my carb-up day doesn't seem to be too detrimental due to my massive depletion. After 3 days of lo cal and lo carb with workouts, my glycogen is definitely gone.

Hope this helps.