Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

April 15, 2016

Flip the Switch for Appetite Control

The leptin connection to appetite regulation.

When it comes to hunger, your hormones are key.

Similar to how the thyroid hormone controls metabolism, and insulin and cortisol are driven by stress, hunger hormones affect your appetite. By resetting them, you will effortlessly increase insulin sensitivity, stabilize blood sugar levels and preserve more lean muscle mass while you fast track your weight loss.

Fall in Love with Leptin

Leptin is a long-term chemical messenger for your appetite. If you never feel quite satisfied after a meal, then your leptin is too low and somewhere out in left field. High leptin levels are the ticket to speedy slimming and when this hormone is signaling correctly, it should actually decrease your appetite.

As a key appetite hormone, it would stand to reason that levels of leptin should be lower when you’re thin and higher when you’re overweight. So you would think that overweight people would have less of an appetite, but this isn’t how it seems to work.

People that are overweight and have high leptin levels somehow don’t get the signal to stop eating and stop storing fat. They develop a condition called leptin resistance, which is similar to insulin resistance where the body is no longer sensitive to the appetite-decreasing effects of leptin.

Both leptin and insulin resistance are triggered by an excess of refined carbs, sugar—especially fructose (fruit sugar)—and not enough exercise or sleep and too much stress. Leptin resistance, however, is especially frustrating when it comes to long-lasting fat loss because it has a habit of actually increasing the level of visceral fat, the fat that is deep within the abdomen.

Leptin is balanced primarily by omega-3 fats, like fatty fish and fish oils.

From a dietary standpoint, the essential fats from the omega-3 rich fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel) as well as EPA- and DHA-rich fish oil can stabilize leptin levels by helping to balance brain chemistry.

Since more than 60% of the brain is made from fat (primarily the ones that cannot be synthesized by the body, but must be eaten in the form of foods), I would say that these omega-3s are pretty darn important to trigger specific brain receptors which control leptin and ghrelin.

Select Supplementation

If there’s something fishy about fish for your taste buds, then Super-EPA may be the ideal choice for you. This salmon, cod, and krill oil blend is third-party tested to ensure that it’s free from PCBs, dioxin, and heavy metals—like mercury.

Plus, with the amount of concerns lately regarding seafood contamination, even if you are a seafood lover, supplementation may be your best route.

Either go fish or select supplementation to quell your appetite for the leptin balancing smart fats.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Sandra Landis

    Is there a medical test to identify leptin levels?

  2. joel

    what fish are safe to eat these days?

  3. Rchelle

    What about flaxseed oil, or flaxseed meal? These are very high in omega-3’s.

    • Team ALG

      Rchelle, flax oil and flaxseed meal both are rich in omega-3’s.


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