Everyone knows that exercise plays an important role in losing weight. It stimulates fat burning, which is exactly what we want. Yet many people fail to move more. How can this be? And more importantly, what can you do about it? I would like to explain it to you.
Insulin and Leptin
There are two hormones that have a big impact on the desire to move, insulin and leptin. Both influence movement behavior in different ways. Insulin plays a key role in the absorption of energy into muscle cells. When you are sensitive to insulin, your muscles can absorb energy well and you feel energetic. Then you want to move.
Leptin informs the brain about the energy supply (fat mass) that is present in the body. If there is enough energy (and therefore leptin) present, the brain can perform activities and processes that require a lot of energy. This can include movement, becoming pregnant, and developing a fever. The most important thing, as with insulin, is that the brain must be sensitive to this hormone.
What happens if you become insensitive to insulin and leptin?
You have less desire to move. Your desire to move decreases. Even more importantly, insulin and leptin can no longer do their work well if you become insensitive.
If you become insulin-resistant, your muscles can no longer absorb glucose (their fuel) well. You become tired more easily and have less desire to move. Also, when you become resistant to leptin, you have less desire to move. Why? The brain controls your movement, so it sends a signal “you may move” or “stay still”. Everything revolves around energy. How does the brain know that there is enough energy? Through the hormone leptin, because leptin is produced in fat cells (and you can only create fat cells if there is enough energy available).
But what happens if there is leptin but the brain can no longer perceive this hormone well? In other words, if they become insensitive to leptin?
The brain thinks that there is not enough energy in the body in reserve. The result? The brain does not give permission for activities and processes that require a lot of energy. So the desire to move decreases. You become lazy.
Insulin and leptin resistance are both ways to conserve energy, but for what purpose?
A chronically active immune system
A key cause of insulin and leptin resistance is low-grade inflammation. This is a situation where the immune system is continuously slightly activated, causing the body to be slightly inflamed all the time. Low-grade inflammation is at the root of almost all chronic Western diseases.
It’s a form of incorrect trade-off. Energy can be spent, just like money, only once. The immune system provides survival and always takes priority. With low-grade inflammation, this immune system consumes a lot of energy. This means that there is much less energy available for other activities (such as repair).
In response to this situation, the body causes insulin and leptin resistance. Other activities that require a lot of energy (such as movement) are not allowed, and there is more energy available for the immune system. Without an immune system, you would be dead within a day, so it must protect you day and night. It takes a lot of energy and it comes at the cost of sensitivity to insulin and leptin, but then again, you get what you pay for. Or do you?
From advantage to disadvantage
Insulin and leptin resistance was originally meant to provide the immune system with enough energy in case of an acute infection. Usually an infection is quickly resolved, which restores sensitivity to insulin and leptin and you are allowed to perform activities and processes that require a lot of energy. When the immune system is briefly activated by pathogens, it works protectively (as intended).
However, this healthy short reaction can also be excessive. How so?
Through an unhealthy lifestyle, as the immune system is then chronically activated on a daily basis. The problem is no longer bacteria (for which a short resolution reaction was always sufficient), but all kinds of new stressors that activate the immune system. These cannot be resolved by the immune system well. The immune system remains in the survival and resolution state for a long time and the body remains chronically insensitive to insulin and leptin. What is the result? Physical activity is hardly allowed. You have no interest in getting out of your chair and laziness is the result.
Symptoms of low-grade inflammation
As a result of low-grade inflammation, the following symptoms may occur:
- Avoiding physical activity
- Avoiding social contact
- Reduced libido
- Eating disorders
- Increased pain sensitivity
- Change in body composition (more fat and less muscle)
- Abdominal fat Obesity
- High blood pressure
- Hair loss Increased injury sensitivity
- Poor quality and nails
- Mood swings Fatigue
- Too high or too low body temperature
- Craving for sweetness Craving for salt Sleep problems
Cause of Low-Grade Inflammation
Low-grade inflammation can be caused by various factors, but overeating (too many kilocalories and more than three meals per day) and eating the wrong food (unnatural food) are the main causes.
Tips to Reduce Low-Grade Inflammation
To restore sensitivity to insulin and leptin, it is necessary to reduce low-grade inflammation. This is done by avoiding snacks and limiting the number of meals to three per day. Additionally, it is also important to eat natural food.
Ancestral food is the most natural food and fits best with human design. It consists of:
A lot of Vegetables
Herbs and spices
Nuts and seeds
A piece of meat Fish and shellfish
Olive oil and a little butter and coconut oil.
What do I need to remember
Remember that inflammation leads to insulin and leptin resistance, causing the muscles to be unable to efficiently take in energy and the brain to perceive a lack of energy. As a result, the brain doesn’t stimulate movement and other energy-intensive activities. This is a survival mechanism to conserve energy and provide the immune system with enough energy to protect the body. In a natural environment, this is a protective mechanism, but in an unnatural environment it becomes excessive and results in a lack of motivation to move and become lethargic.