Like so many other overweight Americans, Lilly was suffering from a condition she'd never heard of--a chemical imbalance that I believe is at the root of our nation's struggle with excess weight. The name of this syndrome is leptin resistance--a hormonal dysfunction that disrupts the body's natural ability to regulate appetite and metabolism. Unfortunately, most doctors are not yet aware of this condition. But my decades of clinical practice as an M.D., my success in treating patients with nutritional medicine, and my in-depth exploration of the latest scientific research have convinced me that if you--like Lilly--can't lose your excess weight, then you, too, are probably suffering from leptin resistance.
I believe that the discovery of leptin resistance is the key to freeing millions of overweight Americans from the tyranny of yo-yo dieting, food cravings, and a continual struggle with their weight. Have you ever had the feeling, as you looked at the bathroom scale or tried to button your jeans, that there was something wrong with your body, some stubborn disorder that simply refused to let you shed your excess weight? Well, I'm here to tell you, you were right. If you've tried in vain to lose weight, if you've fallen off every diet you've ever begun, if you've found your healthy intentions sabotaged by sugar cravings and starch binges, you haven't simply been failing or indulging yourself. You're not deficient in willpower or discipline. You're not weak or helpless or out of control. You're simply suffering from a chemical imbalance, a chemical imbalance you can correct by cutting out the wrong foods and beginning to eat the right ones.
Our bodies are designed to maintain a healthy weight, without any extra effort on our part. When our bodies are working properly, we eat what we want, and if we inadvertently gain a few pounds, the leptin in our system works to suppress our appetite, increase our metabolism, and reestablish our original weight. This is the mechanism that enables people to stay slim--the natural ability of our bodies to regulate themselves.
The problem comes when this natural ability is disrupted, most often by a condition known as inflammation. You may have heard of this syndrome, which has received a lot of attention in the media in recent years. Inflammation contributes to conditions like arthritis, asthma, allergies, and colitis. Many scientists also suspect that it plays a key role in heart disease, atherosclerosis, and cancer. But there's another condition that some scientists now realize is caused by inflammation--obesity. This is because inflammation triggers leptin resistance, which in turn contributes to a sluggish metabolism, unchecked cravings, and, eventually, unwanted pounds.
Excerpted from The Fat Resistance Diet by Leo Galland, M.D. Copyright © 2005 by Leo
Galland, M.D.. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random
House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced
or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.