Just found this nugget from Chris Kresser (my emphasis):
Both inflammation and obesity cause leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone produced by body fat. It tells the brain to decrease appetite, increase metabolic rate and increase physical activity. As you accumulate more fat, you secrete more leptin. This causes more fat to be burned. But if you become leptin resistant, your brain doesn’t hear your fat telling it that it’s already full. Leptin resistance is almost always present in obesity because it’s a precondition of significant fat gain. It’s impossible to gain more than a few pounds without being leptin resistant.
What it seems to be telling me is that if you are fat – even moderately so – then you are likely to be leptin resistant, and in this case you can neither rely on your appetite, nor on your urge to get your a++ off your couch to burn some energy that would otherwise be stored.
The implication of this seems to me that if your are overweight (even slighly so, especially if you are a recovering fatty like me) then
- you need to monitor your food intake, as your appetite will not be a good guidance for how much you should eat,
- you need to make sure you get enough exercise even if you dont feel like it, and finally
- you need to make sure that your activity level is high enough to ensure that your metabolism is keeping up, even if it does not want to (10 push-ups & 10 squats, every hour, on the hour?)
This would also explain why Mark Sisson does not feel the need to restrict calories – his body simply knows when he should stop eating. But not all of us are so lucky…