If you’re trying to lose weight but don’t want to count every calorie you eat, you might consider the leptin diet as a possible option. Originally created by clinical nutritionist Bryon J. Richards, the leptin diet can help you shed pounds and feel your best — if you do it right.
According to The Leptin Diet ($8.89), the eating plan includes just five simple lifestyle guidelines: Don’t eat after dinner, eat three meals per day without snacking, avoid large meals, eat a high-protein breakfast, and reduce your intake of carbs without cutting them out completely. All of these rules are designed to get your leptin — known as the "fat hormone" that controls appetite, energy, and metabolic rate — back into balance, leading to weight loss and better health.
In order to reap the best benefits from this eating plan, it’s important that you follow all the rules properly. For example, a "high-protein breakfast" on the leptin diet means that it has to contain 20 to 30 grams of protein in order to fit the description. So a leptin diet breakfast might include organic eggs, lean meat, and fresh veggies. (As you can probably guess, you might want to skip that stack of pancakes.)
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any carbs at all while on the leptin diet. For example, some leptin diet-friendly meals include coconut rice with grilled shrimp and a quinoa-lentil salad. Yum! When it comes to limiting carbs on the leptin diet, this simply means that 30 percent of your daily intake should come from carbs, while 40 percent comes from protein and 30 percent comes from fat, according to Healthline. So it’s not exactly a free-for-all when it comes to starch, but it’s definitely much less restrictive than other low-carb diets, if those wouldn’t be a good fit for you.
As for the other leptin diet rules, it’s mostly a matter of remembering not to fall back into bad eating habits such as midnight munching, midday snacks, and not overeating after you're full. Overall, the leptin diet isn’t meant to simply be a diet, but rather a way of life. So if you feel ready to make positive changes in your own eating habits, then your waistline — and your overall health — will surely thank you for doing so.
Remember: Always talk to your doctor before starting any new diet.