When it comes to most health issues, the best thing you can do for yourself is examine your diet. Most people don’t realize how much the food they eat truly affects their well-being. The same goes when it comes to leptin. You first want to take a good hard look at the food you’ve been consuming and see if you’ve gone overboard on carbohydrates, sugars and processed foods.
Managing your leptin levels starts with incorporating a mostly plant-based diet full of leafy greens, healthy carbohydrates, and generous amounts of protein. Minimizing your intake of carbohydrates and eliminating sugar is the best way to get your leptin resistance under control.
Interestingly, adding zinc to your diet is also beneficial. According to WikiHow’s article on how to increase leptin, studies have shown that people who have leptin deficiencies often also have zinc deficiencies. Zinc deficiencies are also common in obese people. So of course, adding zinc to your diet is going to be important as well!
This YouTube video also explains that the time of day you eat may also be important! Make sure you give it a listen to hear why.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
This is one of my favourite low carb side dishes and perfect for starting your leptin diet. Dressing these “potatoes” up with bacon and fresh herbs, really hits the spot. I like to take it a step further and add some garlic too!
- 6 oz. bacon, fried until crispy
- 2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
- ½ cup Colby cheese, grated
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp salt
- Optional: Fresh herbs of your choice
- In a skillet, fry bacon over medium heat until crispy.-Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Prep cauliflower head by removing core and cutting into chunks.
- Steam until soft, 5-8 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mash cauliflower, sour cream and cheese
- Garnish with fresh herbs and bacon
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
Another amazing low carb and easy-to-make dish. If you don’t have a food processor you can always shred your cauliflower on a cheese grater. This is a great compliment to any Mexican-style dish.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 lime
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 handful chopped cilantro
- Remove the cauliflower from the core so you only have the florets. Process until only small pieces remain.
- Remove from the processor and place into a pan.
- Mince the garlic and add to the cauliflower in the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- When cauliflower is slightly toasted, and garlic cooked, remove from heat.
- Toss with cilantro and juice from the whole lime.
Chickpea, Spinach and Feta Salad
You won’t believe your taste buds when you try this one. The best part is that you won’t even know you are eating something healthy when you bite into it. The chickpeas are a great way to get healthy carbs and fibre into your diet while the homemade dressing eliminates any added sugars you’d normally get from a store-bought brand. Feel free to ditch the raisins to really make this a leptin-friendly dish.
- One can chickpeas (rinsed)
- Large handful of spinach
- 100g feta-½ lemon or 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 5 tbsps. olive oil
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of salt
- Couple of chili flakes
- Small handful of raisins
- Chop the cheese and add with the spinach and chickpeas to a large bowl
- Mix the honey, oil, lemon juice and raisins in a small bowl
- Add the cumin, salt and pepper to the dressing bowl and mix well
- Drizzle devilishly delicious dressing over the salad
Balsamic Blueberry Salad
I love this salad because it is so full of nutrients. You’ll be getting fiber, iron and protein from the spinach and antioxidants from the blueberries, not to mention the potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C you’ll be getting from the cucumbers. You can’t go wrong with this leptin-friendly dish!
- 4 ounces baby spinach
- 4 ounces arugula
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup cucumber, sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- ½ cup fat free crumbled feta cheese
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- In a large bowl, toss spinach and arugula to blend greens.
- Add blueberries, cucumber and scallions – toss to combine.
- Top with feta cheese.
- Toss with balsamic vinaigrette and serve.
- Divide among 4 bowls and top with sliced grilled chicken.
Spicy Shrimp and Cucumber Salad
Eating foods that make you feel full is key for enhancing your leptin. This quick and easy dish will do just that. Not only is it good for a summer BBQ but it is also loaded protein from the shrimp and vitamins and nutrients from the celery and cucumber. You’ll be feeling full the rest of the day after this one.
- 1 pound of small shrimp, deveined, shelled and tails removed
- 2 cucumbers, washed, thinly sliced and halved
- 3 stalks of celery, washed and thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsps sesame oil (plus more for cooking the shrimp)
- 1 tbsps granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish
- Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add in your cleaned shrimp, and cook until pink and opaque. Sprinkle the shrimp with a pinch of salt and pepper, toss, and set aside to cool.
- Toss together your sliced cucumbers, sliced celery, chopped cilantro, green onions, garlic, jalapeño, salt and red pepper flakes
- In a small bowl, whisk together your rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and lime juice.
- Toss together the cucumbers and cooled shrimp, then pour the sauce over everything.
- Garnish with the sesame seeds and extra cilantro and green onions.
Avocado Tuna Salad
I love finding new and interesting ways to eat avocado. This recipe adds one of my staples, tuna salad, to bring you your healthy fats, protein and some veggies all in one. Bon appetite!
Via the Stay at Home Chef
- 4 avocados, halved and pitted
- 3 (4.5 oz.) cans tuna, drained
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt and pepper
- Scoop out some of the avocado from the pit to widen the “bowl” area.
- Place the scooped avocado into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mash it with a fork.
- Add the tuna, bell pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro to the mixing bowl. Pour lime juice over. Stir it all together until everything is well mixed.
- Scoop the tuna into the avocado bowls. Season with salt and pepper
Smoked Salmon Egg Stuffed Avocados
I want to write that each recipe here is my favourite but that’s because it’s true. Salmon, eggs and avocados, you really can’t beat this power-packed dish that is sure to impress your next brunch guest.
- 4 avocados
- 4 oz smoked salmon
- 8 eggs
- Black pepper
- Chili flakes
- Fresh dill
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Halve the avocados remove the seed. If the hole looks small, scoop out a small bit at a time until it can hold an egg.
- Arrange the avocado halves on a cookie sheet, and line the hollows with strips of smoked salmon.
- Crack each of the eggs into a small bowl, then spoon the yolks and however much white the avocado will hold.
- Add salt and fresh cracked black pepper on top of the eggs, to taste.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
- Sprinkle chili flakes and fresh dill on top.
- Serve warm.
Cucumber Salsa Salad
This is a crowd pleaser at summer parties and it’s so easy to make. Its colourful variety of ingredients can wow even the biggest critic. You have protein and fiber in the beans, healthy fats in the avocado and a boatload of nutrients sprinkled in the vegetables in between. You’ll be full and satisfied with this great recipe.
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 1/4 cups corn
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime
- 1 avocado, diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the cucumber, black beans, corn, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, and chopped cilantro in a bowl.
- Squeeze the fresh juice from the lime onto the salad, and stir well.
- Mix in the avocado, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy
Lemon, Tomato and Feta Coodles
Zucchini is another amazing tool for your new lifestyle. With a spiralizer you can create low carb “noodles” and dress them up any way you like! If you need suggestions for the best type of spiralizer, this one on Amazon has treated me well.
- 4 medium zucchini
- 2 handfuls of cherry toms
- Handful of feta
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1tsp honey
- Salt and pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F.
- Crush your garlic and add to 2tsp of olive oil.
- Half your tomatoes, pop onto a flat baking tray and drizzle with garlic oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Once oven is heated, put your tray in and roast for 15mins.
- Crumble your feta over the top and add tomatoes
- In the same pot you used for the garlic oil, mix together the lemon juice, honey and the rest of the olive oil.
- Pour over your zoodles
Zucchini Noodles with Mini Chicken Feta & Spinach Meatballs
This is a healthy spin on the old favourite spaghetti and meatballs. Instead of beef, we’re using chicken and pasta has been replaced with zucchini noodles. The taste is certainly a bit different, but in a good way.
- 2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 pound lean ground chicken
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs-salt and pepper
- 3 tbsps fresh oregano, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 medium zucchini squash
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In your food processor, combine the spinach and garlic and pulse until small pieces remain.
- Drizzle in 1 tbsp of olive oil and add half of the feta (2 ounces), pulsing again just a few times.
- In a bowl, mix together the chicken, egg, Worcestershire, spinach mixture, salt, pepper, oregano and 1/3 cup breadcrumbs.
- Form into 30 or so mini meatballs, about 1/2 inch in diameter.
- Place on the parchment and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- While the meatballs are cooking, spiralize the zucchini into noodles.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add olive oil and butter. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the lemon juice. Add the zoodles and toss well to coat. Cook until the noodles soften slightly.
- To serve, serve the meatballs on a bed of zoodles. Top with extra feta and fresh oregano.
So there you have it. Creating a diet that is low in carbs, high in protein and high in healthy fats is going to be the best tactic for getting your leptin levels under control. These meals will leave you feeling full without leaving sluggish or hungry. Let me know which one is your favourite in the comments below!