We hear ourselves say it all the time, “I need to lose weight.” But let’s be more specific, is it weight we need to lose or fat? Ideally, we would like to lose fat and keep our muscle tone. Losing fat while maintaining muscle tone offers a myriad of health benefits including lowering diabetes and heart disease risk.
In order to lose fat, it is important to understand how we accumulate fat. Understand this and you will be on the path to reducing fat and the associated health risks.
Three Factors that determine Fat Accumulation:
- When Insulin levels are high (elevated) we accumulate fat
- When Insulin levels are low, our cells release fat and burn it as energy
- Specific foods will raise blood sugar and will cause body to increase insulin production. (More insulin=more weight gain versus less insulin=fat loss)
Recap from WWGF (Part 1) WWGF–The Great Breakfast Debacle . When you eat a meal your blood sugar will rise in response to the types of food you consume. Certain foods raise blood sugar more than others.
Because high blood sugar is toxic to tissue and organs, the body will convert a portion of this sugar/glucose to energy for the brain, muscles, and liver. ANY excess glucose not immediately utilized will be converted to fat and stored in the cells with the help of insulin. (Insulin is the body’s primary fat building hormone) It would be an understatement to say the Standard American Diet contains an abundance of foods that significantly raise blood sugar.
Proving “Insulin…not calories” causes fat accumulation is actually very easy. Below are 3 examples to prove this very point.
Example #1: Type 1 diabetics do not make insulin. You may feed a Type 1 diabetic 10,000 calories a day and they will continue to lose weight if they do not receive insulin. In fact, a Type 1 will waste away in a matter of 2-3 months without insulin since there is no way for the body to “store energy/fat.” (No insulin…no weight gain)
Example #2: The Sam Feltham Study out of the U.K. has received a lot of attention. In this study, Sam consumed 5794 calories made up of foods that increase blood sugar (Remember: increased blood sugar equals more insulin). Over the course of 21 days Sam gained 15.6lbs and increased his waist size 3”. So you are thinking, “More calories are the reason he gained fat.” (Not so fast)
After normalizing his weight back down he conducted the same experiment (5794 calories for 21 days) except this time the foods he consumed were foods that specifically DID NOT raise blood sugar (Less blood sugar equals less insulin). The result: Sam did gain 2.9lbs but lost 1” in his waist circumstance. (Weight gain was muscle)
Example #3: There is a rare condition called Insulinoma. Insulinoma is a small tumor (often non-cancerous) that produces excessive amounts of insulin in the body. The onset of this condition is characterized by sudden and significant weight gain. Many report that dietary changes (reduced calories) offered little to no impact on weight. Majority of patients that elected to have the tumor removed experienced significant weight loss (Insulinoma Study)
For the past 40 years and to this day, our nutritional thought leaders and government have offered up the same failed “calorie restriction/semi-starved” weight loss approach. As bad as we want this to work it simply does not.
Fat accumulation is a “hormonal process” not a “caloric process.” Calories did not cause fat accumulation so why should we expect calories to reverse that process.