Don’t you think it’s a bit ironic that we are bombarded daily with advertisements about the “best” ways to diet and exercise for “fast” weight loss…and then in the next moment we are overloaded with the ways to buy foods that make meals “in minutes”? It’s like we are being told that we can change our bodies on a minute by minute basis. We wish!
In truth, as we can all attest, weight loss and weight gain is not easy and definitely not quick! Have you ever stopped to ask…
- Why does weight go up so quickly? And down so slowly?
- What exactly is influencing our weight gains and losses?
- Will science ever find a way to make it easier to maintain a healthy weight?
We have wondered or believed different hypes over the years, but we don’t feel like we have ever really found the answers to these questions. We decided to go searching through past and present data to determine what science does know.
Why does weight go up so quickly? And down so slowly?
We thought we were eating a healthy diet filled with low fat foods, limited low fat proteins and higher whole grain carbohydrates at every meal. The food pyramid showed us just what was best. It even went so far as to tell us that sugar wasn’t that bad because it didn’t have any fat in it.
We were so far from the truth!
Our bodies will tolerate “mistakes” in our diets for quite a while. Then seemingly overnight we will begin having problems. These can range from sudden food allergies, an unexplained or stubborn weight gain/ loss, some digestive issues, a curious rash, or, most common, getting seasonal allergies.
Keeping up the eating patterns mentioned above and we move deeper into an inflammation state. This is where we begin to notice more chronic ailments (often found in middle age when our systems can’t tolerate as much misuse) such as high blood pressure, unbalanced cholesterol levels, chronic aches, more severe intestinal issues, or hormonal imbalances changing our menstruation or libido. Other changes signaling a high inflammatory state are increasing weight gain/ loss, skin breakouts and drying of skin, hair and nails, tiredness, foggy thinking, slower healing of wounds, and the list goes on and on.
Good thing is it’s not all in our heads. Bad is that it’s directly related to what we eat and will require, for many, a possibly dramatic and consistent change in how we feed our bodies.
For us?…what we had believed to be true was so far from the truth that we had to do some uncomfortable reprogramming.
Honesty here – we were resistant, fearful, and skeptical about some of these changes until we researched, tried them, caved in to the “bad” foods, faced the dire consequences, went back to eating healthy again, felt great, and finally made the resolution to stay on track from now on! Trying is believing, and it truly does get much easier and more enjoyable the longer you stay with it. And the positive changes make you feel better than you ever thought you could feel!
Here’s a video by Dr. Fred Sutter who outlines the top ten inflammatory foods. They may not all apply to you, but are a good beginning guide for which ones to watch for reactions. The chart is a great resource from Dr. Amy Neuzil.
Let’s start off with some facts from our research. (NaturalNews) It’s well established that obesity is characterized by low-level chronic inflammation. Several theories as to how this inflammation occurs have been proposed, but dietary choices seem to be the most important factor involved.
It’s increasingly recognized that regular consumption of certain foods leads to diet-induced inflammation; which in turn sets the stage for insulin resistance, leptin resistance and other conditions that go hand in hand with increasing our fat stores and eventually leading to obesity.
Secondary is any additional calories we don’t need are treated as toxins and thus “trapped” in fat cells. These conditions make it very hard to lose weight and maintain healthy body weight.
Increase Insulin = Increase Fat Storage
Studies done on non-westernized populations show that hunter-gatherers have virtually no incidence of obesity, even when they have access to an abundance of food. Excellent health is seen regardless of their intake of foods and or amount of physical activity.
What’s different in their diets? Sugar, grains, refined vegetable oils and grain-fed dairy products are not a part of these ancestral diets, while they are eaten in abundance in westernized societies. The available literature shows that humans are poorly adapted to these modern foods and that they promote obesity and inflammation through various mechanisms.
Dr Peter Attia, founder of The Eating Academy, shares from his research that fat cells are regulated in their size by the amount of insulin surges we produce in our bodies when we eat. He shares, “Insulin is indeed the master hormone that regulates the flow of fat (and glucose) into and out of a fat cell. …High levels of insulin promote fat storage and inhibit fat oxidation, and low levels of insulin promote fat mobilization or release along with fat oxidation”
To simplify all this, here’s the process in our body:
- We eat foods with sugar and/or high carbohydrate amounts (glucose).
- Our body tries to use these glucose molecules for muscle energy….but more than we need is in our system
- Insulin is secreted by our pancreas to stabilize this extra glucose in our bloodstream
- Insulin gets rid of the excess glucose by storing it in our fat cells (think belly and thigh fat)
….If we continue with this (standard American) eating style….
Insulin resistance develops causing more hunger along with
- Getting tired after you eat a meal
- Craving for sweets that doesn’t go away even when sweets are eaten
- Increased thirst
- More frequent urination
From what studies show, most of the population has some degree of insulin resistance causing our fat gains and muscle losses.
What exactly is influencing our weight gains and losses?
There are a multitude of charts, lists and ideas about other things that contribute to weight gain. From the scientific studies we have read …I’m a data girl!…its the lack of nutrients that is the primary cause. Let me try to explain by showing the steps in digestion of foods in our body:
- We eat the standard diet of processed or fast foods that have much of the vitamins and nutrients taken out, and a lot of preservatives, flavorings and additives put in (benefits the creaminess, rich taste, longer shelf life, quicker cook time, etc.).
- Our digestive system takes it in and counts up the vitamins and minerals needed to trigger the “full feeling” – “stop eating” signal.
- When these are lacking, the body does not shut down the hunger, but instead signals it even stronger to eat more because it is still in need of nutrients. (This is when your will power just gives up and you eat more than you should because the signals to eat are subconsciously being driven by your brain – and they are strong!)
- We eat more and more and have real hunger pangs even though our eyes are telling us we should have had enough – this is why will power does not work for long!
- We finally stop either because we have taken in enough nutrients or because we just cannot eat any more volume of food.
- We end up not feeling well, our insulin levels are surging, our body begins storing all this extra fat and toxins, we feel and get fatter, depressions sets in because we have failed once again…and the cycle starts all over again.
Most Important Fact!
What we must begin thinking of is that it is not calories that are important…its the amount of nutrients and vitamins in every bite of food that counts. Our body counts these towards being full and satiated, not how many calories we have consumed
Will science ever find a way to make it easier to maintain a healthy weight?
The only way to break this cycle and reset our hunger/full switches to normal is to begin eating organic, grass-fed, foods that are in their natural state with all their wonderful vitamins and minerals inside. Yes, the cost is a little higher for organic, grass-fed foods, but you won’t (actually can’t) eat as much because your body will not need the extra calories when it gets the right nutrients.
What we do…
We turn over labels on every product and look at nutrients rather than calories. If there aren’t very many listed and/or there is higher sugar amounts added…then we simply don’t buy it. Do we need to make more of our own foods – Yes. Is it worth the health improvement and weight loss – Heck Yes!
We will start you on this path with amazing, healthy recipes for everything you like. Just like you, we don’t want to give up the things we love, but rather want it all, want it tasty, and want it to make us feel great….while at the same time bringing our bodies to their own perfect weight/ muscle ratios.
Cauliflower Moment…brownies are not evil and are an Essential part of a healthy diet!