Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Why We Get Fat and Why Calories Aren't the Culprit
If you eat too much, and consequently you are overweight, don’t beat yourself up over it; it’s not your fault. If you eat too little, and you are overweight, don’t blame yourself either. There are so many conflicting reports as to dietary guidelines, and many allow for such high amounts of starches and sugars that cravings for more carbohydrates are biologically inevitable. We are told to limit our fat and eat plenty of whole grains and fruits which are loaded with starches and sugars. The conventional wisdom is that fat is high in calories, while whole grains and fruit are somewhat less on the caloric scale.
But, contrary to popular belief, our weight is not a simple matter of calories in versus calories out. If we are eating very little, then our bodies will conserve calories and expend less energy. If we increase our level of activity, we will work up an appetite and eat more to compensate. Gary Taubes explains this so well in his books, Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It.
We store fat because of our hormones. There’s one hormone in particular that once activated stores carbohydrate calories as fat. That hormone is insulin. It is important to remember that it is not the number of calories we consume that determines our weight, but the quality of those calories. In the battle of the bulge, it is of utmost importance to determine the number of carbohydrate calories that can be consumed before waking the fat storing hormone--insulin).
Simply stated, carbohydrates cause fat accumulation. If we restrict carbohydrates, our bodies will no longer be in fat-storage mode. We will begin burning fat for fuel! If we restrict starchy carbohydrates and simple sugars, we will drop weight by burning fat in the most efficient way possible.
One of the quickest ways to turn off the fat storing hormone is to give your daily diet an immediate makeover. Here are some tips for tomorrow morning.
Replace the sugar in your coffee or tea with Stevia, Truvia, or Splenda. (Honey is not low carb.)
Eliminate milk and replace with half n half, cream, or Almond milk.
Cut out orange juice and take a vitamin C supplement instead. If you can’t live without juice in the morning, Thinner recommends trying Diet Ocean Spray Cranberry or Blueberry Pomegranate Juice and dilute 50% with water. Add lemon for a twist. (Thin would tell you to forget any juices period.)
Ditch the muffins, bagels, cereals, pancakes, waffles, French toast, syrups, fruit flavored yogurt, oatmeal, bananas and any other sweet, sugary treat , and replace with Plain Greek yogurt, protein powder, Anutra, Flax Seed, Oat bran, Eggs, Cheese, nitrate free ham and bacon, low carb smoothies, or crustless quiche (a recipe in Thin and Thinner).