Why we get fat and what can we do about it ?
This article is not about investing love reading them go here.
Why I am writing on health on a financial blog – Cause true wealth is of no use without great health
Most of what I am writing below is my interpretation of a book by Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It . It’s a must read for breaking myths and our long held untrue beliefs.
What is the first thing that people tell us when they see us becoming fat?
Everyone will tell us to get our running shoes out and start burning those excessive calories. It’s indeed natural to think whatever we have gained can be burned off with increased physical activity.
The science tells us that obesity is ultimately the result of a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one
as we very likely will work up an appetite
Is it true that we can increase our expenditure of calories, burn an extra 150 calories a day, say, or go from being sedentary to active or from active to very active, without changing our diet—without eating more—and without maybe decreasing the amount of energy we expend in the hours between our bouts of exercise? The simple answer, again, is no. I’ve already introduced the concept that explains why, one that used to seem perfectly obvious but has now been relegated to the dustbin of exercise and nutrition history. This is the idea that if we increase our physical activity we will “work up an appetite.
The more energy we spend the more our body will demand ultimately leaving us at where we were. Only physical activity will never result in us becoming lean if this was the case there would be no fat poor people as supposedly poor people are the ones who do most menial laborious work, then they shouldn’t become fat right?
Please don’t see this as a recommendation to not exercise, Activity or exercise has tremendous other benefits its build endurance, releases hormones which makes us feel better about ourselves and reduces risks of heart ailments among others. However exercise alone can’t make you lean.
Again the other general advice which is thrown at us eat less than what you currently do and your fat will reduce. Is this a long term solution?
An animal whose food is suddenly restricted tends to reduce its energy expenditure both by being less active and by slowing energy use in cells, thereby limiting weight loss. It also experiences increased hunger so that once the restriction ends, it will eat more than its prior norm until the earlier weight is attained.
Revision to mean will happen in few months and this we must have seen with many of our friends and family members.
Physical activity doesn’t work
Lowering our food intake doesn’t work
then what will work to reduce fat in our body? The answer lies in understanding how fat is built in our body
When people accumulate excess fat, this tells us that something has gone awry in the careful regulation of their fat tissue.
We don’t get fat because we overeat; we overeat because we’re getting fat [therefore ] only a change in the regulation of the fat tissue makes a lean animal obese [ and vice versa]
Let’s first understand how our fat tissue is built or lost
So LPL builds fat tissue and HSL burns the fat issue. Now let’s look at what causes problems in regulation of our fat issues and thereby making us fat. In one phrase it is excessive production of a hormone called Insulin
Insulin is a hormone made by beta cells in the pancreas. When we eat, insulin is released into the bloodstream where it helps to move glucose from the food we have eaten into cells to be used as energy.
Why is excessive insulin produced? Insulin is produced primarily by the type and quantity of CARBOHYDRATES we intake
it’s those carbohydrates that ultimately determine how much fat we accumulate. Here’s the chain of events:
- You think about eating a meal containing carbohydrates.
- You begin secreting insulin.
- The insulin signals the fat cells to shut down the release of fatty acids (by inhibiting HSL) and take up more fatty acids (via LPL) from the circulation.
- You start to get hungry, or hungrier.
- You begin eating.
- You secrete more insulin.
- The carbohydrates are digested and enter the circulation as glucose, causing blood sugar levels to rise.
- You secrete still more insulin.
- Fat from the diet is stored as triglycerides in the fat cells, as are some of the carbohydrates that are converted into fat in the liver.
- The fat cells get fatter, and so do you.
- The fat stays in the fat cells until the insulin level drops.
Carbohydrate rich food especially once which can be easily digested is our reason to become fat
the stimulation of insulin secretion caused by eating easily digestible, carbohydrate-rich foods: refined carbohydrates, including flour and cereal grains, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, and sugars, like sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup. These carbohydrates literally make us fat, and by driving us to accumulate fat, they make us hungrier and they make us sedentary.
Are all foods that are carbohydrates rich bad?
Not that all foods that contain carbohydrates are equally fattening. This is a crucial point. The most fattening foods are the ones that have the greatest effect on our blood sugar and insulin levels. These are the concentrated sources of carbohydrates, and particularly those that we can digest quickly: anything made of refined flour (bread, cereals, and pasta), liquid carbohydrates (beers, fruit juices, and sodas), and starches (potatoes, rice, and corn). These foods flood the bloodstream quickly
The carbohydrates in leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, on the other hand, are bound up with indigestible fibre and take much longer to be digested and enter our bloodstream.
So in order to become lean, we have to consciously take decision to not have easily digestible carbohydrates
The cycle can be broken, although it requires fighting these cravings—just as alcoholics can quit drinking and smokers can quit smoking, but not without constant effort and vigilance.
Knowing this what to avoid, the author has long list of foods to avoid and many of us many may not be able to sustain without them
- Do not use sugar, honey, syrup, jam, jelly or candy.
- Do not use fruits canned with sugar.
- Do not use cake, cookies, pie, puddings, ice cream or ices.
- Do not use foods which have cornstarch or flour added such as gravy or cream sauce.
- Do not use potatoes (sweet or Irish), macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, dried beans or peas.
- Do not use fried foods prepared with butter, lard, oil or butter substitutes.
- Do not use drinks such as Coca-Cola, ginger ale, pop or root beer.
- Do not use any foods not allowed on the diet and only as much as the diet allows.
What can you eat (as a vegetarian) You can eat all you want of protein and fat, so you don’t get hungry and you don’t expend less energy
- All green vegetables
- Fruit, if unsweetened or sweetened with saccharin, except bananas and grapes
- Meat. Fish and eggs if you are not vegetarian
Now armed with this knowledge see how can you replace intake of easily digested carbohydrates in your diet and become healthy
Note – I am not a nutritionist this post is for education purpose only, seek medical advice before you follow any of the above