I’ve been reading this book Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes and it’s just a fantastic book. It’s scientific, but not to the degree where you go ‘I’m not reading this, to many weird words’. You still have to concentrate here and there though when it’s a lot of talk about triglycerides, LDL, HDL, insulin, glucose, glycogen and a few other similar sounding words. All Taubes talks about is lots of history of weight loss and diets, lots of older research and quite a bit of never research. And it’s nothing controversial about it, except it has been suppressed the last 40-50 years, because of one conclusion that was made before a study was even begun. So, because of one assumption, the whole idea of why we get fat changed and it’s the wrong idea. We all need to go back to the pre 1970’s idea of what healthy food is and how to lose weigh and maintain weight loss is done healthy and safe. And it actually works.
Now I am sure you are thinking; what is the secret, tell me now!!! Well, there is no secret, it has been out there for years and years, it’s just that so many people have different interests than saving your health. They’d rather get rich in denying facts.
The “secret” is; Carbohydrates makes you fat. No surprises there. Fat and protein on the other hand does not make you fat. And, you don’t get fat because you eat more, you eat more because you are fat (sounds pretty crazy, I know, I will try to make sense out of it for you).
Carbohydrates, the big evil, has only been around in the masses that it is today (sugar and wheat) for the last 0.5% of the human era. The previous 99.5% of the time there has been humans on earth, we haven’t had so much readily available carbs everywhere. There was some carbs in seasonable fruit and berries, roots, nuts and vegetables. But now carbs are the first thing you see when you walk into the supermarket (fruit, bread, yoghurt) and the last thing you see when you leave (chocolate, chips and lollies). You literally can’t avoid carbs anywhere. Unless you decide to and focus on it everyday.
What does carbs do? They stimulate your pancreas to release insulin into your bloodstream (I’m gonna try not to get to technical here, please bare with me) to deal with the elevated blood sugar after consuming carbs (any time, bread, apple, lolly). How much insulin and how fast is determined by how easily digested the carbohydrates you just ate are. What it basically does is taking the blood sugar to your muscles for energy straight away and the leftover to your butt for energy you can use later. Unfortunately, most of us eat so much carbs on a daily basis that we never need the stored energy and it just sits there on your butt and accumulates a little more every day.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a calorie restricted diet, as long as you keep eating carbs, you are still programming your body to store fat. When restricting calories, you are simply starving your body for energy, and your body slows down and uses as little as possible. When you start eating sufficiently again, your body stores back the fat it has lost. It’s not about calories in vs calories out, because a calories is not just a calorie. The different macronutrients react different in your body and carbs are the only one to tell your body to store fat. That’s why sticking to a low carb diet is great for weight loss and to avoid weight gain.
When cutting back on carbs, you will (probably) need to add something else, and here is where it goes pear shaped for many (most?). Because we are so used to hearing how fat is bad for us, so we try to avoid it as best as we can (seriously, how many low fat diets haven’t you seen the last 30-40 years?!), because we are scared of a) getting fat and b) dying of a heart disease. Well, no one can actually prove either. But there is plenty of research showing how having a diet high in fat (including saturated fats) actually are beneficial for your cholesterol profiles and you actually lose weight and your risk of a heart attack lowers. Controversial? Maybe, but it’s proven again and again.
Do a little research for yourself if you don’t believe me. I’ll write more about Gary Taubes, carbs, fat and how we get fat later. What do you think?