Escape Weight Loss Fallacies to Lose Easily and Permanently.
Guest Post by Nicolette M. Dumke
I recently got an email from a friend who had committed to an event. She wrote, “I have thirteen days to lose my double chin. Any ideas?” Although I couldn’t tell her how to lose it in just thirteen days, everyone, given a reasonable amount of time, can lose weight without hunger and keep it off permanently if they have correct information on how to do it. However, much of what is commonly believed about weight loss is fallacious.
Many of us have tried to lose weight and failed to lose or to maintain our loss. As a country, we are becoming more obese every year and are facing a national epidemic of weight-related health problems such as diabetes. The reason is not a collective lack of willpower. It is that past weight loss efforts have been based on assumptions that ignore the facts of how our bodies store or burn fat. This explains why past diets have failed to produce lasting results and demonstrates how to make weight loss resolutions a reality. Here is reliable information that will produce weight loss:
1. Past dieting efforts have failed because they are based on fallacies of a weight loss diet hoax. Conventional diets say that all that matters is the number of calories consumed minus the number burned by physical activity. Although calories do have an effect, they are not the primary determining factor in how much we weigh. Our hormones, such as insulin, cortisol, leptin and others, are what really determine our weight. If your hormones are saying, “Deposit that food! A famine is in the land!” you will not be able to lose weight even if the number of calories you consume is very low. Because they work against body chemistry, calorie-counting diets rarely result in permanent weight loss. After dieters reach their goal, they usually re-gain most or all of the weight they lost. They may even be heavier than when they started; if dieters lost muscle mass, their metabolic rate will fall lower than before their diet. Thus, instead of counting calories, to lose weight, you must understand and control your weight-related hormones.
2. At the root of effective weight loss is control of hunger and insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone most important to the weight loss process because insulin regulates the activity of two enzymes that control fat metabolism. High insulin activates the enzyme lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme catalyzes the production of triglycerides from any fatty acids (digested fat units in the form that is absorbed by the intestine) eaten in a meal. Thus, excess insulin promotes storage of any fat rather than using it for fuel. In a person with normal insulin levels, recently eaten fats can be used for energy during the hours after a meal. If insulin levels are high, dietary fat will be stored in the fat cells instead. High insulin levels also inhibit the activity of the enzyme triglyceride lipase which breaks down stored fat for use as energy. Thus, if you have chronically high insulin, you cannot burn your own body fat! In addition, hunger, which leads us to overeat, is a sign of high insulin. The no-snacks-between-meals rule of conventional diets makes us hungrier and raises insulin levels, thus making weight loss nearly impossible. By understanding the role of insulin and the enzymes mentioned above, you can escape the “calorie math” diet hoax that has kept us heavy.
3. The timing of meals and snacks is the most important factor for controlling insulin levels and hunger. The key to losing weight easily and without hunger is to keep your body in a “burn fat” mode by keeping your blood sugar level stable and your insulin level low and stable. This can be achieved by eating protein-containing meals (especially breakfast) and between-meal snacks and by keeping carbohydrate intake at a sensible level with most of the carbohydrates low to moderate on the glycemic index (GI). Carbohydrates should also be balanced with protein.
4. Adrenal hormones, such as stress-induced adrenaline and cortisol, also contribute to overweight. When adrenaline (epinephrine) is secreted in response to stress, the body releases stored fuel (glucose) from the liver into the bloodstream. Insulin is secreted to drive this glucose into your cells to be used for energy. If you need to run from a wild animal, you will use that glucose to give you the energy for running. However, if your stress does not involve physical activity, the glucose may be stored as fat. This is the physiological reason why it is nearly impossible for some people to lose or even maintain their weight during stressful times, regardless of their food intake
5. With the rising incidence of gluten intolerance and food allergies, many Americans are facing new challenges to weight loss. Gluten-free diets are often high in rice, the only grain which has a high GI score in its whole-grain form, and overeating high GI foods leads to weight gain. Allergies promote overweight by causing allergic cravings or food addiction. In addition, the inflammation caused by allergic reactions causes a release of adrenal hormones which start a hormonal cascade leading to food being deposited as fat. Inflammation also inactivates leptin, the body’s master hormone for maintaining a healthy weight.
Hormones rule when it comes to weight loss for everyone, not just those on gluten-free or food allergy diets. To lose weight successfully and permanently, discard the faulty assumptions you’ve heard about weight in the past, and embrace the pursuit of real health and hormonal control by understanding how to work with your body to control your weight. Then you won’t hesitate when an opportunity for an author event comes your way.
Nicolette M. Dumke is the author of several books including Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss: Control Your Body Chemistry, Reduce Inflammation, and Improve Your Health. This new book exposes fallacies that have made past weight loss strategies ineffective and tells how to lose weight easily and permanently. To learn more about weight loss, food allergies, or gluten-free diets, visit her websites at www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com and www.food-allergy.org.