It’s not you. It’s your hormones
I could give you a thousand links to website on eating right, recommend books, give you recipes, tell you to avoid this or that food, low this, high that, include, eliminate, moderation blah blah blah…..
We are in an age where we have so much access to information. Some good, some bad. But what I’m finding is that we are actually more confused, over weight, hungry and desperately searching for the next wonder drug or pill to magically undo our predicament.
But until you can understand your physiology your basically like a hamster on the treadmill to nowhere.
Its not you, It’s your hormones. We all have them but what we haven’t really figured out is that they OWN us. They are responsible for all our urges, basic human functions and how we respond to stimuli. You cannot out smart your physiology.
What we need to know for weight loss, more importantly fat loss, is that we can get them to work FOR us rather than against us. Its not rocket science, but if you know how to manipulate them, you my friend, are in the drivers seat of what can become a very easy ride.
Hormone Helper # 1:
Make insulin your best friend. You get control of this sucker and it’s a dream run.
Why? Because increased insulin equals increased ability for a body to store fat.
It works on more is more is more is more cycle. Call it a positive feedback loop that actually gives you a negative result – unless fat gain is what you want.
Here’s the run down on what insulin is for:
We need it to move sugar out of our blood and into our cells. Insulin is release from the pancreas when triggered by the presence of sugar/glucose in our blood stream. This is actually a very vital hormone as we can’t use sugar when its in our blood, we need it in our cells to elicit a function, mostly giving us energy to move our muscles. So insulin is released and it shuttles sugar from our blood into our muscle and liver cells for storage as glucose and glycogen. If we eat a lot of high carb foods we have a lot of sugar entering our blood, which will need a lot of insulin moving it into our cells, essentially for storage. But this is where the ‘weight’ issues come in. We can only store a certain amount of sugar in our cells as glucose. It’s kind of our instant energy, useful for flight/fight responses. It doesn’t require oxygen to break it down so its perfect for short, sharp bursts of activity known as anaerobic – meaning ‘without oxygen’ such as 100m sprint. Perfect when running away from a Saber Tooth tiger, for example.
How it works in OUR reality:
When we have meal after meal that contains carbs, insulin will be at work every few hours. So unless your burning up that last lot of ‘sugar’ to make room in your cells for the next load, our bodies will create a ‘long term storage’ solution. We turn it (glucose) into fat. Stored in, you guessed it, a fat cell reserve.
This function in caveman times was extremely necessary in preparation for possible famine. As I have mentioned before, caveman and woman didn’t have 24hr access to a supermarket. So in the leaner months they would need extra fat stores to ensure they had enough ‘fuel’ to survive.
What is happening in our current time is that we have abundance of food and no need for a famine function. But our bodies haven’t evolved to understand this – yet.
How it relates to weight gain:
First note this; Insulin STOPS the use of fat being used for energy by inhibiting a hormone essential for its break down/metabolism.
We do need carbs, but we don’t need them in every meal or everyday. Our body actually prefers to use fat as its primary fuel source. It’s more efficient for our body because when one gram of fat is metabolized (burned) it contains twice the amount of ‘energy’ aka calories, as one gram of carbohydrates*. Lets call it good fuel economy. This is the other reason why we turn excess glucose into fat; it holds twice as much energy in half the space.
Our bodies don’t know that in our lifetime we probably won’t see famine. So this hormone system for storage is being activated day in and day out. We are putting on more and more weight. The traditional way to lose weight is eat less and expel more. But this isn’t how we are designed to exist. And living in a permanent dieting state leads to more dis-ease eventually. And it’s also just not that fun.
Your body has been carefully designed for optimum functionality. Its so good at what it does it runs on autopilot. The problem is (you) keep over-riding the system with some bad habits, such as food choice, over eating or mindless consumption and now we are beginning to malfunction. In this particular instance its resulting in excess weight and stress on our cells. There is no surprise that the consistent releasing of insulin to deal with the consistent intake of carbs is resulting in a skyrocketing number of people being diagnosed with diabetes (type 2).
This is not a coincidence.
Once we understand, respect and get insulin working FOR us as apposed AGAINST we will be brought back to a more harmonious homeostasis level that will have a positive flow-on effect to our health. Maybe you don’t have a slow metabolism; maybe you’ve just been looking at it all wrong? I’m here to tell you; it’s not your fault.
Next posts will be on how food can either hinder or help us achieve better insulin balance.
*Fat yields 9 Calories/37 Kilojoules
*Carbohydrates yield 4 Calories/17 Kilojoules
EXTRA NEWS @ The Wholefood Truth:
I’m about to release a free ebook called The Hormone Helper so we can all understand ourselves a bit better. It will translate topics that are often very ‘science-y’ and at times difficult to decipher. If you would like a copy of the ebook then follow me and you’ll be alerted to when it’s completed and available for you, so you can begin to turn the tables and get your hormones working 100% for you!