OK, you've been to Jenny Craig (insert weight loss scam here) and followed their low calorie, low fat diet plan and Yay! I've lost weight.
Now, I'm off Jenny Craig and I've not only gained the weight back, I've added another kilogram or 2.
So you try another weight loss scheme and exactly the same thing - diet, lose weight, go off the diet, gain more weight, rinse and repeat.
When you reduce calories, your body has to slow your metabolic rate. This means that non-essential bodily functions (like nail and hair health and growth) get reduced or stopped so that essential bodily functions can continue.
Now that your basal metabolic rate (BMR) has slowed down, once you increase your claoric intake, your body decides to store the extra calories for a later date when it is needed (next time you are starving).
How does your body store energy? Fat.
Weight gain is not so much a function of calories as it is a function of hormones.
As a society, we've steadily gained weight since the early seventies. Before about 1974, we ate mainly real foods, meats, vegetables, fruit (In season), lots of full fat milk, cream, beef tallow, lard (rendered fats), bacon and eggs and the occasional sugary treat.
In 1974 the Government introduced the "Food Pyramid" - lots of grains (often in the form of cereals or baked goods like bread) and very little fatty food and meat.
The most important energy storage hormone in the body is insulin. At any one time, in a healthy body, there is 1 teaspoon of sugar in our bloodstream. Yes, that's right, 1 teaspoon! More than that and insulin kicks in and takes any extra sugar out and stores it in our fat cells. This stored energy can be burned as fuel later on when it's needed.
So wait a minute, I just said SUGAR. Yes, it's sugar that makes you fat, not ingested oils and fat. (Unfortunately in English we use the same word, fat to describe internal body fat and ingested animal fats.)
But, you say, I don't eat sugar. Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates (carbs) are broken down in our body very quickly into sugar. Carbohydrates are simply long chains of sugar. You have simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are made up of three components: fiber, starch, and sugar.
Fiber and starch are complex carbs, while sugar is a simple carb. Depending on how much of each of these is found in a food will determines its nutrient quality.
Sugars come by many different names : anything that ends in -ose or -ide is a sugar - glucose, fructose, saccharine, metros, dextrose and so it goes on. The dishonest food industry uses over 75 different names for sugar. They call something "Sugar Free" but it contains one or more of the alternate named sugars.
Don't trust Government, big food or big Pharma
You do not need to ingest sugar in any of its forms to sustain life. It is true that your body uses sugar as a fuel - but you don't need to eat it. Your liver can produce it as required through a process called gluconeogenesis.
In fact, the best fuel for your body is fat. Oils and fats. But we've been lied to for decades and people are scared of fats, especially animal fats.
By reducing or removing carbohydrates (sugar) from your diet, your body will after a period of between 2 and 6 weeks, will start producing and using ketones efficiently and you become fat adapted. Once your body is trained to burn fat for fuel (ketones), you can start using the stored energy you've been carrying around for years!
Don't confuse ketones with ketoacidosis. Ketones are good - ketoacidosis is bad. That's when you have both high blood sugar and high ketones and is a potentially life threatening situation.
I could carry on for hundreds of pages on this topic, but that's enough for now. I'll continue this discùssion in my next post.
If you haven't read it, here's a link to my earlier post on the SAD Diet.