I am so sick and tired of hearing the public health and medical professions declare that eating Low Carb (LC), or heaven forbid, Very Low Carb, is “not sustainable” over the long haul; that most people don’t have the will power to restrict their diet to primarily foods that are comprised of protein and fat. Well, I doubt these PhDs and MDs were themselves ever obese or, if they were, had tried LC. But now that the “science” behind the diet/heart hypothesis has been debunked, and dietary cholesterol is no longer verboten, the reasons not to try it are gone.
Let’s face it: The reason people eat is because they are hungry. More accurately, the reason people eat is because their bodies are hungry. The brain, specifically, is the nerve center for messages from the blood and digestive system that tells you to eat. It wants you to think about, look for and eat food. It’s a primordial thing.
And why is the body hungry? Because it needs to maintain a constant flow of energy to keep everything running and in balance. This condition is called “homeostasis.” The body works relentlessly to also maintain your set point weight. These are very powerful forces. And they are autonomous, which means they work automatically without your conscious input. In fact, as you know, they fight your conscious efforts to lose weight. And they have a built-in evolutionary bias to add weight, for unforeseen events (an unproductive hunt, a poor harvest, or winter).
So, when you think it’s all about your “will power,” you are deluding yourself. You have an overly optimistic bias toward your ability to not eat. It’s not about your conscious will. Hunger is driven by forces beyond your control. It’s driven by your biology, which is more powerful than your conscious you. But, once you understand how your biology works, you can work with it. You can “defeat” the message that drives you to eat when you have plenty of fat stores hanging on your body. And you know you do. And you want to get rid of that extra fat, right?
Of course, you can stay with the restricted calorie, balanced diet and see how it works for you. But, you know in your heart of hearts that that regimen doesn’t work. And if you want to figure out how to get your body to naturally burn its own fat, stay with me. I am not selling snake oil or anything else; just a dietary idea that works.
How would you feel about a diet that works without hunger? That’s right, the hunger is gone. There will no longer be physiological signals and messages telling you to put something in your mouth. Why, because your body is satisfied with the available food source: your body fat. How did this condition come to pass?
“Just one word…Insulin” (apologies to “The Graduate”). Insulin is both the glucose-transporter hormone and the fat storage hormone. When you eat carbohydrates, they all break down to simple sugars – glucose primarily – and are “escorted” in your blood by insulin secreted for the purpose. If you’re pre-diabetic or a type 2, you have a degree of insulin resistance (from eating too many carbs for too many years), so your blood glucose and your blood insulin stay elevated. If you eat carbs at every meal (even a small, calorie restricted meal), they (glucose and insulin) are at a continuously “high” level. Result: You don’t lose weight, and you’re still hungry!!! Why?
Insulin is also the fat storage hormone. That means, it regulates when to make fat (when you eat too many carbs or too much fat), and when to burn fat…to maintain homeostasis. And your brain reasons that if you have a high level of insulin circulating in your blood, you must have glucose availability (from carbs, mostly) for energy to maintain homeostasis. It doesn’t recognize, unfortunately, that your glucose metabolism is disregulated by insulin resistance (your Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes). It just looks at your elevated blood insulin level.
Your body (not you) then “reasons” that it doesn’t need your body fat for energy, and so it blocks its breakdown. Your body would be very happy to burn your body fat for energy, but your elevated blood insulin level is blocking the signal. You simply can’t lose weight if your blood glucose and blood insulin remain high. Your body won’t let you. You have to lower your circulating blood glucose and blood insulin levels. How? By not eating carbohydrates.When you abstain from eating carbs for a few days, your body’s blood glucose and blood insulin will decrease and unblock the path to burning body fat for energy, making free fatty acids and ketones. Your body will be happy and you will have been launched on “…the most sustainable diet ever” because THE HUNGER IS GONE!