I know. It doesn’t ring true. It sounds, literally, incredible. But under the scenario I am going to describe, it IS true. I wouldn’t lie to you. My credibility with my regular readers is too important for me to squander it.
Before telling you why, though, I want to address the thinking that questions this assertion. On hearing this, a person thinks and maybe asks, “Don’t you get hungry? How’s your energy level? Do you feel okay?
” My answers are: “No, I don’t get hungry,” and “my
energy level is high.” In
fact, I feel pumped, sometimes euphoric, almost manic. “I actually feel better than okay. I feel great!” And no, I’m not “Tony
Why then do people ask those questions? Because it’s common sense! It’s empirical; we’ve all experienced it. If you eat less on a “balanced” (carbohydrate-based) diet, you’re going to still be hungry! If you don’t “feed your body,” your body will slow down! And as your metabolism slows, you will have less energy and you will feel weak. You may even feel unwell. That’s all very logical and true. Yes, but notice the big “if.”
This “if” clause contains the phrase “balanced carb-based diet.” Eating less with that diet will produce the effects described because you are starving your body of needed energy because it is unable to access your body’s fat stores. However,
your body is designed 1) to be fed by mouth when
food is available and 2) to be fed from fat stores when food is not available, for example, when
fasting. There’s only one problem. For
your body to work like that, a switch is needed to “turn on” the
body’s fat fuel source. Here’s how it works.
When you eat carbohydrates, your blood insulin level rises. Your body secretes insulin to carry energy from the digested/absorbed carbs (as glucose) in your blood to your cells. Insulin then opens the “door” for the energy to be taken up. Then, when the level of glucose in your blood drops, your insulin level drops too. Insulin is thus the switch. Low insulin signals the liver to switch from burning carbs for energy to burning fat.
So, in a normal metabolism, when your carb energy is expended and your blood glucose level drops, your blood insulin level also drops and your body switches
to burning body fat for energy.
It does this without your
feeling hungry, without
slowing down your metabolism, and withou t
making you feel unwell. The reason that all this is true should now be
obvious: Your body IS still being fed…FED BY OWN YOUR BODY FAT.
You will be fed at the level your body needs for your activity level. You could run a marathon! This energy balance – called homeostasis – will be met by the liver breaking up triglycerides (body fat) as needed. You will be in energy balance so long as you have fat to burn and you don’t eat too many carbs.
Another way to lower both blood glucose and blood insulin is fasting. It is especially effective for people with a disregulated glucose metabolism, e.g. those with Insulin Resistance (Type 2 diabetics and Pre-diabetics). When
we don’t eat, blood glucose and blood insulin
go down and good things happen: 1) we burn body fat for energy without slowing
down our metabolic rate, 2) we lose weight without
hunger because our bodies are being fed at the cellular level by body
fat, 3) ketone bodies, a byproduct of fat (triglyceride) breakdown, feed the
brain, and 4) while fasting, out bodies gather cellular debris (autophagy) and 5) burn
old, used up cells (apoptosis). These renewal processes provide great benefit. Burning omental (visceral)
fat, including pancreatic fat
cells, beta cells
(erroneously considered to be ”burned out”) begin to function
I’ve been a Type 2 for diabetic 33 years. So, what happens when I eat Very Low Carb with Intermittent Fasting? I lose weight, my glucose metabolism stabilizes, and I’m never hungry because I’m a fat burner. I have loads of energy, I save money on food, and I feel “pumped.” What’s not to like about those outcomes?