The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.
Are you fat because you overeat or do you overeat because you are fat?
For most of the last century, the cause of obesity has been based on the first law of thermodynamics, which dictates that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This means that calorie intake minus calorie expenditure equals calories stored. Consuming more calories than you can burn off will result in the excess being deposited as fat. The simple solution is to eat less or exercise more.
The problem is that this advice doesn’t work, for most people over the long term. More people than ever before are obese, despite the focus on calorie balance by the government, nutrition organizations and the food industry.
But what if you confused cause and effect? What if it’s not overeating that causes you to get fat, but the process of getting fatter that causes us to overeat?
The more calories you lock away in fat tissue, the fewer there are circulating in the bloodstream to satisfy your body’s requirements. If you look at it this way, it’s a distribution problem. You have an abundance of calories, but they’re in the wrong place. As a result, your body needs to increase its intake. You get hungrier because you’re getting fatter. When fat cells suck up too much fuel, calories from food promote the growth of fat tissue instead of serving the energy needs of your body, provoking overeating in all but the most disciplined individuals.
According to this view, factors in the environment have triggered fat cells in your body to take in and store excessive amounts of glucose and other calorie-rich compounds. Since fewer calories are available to fuel metabolism,your brain tells your body to increase calorie intake (you feel hungry) and save energy (your metabolism slows down). Eating more solves this problem temporarily but also accelerates weight gain. Cutting calories reverses the weight gain for a short while, making you think you have control over your body’s weight, but predictably increases hunger and slows metabolism even more.
Consider a fever analogy. A cold bath will lower your body temperature temporarily, but will also set off biological responses like shivering and constriction of blood vessels that work to heat your body up again. The conventional view of obesity as a problem of calorie balance is like saying fever as a problem of heat balance; technically not wrong, but not very helpful, because it ignores the apparent underlying biological driver of weight gain.
This is why diets that rely on consciously reducing calories don’t usually work. Only one in six overweight and obese adults in a nationwide survey reports ever having maintained a 10 percent weight loss for at least a year. In studies, when lean and obese research subjects were underfed in order to make them lose 10 to 20 percent of their weight, their hunger increased and metabolism plummeted. Overfeeding sped up metabolism.
For both over and under eating, these responses tend to push weight back to where it started prompting some obesity researchers to think in terms of a body weight that seems to be predetermined by your genes.
If basic biological responses push back against changes in body weight, and your set points are predetermined, then why have obesity rates risen almost three times what they were in the 1960s? More importantly what can you do about it?
As it turns out, many biological factors affect the storage of calories in fat cells, including genetics, levels of physical activity, sleep and stress. But one has an indisputably dominant role…the hormone insulin. It’s known that excess insulin treatment for diabetes causes weight gain, and insulin deficiency causes weight loss. And of everything you eat, highly refined and rapidly digestible carbohydrates produce the most insulin.
The increasing amount and processing of carbohydrates in the diets has increased insulin levels, put fat cells into storage overdrive and caused obesity-promoting biological responses in a large number of people. Like an infection that raises your body temperatures set point, high consumption of refined carbohydrates chips, crackers, cakes, soft drinks, sugary breakfast cereals and even white rice and bread has increased body weights.
One reason we consume so many refined carbohydrates today is because they have been added to processed foods in place of fats which have been the main target of calorie reduction efforts since the 1970s. Fat has about twice the calories of carbohydrates, but low-fat diets are the least effective in accomplishing your weight loss goals.
A recent study examined 21 overweight and obese young adults after they had lost 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, on diets ranging from low fat to low carbohydrate diets. Consuming the same number of calories on each diet, subjects burned about 325 more calories per day on the low carbohydrate diets than on the low fat diets which amounts to the energy expended in an hour of moderately intense physical activity.
A poor quality diet could result in obesity even when it was low in calories. Rats fed a diet with rapidly digesting (called high “glycemic index”) carbohydrate gained 71 percent more fat than their counterparts, who ate more calories over all, though in the form of slowly digesting carbohydrate.
These ideas aren’t entirely new. The notion that we overeat because we’re getting fat has been around for at least a century. In 1908, a German internist named Gustav von Bergmann dismissed the energy-balance view of obesity, and hypothesized that it was instead caused by a metabolic disorder that he called “lipophilia,” or “love of fat.”
But such theories have been generally ignored, perhaps because they challenge entrenched cultural attitudes. The popular emphasis on calorie balance reinforces the belief that we have conscious control over our weight, and that obesity represents a personal failure because of ignorance or inadequate willpower.
The food industry makes enormous profits from highly processed products derived from corn, wheat and rice and invokes calorie balance as its first line of defense. If all calories are the same, then there are no bad foods, and sugary beverages, junk foods and the like are fine in moderation. It’s simply a question of portion control. The fact that this rarely works is taken as evidence that obese people lack willpower, not that the idea itself might be wrong.
Existing research cannot provide a definitive test of this hypothesis however two recent studies have reported substantial benefits associated with the reduction of rapidly digestible carbohydrate compared with conventional diets. We need to invest much more in this research. With the annual economic burden of diabetes (just one obesity-related complication) predicted to approach half a trillion dollars by 2020, a few billion dollars for state-of-the-art nutrition research would make a good investment.
If this hypothesis turns out to be correct, it will have immediate implications for public health. It would mean that the decade’s long focus on calorie restriction was destined to fail for most people. Information about calorie content would remain relevant, not as a strategy for weight loss, but rather to help people avoid eating too much highly processed food loaded with rapidly digesting carbohydrates. But obesity treatment would more appropriately focus on diet quality rather than calorie quantity.
People in the modern food environment seem to have greater control over what they eat than how much. With reduced consumption of refined grains, concentrated sugar and potato products and a few other sensible lifestyle choices, your internal body weight control system should be able to do the rest. Eventually, YOU could bring your body weight set point back to a pre-epidemic level. Addressing the underlying biological drive to overeat may make a far more practical and effective solution to obesity than counting calories.
In my books and specifically “Get FIT STAY FIT” I talk more in depth on set points and the glycemic index with a list of the foods and their values to help you better choose a more balanced and nutrition meal plan.
I know you want to get in shape and look great. Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !