Foods provide nutrients and energy. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and sent to the bloodstream. Glucose causes a rise in blood glucose levels. Increased blood glucose levels signal the pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that forces glucose into your cells.
The process of glycogenesis converts glucose into glycogen. Glycogen is stored in your muscles and liver and provides the energy you need to live your life. In a perfect world, we would eat the right foods and have the exact amount of glucose converted to glycogen to meet our body’s needs until our next meal.
This is not what happens though. We do not eat the right amount of nutritionally balanced foods. Insulin sensitivity changes over time due to diet and lifestyle choices. The insulin required to move a certain amount of blood glucose into a cell changes as the insulin sensitivity changes to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance requires more insulin to move blood glucose into a cell. As a result, more insulin is made in your pancreas. Your bloodstream ends up with excess blood sugar which is converted to fat for use later.
Insulin resistance is increased by sugar consumption, inflammation, excess adrenaline, excess cortisol, more omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3 fatty acids, high glycemic-index foods, age, and more. It is not a simple equation of eating less and exercise more to keep everything stable.
Cortisol is a stress hormone, as is adrenaline. Excess cortisol increases hunger, increases insulin, increases insulin resistance, increases glucose, decreases muscle mass, and decreases testosterone.
Testosterone in low levels cause increased fat storage by decreased muscle mass, increased visceral fat storage, and opens more cortisol receptor cells. You have four times more cortisol receptor cells around your mid-section than the rest of your body. Cortisol helps us address stressful situations when we need to run away from the saber-tooth tiger. Its other prime directive is to store fat.
Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for life. We do not make them. We get them through eating. The same is true for essential omega-3 fatty acids. In an ideal world, the relationship between omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids would be 1:1.
When the amount of omega-6 fatty acids exceeds 4:1 compared to omega-3 fatty acids, inflammation increases. The Standard American Diet typically exceeds 25:1 omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. High levels of omega-6 fatty acids increase inflammation which aids fat storage.
Fruits contain a mixture of sucrose, fructose, and glucose. An apple or banana is not a problem. Excess fructose is a problem. Fructose is sweeter than glucose and is used as a sweetener in food manufacturing – HFCS, high fructose corn syrup is commonly seen on many food labels.
Fructose raises levels of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) which leads to fat accumulation around your organs, especially your liver and heart. It can also raise uric acid levels which can increase blood pressure.
Fructose causes fatty liver disease, decreases leptin, increases ghrelin, and increases triglycerides. Leptin is a hormone created in fat cells that signals the brain to stop eating. Ghrelin is a hormone created in your empty gut that tells you it is time to eat. High levels of triglycerides often indicate a potential risk for heart attack and high blood pressure.
Alcohol, sleep, toxins, dietary fat, gluten, and more also affect fat storage in the body. It may seem like a never-ending story of doom. There are too many things to fix to have a normal body.
Start at the beginning and use a smaller plate for your meals. I switched to a salad plate years ago. I cannot imagine eating with my larger dinner plates when I have meals at home. Set a standard rule for eating – only eat the food on the salad plate and do not go back for seconds. That limits the amount of food you will eat at a meal.
Choose more fruits and vegetables than proteins. Limit the number of carbohydrates. Rice that takes a half-hour or longer to cook is better than rice that is ready in minutes. The same with a baked potato compared to au-gratin potatoes in a box. Skip desserts six days a week.
Change your lifestyle with your daily food choices. The excess weight did not happen overnight. It probably did not happen over the last year or two. Losing weight will not happen in what we consider measurable time. It is better to be healthier and a little overweight and correcting back to the desired weight.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com