It’s the time of year when many of us are regretting all those goodies we ate during the holidays. Our britches are a little tighter, we’ve let the belt out a notch or maybe we’re avoiding a certain pair of jeans. Shorts, t-shirts and yes bathing suit weather is fast approaching and we’re about to run out of time to reduce the belly bulge that confirms our winter dietary misbehavior.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on the best way to lose weight. What I want to share with you is not my opinion but is based on normal, well researched physiology. You wont have to buy a special protein powder, new miracle food or magic herb. Any long term diet must be healthy and support normal body function to be truly successful in reducing fat and our risk of fat associated diseases.
There’s two things we have to accomplish.
#1 Don’t make more fat
#2 Burn off the fat we have accumulated
The most important information to learn is insulin is the primary fat storage hormone in our body. Any food that raises the insulin level in our blood will cause our body to store fat. Please reread that last sentence.
Carbohydrates are the primary driver of insulin levels in our blood.
Eating fat does not make us fat.
Calories do not make us fat.
Lack of exercise does not make us fat.
Eating carbohydrates that digest quickly causes our blood sugar to rise. When our blood sugar rises our pancreas releases insulin to move the sugar from our blood into our cells for energy. Any sugar that is not used immediately for energy is stored as fat ( three sugar molecules are combined to form a triglyceride).
Insulin is our primary fat storage hormone.
Carbohydrates raise insulin levels and insulin causes us to store fat. Carbohydrates make us fat.
If you want to lose weight (fat) and have more energy without starving yourself this is what I recommend.
#1 Severely restrict your carbohydrate intake.
(Remember, if it doesn’t have a mother, moo, cluck or swim, it’s a carbohydrate.)
Focus on the carbs that contain the most sugars.
Eliminate bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. You do not need any of these to be healthy.
Do not eat cakes, pies, cookies, candy bars, sugary drinks and ice cream. Keep in mind that beer is basically liquid bread.
#2 Increase the protein and fat in your meals. Eat protein three times a day. Fat and protein are more slowly digested and will keep you from feeling hungry. Remember fat does not make you fat.
If you do get a little hungry between meals then snack on protein and fat.
Eat when you are hungry. Eat as much fat and protein as you want. Stop eating when you are full even if there is food left on your plate.
People who eat this way can expect to lose a couple pounds a week and will see other improvements. Healthier cholesterol levels, higher HDL (good), lower blood pressure, and lower HA1C.
If you are taking medicine for your blood pressure or are diabetic please have your health care provider monitor your bp and glucose closely. The combination of the diet and the medication may be too much and cause both numbers to drop too low.
Let’s keep it simple.
Severely restrict the carbohydrates in your diet.
Do not eat bread, potatoes, pasta or rice.
No cakes, pies, sweets, and no sweet drinks.
Eat protein three times a day.
Eat until you are full.
Your body will go through a transition while it adjusts to burning fat for energy rather than the carbohydrates you’ve been eating. You will likely feel some temporary carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms.
I hope you find this information helpful. Always check with your health care provider with any concerns you may have.
To educate yourself and your doctor I recommend the book “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes
Never hesitate to call if you have any questions. Ask for a copy of the Phase II diet next time you are in the office.
Have a great day,
Dr. David Pence