Why Weight Loss Isn't About Calories
For years, we've followed a weight loss model that's consisted of eating fattening carbohydrates, low-fat foods, artificial sweeteners and eating small, frequent meals throughout the day. What's happened as a result of following those guidelines? Forty percent of Americans are now obese. The real kicker here is that we've been following those guidelines based off of "expert opinion." Well, if those results are coming from those "experts", I want new experts.
Total energy expenditure is:
- the sum of BMR (basal metabolic rate)
- thermogenic effect of food
- non-exercise activity thermogenesis
- EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption)
Total energy expenditure can go up or down as much as FIFTY PERCENT depending upon caloric intake and other factors. Also, body fat regulation is under automatic control.
Thermodynamics (energy in vs. energy out) has minimal relevance to human biology because the human body is NOT an isolated system. Suppose you consume 2000 calories of potential chemical energy per day. Here is the metabolic effect of those 2000 calories:
- heat production
- new protein production
- new bone production
- new muscle production
- increased heart rate
- increased stroke volume
- exercise/physical exertion
- fat production
In other words, we don't mind if energy is "burned" as heat or building protein, but we DO mind if it's deposited as fat. There are almost an infinite number of ways the body dissipates energy. Fat loss and/or fat gain is regulated, just like every other system of the body.
The moral of the story is obesity is a hormonal dysregulation of fat mass.
The great equalizer is insulin. In order to be able to utilize fat for energy and enter a fat-storing mode, insulin MUST be addressed. There's no way around it. Insulin spikes happen for 2 reasons:
1. constant stimulation by eating frequenty
2. eating foods that have a high insulinogenic effect
Although there are no cookie cutter approaches to health or nutrition, it would serve you best by greatly limiting or eliminating sugar and grains, keeping protein intake low to moderate and eliminating insulin-provoking foods can go a long way to help restore health. It would also be in your best interest to stop eating so darn frequently. Skipping breakfast, keeping your eating window to 6 hours or even just skipping a day of eating will help speed-up the fat burning process. Eating an abundance of healthy fats will also speed up fat burning.