Obesity is a major issue in the United States today. In fact, as of 2013, 25-30% of Minnesota adults were considered obese according to the CDC.1 That’s 1 in every 4 adults! And, let’s face it – losing weight is difficult. According to the Monte Nido Eating Disorder Treatment Center, “95% of diets fail and most will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years”.2 So that begs the question – what can we do?! How can we go about losing excess weight and living healthier lives?
The answer to losing weight is quite simple – ditch the carbohydrates according to Gary Taubes in his book, “Why We Get Fat”.3 Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t fat that causes us to be overweight, but those pesky carbs. But how can this make sense? The answer lies in a little chemical called insulin.
Insulin is a hormone with a simple job – stimulate our cells to take in extra glucose from our bloodstream after a sugary snack. Insulin is surely our friend – continually keeping our blood sugar in balance…until it doesn’t. Insulin is also related to fat metabolism, or fat burning, in our body.3
The hormones lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) are also directed by insulin. The first, LPL, is a cell membrane protein responsible for pulling the fat from our bloodstream into fat cells. Insulin activates this protein, especially in our abdominal regions, which causes more fat storage in the body. The second hormone, called HSL, is inhibited by insulin activity. HSL is responsible for breaking fat down to be used for energy.
Therefore, when insulin is around, we do two things:
Store more fat
Stop the body from burning fat.3
It seems that avoiding carbohydrates could surely help our body in burning its fat stores. Therefore, a great way to shed some excess weight would be to avoid foods that spike our blood sugar (and insulin secretion) such as bread, cereal, pasta, beer, fruit juice, soda, potatoes, rice, and corn.3 Furthermore, don’t be afraid to eat fat and protein – they have no effect on insulin secretion and will keep you from feeling hungry for a longer time period. If you want to lose weight, it may be time to exchange that breakfast cereal for a little bacon!
Meet Dr. Kelsey Perreault ~ She is a chiropractor at ChiroCenter in Bloomington, MN. Helping her patients reach their health goals through Gonstead chiropractic care is one of her passions.
- Taubes, Gary. “Why We Get Fat”.