Traditionally we have been taught that excessive fat in our diet is behind weight problems and diseases of lifestyle, notably obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Nutritional research, however, has promoted a key shift in our understanding and the evidence indicates that the underlying cause of weight (body fat) gain in most people is their development of increasing carbohydrate resistance (also called carbohydrate intolerance).
Sugar, sugary drinks and refined carbohydrates (e.g. bread, pasta, white rice, cereals) stimulate excessive insulin levels in the body causing the conversion of sugar to fat, increased fat storage and a metabolic “lock-down” of the body’s fat stores. Carbohydrate resistant individuals eating a high refined ‘carb’ diet have full fat cells but are not able to utilize their fat stores to fuel bodily processes including exercise. The body’s cells without fat for energy are thereby ‘starved’ causing the brain to stimulate hunger and fatigue resulting in more carb eating and increased weight gain, a vicious cycle. So how do you know if you are carbohydrate resistant? You are very likely to be so if you have:
- struggled with weight for most of your life and are now very overweight
- a tendency to accumulate excess weight around your middle (“belly fat”)
- gained a significant amount of weight with age, after menopause, pregnancy or stress
- blood tests indicating that you are pre-diabetic
Studies on low fat / low calorie dieting show poor long term results in terms of sustainable weight loss, the reason being that eating fat is not the fundamental problem as it is eating sugar and refined carbohydrates that play the greater role in making us fat! Conventional low fat and low calorie diets even when combined with exercise are more likely to result in hunger, fatigue and the rapid regain of lost weight once the dieting phase has ended.
Adopting an eating program which cuts out sugar & refined carbs and adds back a higher healthy fat intake results in positive metabolic changes with resultant direct health benefits to you:
- Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels unlocking the body’s fat stores
- Reduced appetite and increased energy levels
- Weight loss which is sustainable
- Cholesterol profiles and blood pressure may improve significantly
- Reduced risks of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure
Low carb eating is a nutritional program for life as you are never ‘cured’ of carbohydrate resistance, rather it is controlled with a low intake of carbohydrate (mostly from vegetable sources) and a higher intake of fat and protein. Low carb eating is simple, versatile and sustainable. Importantly it is not a NO carb diet but a LOW carb program.
More details can be obtained from The Centre for Sports Medicine’s Weight Lite Program.
or call 0772 402 390 for more information.
Article by Dr. Austin Jeans