Does the body have some mechanism to count calories? Does the body have sensors to detect calories? No and No 🙂
Consider two foods of equal caloric value. On the one hand, you have a sugar cookie, and on the other is a plate of lettuce. The calories are identical. OK. So what?
When you eat those two foods, does your body somehow measure these calories? No.
The metabolic effect of those two foods is completely different.
To understand weight loss, we need to understand what our body ‘cares’ about.
Our body gains or loses fat according to detailed hormonal instructions from our brain.
The rise and fall of insulin is the main stimulus to weight gain.
So, foods that stimulate insulin are typically more fattening (cookies). Those that do not (broccoli) are typically not fattening at all.
Since our body is not likely to learn the language of ‘calories’, we need to learn the language of ‘insulin’, by translating food into insulin effect instead of calories.
We need to start using the common language of the body – Insulin.
What’s the most powerful way to control your insulin levels? Start intermittent fasting and eat whole foods that aren’t processed 🙂
Carbs vs Fats
Are you a carboholic? I ate this way for a good majority of my life! I realized that if I wanted to lean out and lose those extra 10-15 pounds I needed to replace pasta (refined carbs) with something else.
So I got into eating salads but it wasn’t filling me up?! Do you have this issue?
So I made a small tweak – I started adding fats into my salad which helped fill me up and gave me prolonged energy!! Why is this??
When you are no longer consuming a lot of heavy, refined carbs, the body’s engine will convert to burning fat. It will either burn the fat you have eaten or the fat stored on your body. You are essentially “training” your metabolism to use fats more often and more efficiently!
On the other hand, when you eat a large plate of carbohydrates, this is followed by an immediate spike in your blood sugar levels. Which causes a sudden release of insulin, which triggers the body to start absorbing the glucose from the blood and potentially storing it as fat.
And in turn, that then leaves you with a low blood sugar level (and the corresponding low serotonin) which makes you feel tired, energy-less, and hungry. In turn, this leads to snacking behavior.
Fats on the other hand release much more slowly into the bloodstream, providing you with a steadier and longer-lasting supply of energy without the crash.
How to Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting
When you are eating all day, it will be more difficult for your body to gain access to your body fat to use as energy. Only after most of your glycogen is burned for energy then does your body turn to its stores of fat. So these two compartments of energy are not burned simultaneously.
First, you need to empty the glycogen storage (fridge) before using your fat storage (freezer). You either burn sugar or fat, but not both. If you continually fill up the fridge 3-6 times a day, then you will never start burning the fat in your freezer. The old method of “calories in, calories out” pretends that all calories are stored equally and burned equally, even though you have two compartments of storage (glucose and fat).
So the key is to have periods of fasting so your body can gain access to your fat stores instead of always relying on glucose for energy. Balancing out your fasting and feasting times is one key to helping you lose weight.
In order to ease yourself into fasting, I recommend pushing back breakfast an hour every day until you get to noon or 1 pm. Then this will be your first meal of the day. Doing it this way you take advantage of the overnight fast and are simply pushing back your first meal of the day.