Fat Loss Day 2
What If Eating Less And Exercising More Doesn't Work?

This happens all the time. It happened to me! I trained to ride a hundred mile bike ride and did not lose much weight. I've eaten very little and lost weight on a scale but not much from my waist. (Really bad because that means my muscle protein was used for energy). Very frustrating. I decided to look into the physiology of weight loss. Physiology is doctor talk for how your body works. The more research I did the more I realized that the problem for me ( and for most of us that have trouble losing weight is...

Insulin


Yes, insulin. The same insulin that you hear about in relation to diabetes. Thankfully I did not and do not have diabetes and I hope you don't either. But i do have "insulin resistance" and it is a good bet that if you are overweight you do too. We will talk more about this a bit later. How insulin works in your body is the KEY for you to understand why you cannot lose fat! You see insulin has one primary job and this to reduce the amount of sugar in your blood stream. Insulin can reduce blood sugar in two ways- it can cause it to go into your muscle cells (the cells are the units that make up your body) where the sugar can be burned for energy or it can send the sugar to the liver where the


Excess Blood Sugar Is Turned to FAT


Simply put insulin resistance is a situation where your body is resistant to the efforts of insulin to move the sugar into your cells for energy. The end result being that the sugar is sent to the liver where it eventually ends up stored as fat. However it gets worse.Not only does insulin increases the amount of stored fat, it also makes it harder for your body to release and burn the stored fat. In other words it makes more fat and resists your best efforts to burn it. Pretty depressing but fortunately there is a way to break this cycle of insulin causing you to get and stay fat. You see in our body hormones tend to occur is pairs where one hormone increases something and another hormone decreases the same thing. The fancy tern for this is called homeostasis- kind of how you use a brake and an accelerator pedal to maintain an even speed on the road. So if insulin is the increase and keep you fat hormone then who is the other hormone. The one that causes you to release and burn fat. That hormone is called


Glucagon- Our Ally In The Fat Loss War


Glucagon has the opposite effects of insulin. It shifts your metabolism into burning mode. It converts fat to sugar. It releases fat from fat cells into the blood where it can be used for energy. It even makes the kidneys release excess fluid. ( I wish they had it in a vitamin!!) Here is a table that compares the roles of insulin and glucagon.

The Roles of Insulin and Glucagon

Insulin..............................................................................................Glucagon
Lowers elevated blood sugar.......................................................Raises low blood sugar
Shifts metabolism to storage.......................................................Shifts metabolism to burning
Converts glucose to fat...............................................................Converts fat to glucose
Converts dietary fat to storage....................................................Converts fat to ketones to energy
Moves fat from blood to fat cells...................................................Releases fat from cells to blood
Increases cholesterol production..................................................Decreases cholesterol production
Kidneys retain fluid.....................................................................Kidneys release fluid
Stimulated the use of glucose for energy......................................Stimulates the use of fat for energy

Clearly in order to lose fat we want more glucagon and less insulin. So how do we do that?

The Foods We Eat Are The Primary Influencer of The Insulin/ Glucagon Battle.


Influence of Food on Insulin and Glucagon

Type of Food...........................Insulin.....................................Glucagon Carbohydrate............................++++++................................. .No Change Protein......................................++...............................................++
Fat............................................No Change................................No Change
Carb and Fat.............................++++........................................No Change
Protein and Fat..........................++.................................................++
High Protein/Low Carb................++..................................................+
High Carb/Low Protein.................+++++++++..................................+

As you can see, carbohydrates increase insulin and does nothing for glucagon. The best food for increasing glucagon formation is protein. Also you can see that having protein with fat or protein with carbs leads to a nice balance between insulin and glucagon. The worst combination--- high carb/ low protein or fat and carb together such as mac and cheese, bagel and cream cheese, cheese pizza---sound familiar? They are the foods that we in America eat ALL THE TIME!! and our diet leads to

DIABETES

Did you know:

17.9 million Americans have a diabetes diagnosis
5.7 million have diabetes but are undiagnosed
57 million have pre-diabetes
Diabetics have a 2-4 times higher rate or heart disease
73% of diabetics have high blood pressure
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure
Total Cost of Diabetes (direct and indirect)-$174 billion per year
Total Direct Medical Costs- 116 Billion per year.

What do we do?

We first have to learn how we store and burn fat (tomorrow's information) and then the answers will become clear. Until tomorrow...