Everyone and their brother is obese in the United States. But it seems just 50 some years ago, this was not the case! Even 30 years ago, most of us were not obese. If you are old enough think back to when you were young and remember how people looked. Few people were fat. Most were average size and some were thin. How did we all get so fat, in such a short period of time?
What accounts for this massive weight gain? Yeah, yeah, we all know the prosperity theory, that as a community prospers, they have more dispensable income, and can spend more on food. But has that really been the cause of our epidemic of obesity? Is it the times in which folks play computer games and watch TV, drive, as opposed to walk? Is our frank laziness the cause of this epidemic? It’s really crazy to think that we have caused so much destruction in ourselves, due to refusing to get out there and move. I know, meals in restaraunts have gotten larger and more accessible, but is this the real culprit?
According to Gary Taubes, the calories in greater than calories out theory of obesity is untrue and meaningless. He posits another theory for how we got fat. Taubes contends, eating more calories did not cause the problem, and eating less calories, or eating a restricted number of calories will not correct the problem of being overweight. Similarly, exercising less did not bring obesity on, and exercising more, or expending more calories will not result in weight loss.
Instead researchers have suggested that we overeat, because we have excess fat! Some suggest our fat stomachs are hungry and must be fed! Taubes points out that Rosalyn Yalow explained that insulin controls fat metabolism. Anything that causes fatty acids to enter the fat cells causes us to get fatter, and anything that causes fatty acids to leave fat cells causes us to get thinner. Insulin reduction in the system causes fatty acids to leave the fat cells. Thus insulin reduction leads to leaner bodies.
Taubes points out researchers know that insulin is released when carbohydrates are consumed. Thus carbohydrate consumption causes fatty acids to enter the fat cells, as well as the overall accumulation of fat. Taubes contends excessive carbohydrate consumption is the cause of the obesity epidemic.
Taubes suggests not all carbohydrates are created equate. Foods like rice, bread, and pasta, as well as, sugar are the ones that cause insulin to be secreted and fat to accumulate. This is why Paleo type diets, like Atkin’s diet, are so effective in creating weight loss. Paleo diets are heavy in animal protein, fruits, vegetables and seeds and nuts, yet restrict dairy and cereal grain consumption. These diets limit carbohydrate consumption and cause weight loss.
Taubes suggests further that when we began to see fat, as the cause of weight gain, we changed the food pyramid and recommended that 6-11 servings of starchy foods should be consumed daily. People who followed this schema, subsequently became fat. Taubes suggests that restricting carbohydrates is the solution to obesity. Taubes points out that we were well aware of this fine fact back in the fifties and sixties, but got led astray.
We used to cook our food ourselves, and not consume all of this prepackaged, chemicalized food. By doing so, we had much more control over what we put in our bodies. We all need to get back to those pots and pans out, and stop relying on fast food. We really did become a fast food nation, in the last 50 years, and it hasn’t been good for us.
So with this knowledge, about restricting carbohydrates leading to weight loss, front and center, the question remains, what are you going to do about it? If you are fighting the battle of the bulge, can you devote yourself to restricting carbohydrates, and possibly giving up the concept of restricting fat? After all, research shows that fat accumulation is not caused by fat consumption, but by consumption of excessive amounts of carbohydrates.
Restricting carbohydrate intake is the key to reducing obesity. Are you up to the challenge? Are you interested in reducing consumption of the “bad” carbohydrates that cause the release of insulin, and thereby make you fat? If the answer is yes, you are really doing yourself a favor! Not only will you look and feel better, but you will avoid a great deal of suffering, owing to diseases you will not have to manage.
Remember you can eat carbohydrates found in most fruits, and vegetables. You have to avoids sweets, and starchy vegetables, as well as, breads, cereal, rice, and pasta. Can you forgo pasta with marinara sauce, and replace this with spaghetti squash and marinara sauce? Can you eat more salads, with dressing that has no sugar?
Sugar will cause insulin to release, and fat to accumulate. By avoiding sugar, you can avoid fat accumulation. Research demonstrates that after avoiding sugar for several days, your body stops craving it, if you just stay away from it, in the same manner in which a heroin addict must stay away from heroin, and other drugs, to get clean. Handling this sugar addiction is hardest at first, and gets easier overtime. Initially it’s a bear!
We know that a whole host of illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s are affiliated with being obese. By avoiding obesity, you can avoid many illnesses. We now know that excessive carbohydrate consumption causes obesity and disease. How are you going to use this information in your wellness plan? Write down three things you can start doing today that will head you on a path to wellness!
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach from Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little a Brick in University Heights Ohio
Leap Into Action!