For the past 40 plus years, the blame for the ever-expanding waistlines in Western populations has been placed on dietary fat. This spawned industries promoting everything from low-fat diets, low-fat foods including junk foods promoted as being healthy, and medication to prevent the body absorbing fat. And what has happened to the population in that time? The problem continues to increase.
Despite research proving that Western populations are now eating less fat, there has been no reduction in the incidence of overweight or obesity. Researchers started to question if the accepted dietary advice was correct.
Increased understanding of the biological functions of the body has shown that dietary fat is not the villain it was made out to be. When eaten, fat is digested primarily in the small intestine. It is broken down into fatty acid molecules, which are transported through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. There, they are each combined with three glucose molecules to form triglycerides. If not used for energy, the triglycerides are stored in the fat cells.
Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth and is completed in the stomach and small intestine where they are broken into simple sugars. Sugar molecules are absorbed through the intestinal wall and taken to the liver, and then released into the bloodstream where they combine with fat.
Glucose is the preferred source of energy for the body as it is very easy to access. Specific enzymes are needed to burn glucose for fuel, and different enzymes burn fat. When glucose levels are high, and when the person follows a high carbohydrate (low fat) diet, glucose is burned for fuel and fat is stored. When carbohydrate consumption is greater than what is burned for bodily function, everyday activity and exercise, the excess is stored in the fat cells.
If glucose levels are kept low, the body is forced to switch from producing glucose-burning enzymes to producing fat-burning enzymes. Virtually no glucose can be stored in the fat cells if dietary carbohydrates are low, so energy requirements must come from fat – both dietary fat and stored fat. This is how weight loss occurs.
We’re all different
Unless they’re identical twins, everyone has differences in their face structure, eye and hair colour, height, weight, hormonal function … the list goes on. We also each have an individual tolerance to the amount of carbohydrate we can consume with no ill effects.
We all have at least one friend who can eat whatever they like and still stay slim, healthy and vibrantly full of energy. We also have a friend (and it may be you) who only needs to think about a piece of cake and they gain a kilogram. These two people may even be siblings.
It may not seem fair if you are not one of the ‘blessed’ ones, but it is a fact and you need to learn how to manage it.
For whatever reason (more melatonin, genetics, hairy (does that make a difference?)) they have a better tolerance to the effects of the sun than the other person. But does this mean the person with lower sun tolerance has to get burned every year?
Of course not. They can:
There are effective ways to deal with poor sun tolerance, just as there are effective ways of dealing with poor carb tolerance. The purpose of the dietflex program is not only to help you lose weight, but more importantly to determine your individual carbohydrate tolerance so you can learn how to manage it. Even if you have a low tolerance, there is no reason you can’t lose the weight you want and maintain your new weight for life.
We’d love to hear how you manage your carb intake. Do you track it, or do you get the results you want without needing to worry?
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