You may already know that I used to work for the Cenegenics Medical Institute – they are the worldwide leader in ‘Age Management Medicine’. Clients paid $2000 to come to the institute for 4 hours. Two of those hours were spent in a Wellness Consultation with me. The goal of this consultation was to learn what each client needed to do for themselves to reach their health goals.
Regardless of the patient’s diagnosis, most had the same underlying symptom – they needed to lose weight. Therefore, most of my time at Cenegenics was spent helping each client reach their ideal body weight. Additionally, Cenegenics based their treatment protocols on the principles of the Glycemic Index. The reason why this works for weight loss is because the more sugar you consume, the more insulin your body releases, and the more fat you store in your fat cells.
The Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index is a ranking of all carbohydrates by how quickly and rapidly they raise your blood sugar levels. Plants are Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugar. Any food containing carbohydrates has the ability to raise the level of sugar in your body. Foods higher on the Glycemic Index raise blood sugar and insulin more rapidly.
Our bodies run on sugar. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion and used to make the energy needed for our bodies to function. In order to get glucose into our cells to be converted into energy, insulin is needed. Getting energy into our cells allows our muscle cells to do muscle things, kidney cells to do kidney things, and unfortunately, our fat cells to store fat.
Insulin not only promotes fat storage, it specifically prevents us from using fat as energy. Insulin is only released when there is sugar in the body. When there’s sugar, there’s no reason to burn fat. We are genetically programmed to store fat in order for the body to save any excess energy consumed, but not immediately needed. So, the goal for weight loss is to keep insulin low in the body. We do this by consuming only healthy carbohydrates.
Not all carbohydrates are created equal. To keep things simple, healthy carbs are whole vegetables, fruits and grains. Unhealthy carbs are processed foods like bread, baked goods, crackers, and pasta. The processing of foods typically turns healthy carbohydrates into unhealthy carbohydrates. Take for example flour. Flour is a ground up plant, so it is a carbohydrate and digested as sugar.
To make flour, a whole grain is ground up into a very fine powder. When flour hits the digestive system it immediately floods the body with sugar. Then, insulin goes skyrocketing up and we store the excess sugar as fat. But, what’s worse, is that insulin goes up so high, it remains in the body for hours after the bread was eaten. It has drained all sugar from the blood stream and it is still blocking your bodies’ utilization of fat as energy. You get tired, weak, and hungry and you go eat again. You never allowed your body to burn fat between meals like it is supposed to do.
However, there are some whole foods that are higher on the glycemic index. Potatoes, rice, bananas, watermelon, and pineapple for example. If you are serious about losing weight, but don’t have the time to check every possible food against the glycemic index, just focus on eating only vegetables in the beginning. All green vegetables are very low on the glycemic index and are very nutrient dense.
Protein and Fat
It should also be noted that consuming protein and fat does not result in any spike in insulin. If you overeat on protein or fat, you may store some as fat, but you are able to use that fat immediately because there is no insulin in the system blocking that process. And, yet, another strategy is to combine protein, carb and fat at each meal. This lowers the glycemic index of the carbohydrates in the meal. This is called eating a balanced meal.
There are three macromolecules your body can digest for energy and the building blocks to grow, protect, and repair your body: protein, carbs, and fats. Healthy protein is lean meats, eggs, and beans. Healthy fats are avocado, olive oil, fish/fish oil, and nuts and seeds. Giving the body the right fuel – low glycemic, balanced meals – promotes a healthy immune system, reduces pain and fatigue, and allows us to burn off stored fat.
If you have any questions regarding weight loss, call Moyer Total Wellness at 3037569355 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Moyer today. (Year of Wellness members get free consultations with Dr. Moyer anytime!)
Written by: Randy Moyer, DC