– WEIGHT LOSS –
A couple of years back I noticed that my body was changing. I’d always been on the slim side, so I wasn’t too concerned about losing the few extra pounds; after all – being a naturopath I should have all the tools I needed to be able to sort that out.
I started by trying all the usual methods believing that in a few weeks’ time, I’d be back at my former weight. I cut out sugar and dairy, started practicing Yoga four times a week and bought a juicer. To my absolute horror, not only did I discover that the scales weren’t budging – I was getting heavier. I simply couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. Time went by and I got fatter, moodier and hungrier.
This was a real problem for me. I refused to believe that eating “healthy” food wasn’t enough to get slim. How could I help other people if I couldn’t help myself?
THE INSULIN PROBLEM
As a teenager, I’d been diagnosed with Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, so I’ve always known that sugar was a particular problem for me. When I cut sugar out of my diet, my periods returned to normal, my moods were lighter and my energy soared. Cutting sugar from my diet helped me to stay slim and avoid all the other problems that went hand in hand with this hormonal imbalance. Although cutting sugar had worked in the past, it wasn’t working now. I was missing something.
It wasn’t until a chance conversation (on the subject of fatty liver in fact) that I began to realize that everything I thought I knew about diet and food was flawed. Following conventional guidelines wouldn’t help me. Although sugar was a problem – I’d totally ignored the role of insulin (the fat storing hormone) that comes along with many metabolic conditions including PCOS.
In a light bulb moment, I realized that the amount of carbohydrates I was eating (potatoes, rice, pasta and bread) was what was really driving my weight problem. As soon as I ate them my body went straight to work converting them into blood sugar and storing it as fat.
This Ted Talk presented by Obesity Doctor Sarah Hallberg explains more about how this happens:
WHY EATING A DIET HIGH IN CARBOHYDRATES MAKES YOU FAT
There are 3 macro nutrients consumed by humans:
Fat and protein are essential to life, but few people realize that carbohydrates are not. Whenever you eat carbs, your body produces glucose (blood sugar) which then sends a signal to the pancreas to release insulin.
Insulin is called the fat storing hormone because it drives excess glucose out of the blood stream and into the muscles and liver. However, people with insulin resistance have insufficient storage capacity, so any excess glucose circulating in the blood is immediately packed away and stored as fat.
To make matters worse, because glucose is easier for your body to convert into energy, it will burn it for fuel before dipping into any fat stores you might already have.
This was the reason I was piling on the pounds. I’d made the mistake of not questioning the guidelines around what food was right for me.
The fact of the matter is that when you remove carbohydrates from your diet, your body is forced to burn fat. This result in natural (and often rapid) weight loss and a reduction in cravings.
WHY FOLLOWING CONVENTIONAL WEIGHT LOSS GUIDELINES DOESN’T WORK
Most people believe that if you take in more calories than you need, any excess will be stored as fat. If this were true then we’d expect people who follow these guidelines to lose weight. We all know this isn’t happening.
This is because this popular theory doesn’t account for the type of calories a person consumes (e.g. fats, proteins or carbohydrates.) it only focuses on the amount.
It’s my belief (after losing nearly a stone in just two weeks of following this protocol) that the “hormonal model of obesity” which places more importance on the types of calories consumed rather than the quantity is a far better approach to weight loss. It explains why we’re currently experiencing an epidemic of obesity here in the West.
The science behind following a low carbohydrate diet is solid. An increasing number of heart surgeons, GPs and prominent scientists are now coming to the forefront to challenge currently held beliefs about the low fat dietary advice we’ve been following for years.
Read more about this here:
Does this advice resonate with you? I’m currently running classes for people who are looking for a sustainable, and more importantly healthy, way to eat real food and lose weight.
I also offer private one to one Skype appointments for people who live too far away from the clinic to attend in person. This is also a great option for people who are looking for a more personal approach to weight loss support.
There’s also the option to take a 12 week online course which includes video tutorials from experts, printable shopping lists, downloadable meal plans and cookery demonstrations.