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Dieting Sucks! – Part 2

What is the point of deprivation?  Anyone who has put themselves on a diet depriving themselves can tell you what a boomerang is! First of all, when you “diet” you send a message to your body that food is scarce. The body reacts by increasing your storage of fat. The same principle applies when you are dehydrated; the body reacts by conserving water.  You swell a bit and your urine becomes darker. So you restrict your food intake and lose weight–that MUST be fat loss, right? Not really. Any rapid weight loss will be water and protein, not fat. But wait!  I was exercising 6 days a week for an hour in the “fat burning zone”! Sorry.  If you lost weight fast–you just ate up what little muscle you had.

The metabolism is either a furnace using sugar as fuel or fat as fuel. That means that you can either be a sugar burner or a fat burner. Metabolically there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate (scandalous!) but there are essential amino acids (proteins) and fatty acids (fats).  In the citric acid cycle (your metabolic system) amino acids can be chucked in to make glucose-(gluco-neogenesis). Fat cannot be used in the same way. Fat has to undergo a process called beta-oxidation to be utilized.  So, if you are limiting your fats, you are increasing your sugar burning metabolism.  Does this mean you are using it all up? Nope. It means you are using sugar and never getting to the fat you want to burn.  You have to EAT FAT to LOSE FAT. And you have to limit your carbohydrates to vegetables and small portions of fruit.

If you can, think of your metabolism as a fire. Fats are great big slow burning logs, proteins can be smaller but still slow burning logs, carbohydrates like grains and potatoes are like twigs, sugar and flour is like throwing dry leaves on the fire, and alcohol is like tossing an accelerant on the fire. If carbohydrates are your primary fuel source, you will need to fuel the fire constantly.

Begin by finding the fats and proteins that fuel you the best, then start adding in small portions of carbohydrates to see what you are able to tolerate.  We can work together to find the best fuel for you!

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