Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Do Diets and Exercise Really Work

Do Diets and Exercise Really Work?

            The diet and exercise programs that we usually follow obviously do not lead to permanent weight loss since the population of our country is becoming heavier and heavier with each passing year. We cannot lose weight and keep it off because these standard programs work against the physiology of our bodies. However, the good news is that eating and exercising in a way that works with our bodies can produce a permanent self-controlling normal weight without the struggle and hunger normally experienced in the weight loss quest. You may also want to check out online universities to find physical fitness and wellness courses that can teach you about the science behind proper exercise and proper diet.

Conventional diets say that all that matters when you want to lose weight is the number of calories consumed minus the number burned by physical activity. Although calories do have an effect, they are not the primary determining factor in how much we weigh. Our hormones, such as insulin, cortisol, leptin and others, are what really determine our weight. If your hormones are saying, “Deposit that food! A famine is in the land!” you will not be able to lose weight even if the number of calories you consume is very low. Because they work against body chemistry, calorie-counting diets rarely result in permanent weight loss. After dieters reach their goal, they usually re-gain most or all of the weight they lost. They may even be heavier than when they started; if they lost muscle mass, their metabolic rate will be lower than before their diet.

            The key to losing weight easily and without hunger is to keep your body in a “burn fat” mode by keeping your blood sugar level stable and your insulin level low and stable. This can be achieved by eating protein-containing breakfasts and small between-meal snacks and by keeping carbohydrate intake at a sensible level with most of the carbohydrates low to moderate on the glycemic index (GI). (Low to moderate GI carbohydrates do not promote dramatic swings in blood sugar and insulin levels. See this page – http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com/glycemic_index.html – for more about the glycemic index and how it can help you lose weight). Carbohydrates should be eaten with protein. For more details about how to balance carbohydrates with protein for stable insulin and blood sugar levels, see the third paragraph of this page – http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com/carbohydrate_foods.html.

            Keeping insulin levels low and stable most or all of the time is crucial to weight loss because insulin levels regulate the activity of two enzymes that control fat metabolism. High insulin activates an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme catalyzes the production of triglycerides from any fatty acids (digested fat units in the form that is absorbed by the intestine) eaten in a meal. Thus, excess insulin promotes storage of fat by our fat cells rather than using it for fuel after a meal. In a person with normal insulin levels, any recently eaten fats could have been used for energy during the two hours after a meal. If insulin levels are high, dietary fat will be stored in the fat cells instead. In addition, high insulin levels in the blood inhibit the activity of the enzyme triglyceride lipase which breaks down stored fat for use as energy. Thus, if you have chronically high insulin, you cannot burn your own body fat!

            Conventional diets are based on the faulty assumption that “calories in minus calories out” determines our weight. Thus, the goal of these diets is to keep the calories eaten very low. Because fat has more calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein, these diets are very low in fat (counterproductive because fat gives a meal or snack staying power), low in protein (because protein foods usually contain fat) and high in carbohydrates (which are low in fat). This high-carbohydrate, low-protein eating pattern produces high insulin levels, which through the actions of the enzymes that control fat metabolism, make weight loss nearly impossible. Since high insulin and low blood sugar levels produce a feeling of hunger, it is also very difficult to resist eating. If we resist until mealtime, we’re likely to overeat when dinnertime comes around. This also contributes to the failure of conventional diets. In addition, if we do have the willpower to lose this way, we will usually lose muscle mass in addition to fat. Lower muscle mass results in a permanently lower metabolic rate after the weight loss goal is reached, making maintenance of lower weight impossible without permanent calorie restriction.

            If insulin levels are low and stable, any type of activity will burn recently eaten food or body fat. Your body will be in the “burn fat” mode most or all of the time if you follow the eating pattern described above; thus, exercise of any kind will help you lose weight. Walkers are most successful at achieving and maintaining a normal weight because walking is not overly strenuous and does not unsettle weight controlling hormones. Exercise that is prolonged, excessive, or done without food can cause the release of stress hormones, thus raising insulin levels and putting our bodies into the “store fat” mode. Weight loss specialist Cheryle Hart, MD, recommends no more than 25 minutes of exercise at a time done three days a week or 12 minutes done daily. This pattern of exercise will keep your metabolism higher all the time (as will a good walk daily) while allowing you to remain in the “burn fat” mode. For a complete explanation of how exercise can help with weight loss, see this page – http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com/exercise_right.html

            Standard exercise programs which require exercise of over 25 minutes at a time do not work well because they raise insulin levels, thus putting the exerciser in the “store fat” mode. So save your money! Don’t hire a trainer or join a gym. Instead eat correctly to be able to burn fat, and walk, garden, clean house or go for a leisurely bike ride. These activities provide moderate exercise, which is the most effective for permanent weight loss, while you accomplish something productive or enjoy yourself. You CAN lose weight easily and without self- torture if you base your efforts on accurate knowledge of your body rather than on the faulty assumptions of “calorie math” weight loss plans. 

Nickie Dumke enjoys helping people with food allergies and gluten intolerance find solutions to their health and weight problems. She began writing books to help others with multiple food allergies over 20 years ago and the process culminated in The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide. She says, “This book contains everything I know to help with food allergies,” and it has helped many people come back from near-starvation. Her other books address issues such as how to deal with time and money pressures on special diets, keeping allergic children happy on their diets, and more. A few years ago, while listening to the struggles of an allergic friend on the Weight Watchers™ diet, she remembered her own weight struggles* many years ago and thought, “There has to be a better way.” This was the beginning of a new quest, and she is now helping those who are overweight due to inflammation (often due to unsuspected food allergies) or high-in-rice gluten-free diets, as well as those who are not food sensitive but want to lose weight permanently, healthily, and without feeling hungry and deprived. Her unique approach to weight and health presented in Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss is based on body physiology and reveals why conventional weight-loss diets work against rather than with our bodies and therefore rarely result in permanent weight loss. * (Nickie’s weight loss story, briefly, is that in her early 20s she could not lose on a calorie-counting diet in spite of repeatedly further reducing the number of calories she ate and swimming vigorously and often. Then she found a diet based on blood sugar control, lost weight without being hungry, and still weighs what she did in her mid-20s). Nickie has had multiple food allergies for 30 years and has been cooking for special diets for family members and friends for even longer. Regardless of how complex your dietary needs are or how much or little cooking you have done, she has the books and recipes you need. Her books present the science behind multiple food allergies and weight control in an easily-understood manner. She has BS degrees in medical technology and microbiology. She and her husband live in Louisville, Colorado and have two grown sons. You can visit Nickie’s websites at http://www.foodallergyandglutenfreeweightloss.com and http://www.food-allergy.org

About Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss

Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss answers the question, “Why is it so hard to lose weight?” Because it’s hard to put a puzzle together if you’re missing some of the pieces. We’ve been missing or ignoring the most important pieces in the puzzle of how our bodies determine whether to store or burn fat. Those puzzle pieces are hormones such as insulin, cortisol, leptin, and others. In addition, we’ve been given some puzzle pieces that don’t belong or fit in the weight-control puzzle. Much of what we’ve heard about dieting and exercise is incorrect and can cause loss of muscle mass instead of fat or even result in weight gain. The idea that weight is determined solely by “calories in minus calories out” is an assumption not based in reality. Most weight-loss diets require us to endure hunger much of the time, but hunger means that our blood sugar is falling or low and our insulin level may be rising. Prolonged hunger leads to the release of adrenal hormones, and the hormonal cascade which follows results in the inability to burn our own body fat as well as causing any fat we eat to be stored rather than burned to give us energy. Another problem with most weight loss diets is that they strictly dictate food choices, lack the flexibility that those on special diets for food allergies or gluten-intolerance require, and deprive us of pleasure. Individuals with food allergies face additional weight-loss challenges such as inflammation due to allergies which can lead to our master weight control hormone, leptin, being unable to do its job of maintaining a healthy weight. Those with gluten intolerance often eat a diet too high rice. Rice is the only grain which is high on the glycemic index in its whole grain form; thus eating too much of it will raise insulin levels and cause the body to deposit fat. Although the recipes in this book were developed for those on special diets, non-sensitive people will enjoy them as well, and the weight loss principles in this book will help anyone lose weight. (A chapter of recipes made with wheat and other problematic foods is included for those on unrestricted diets). The most frustrating deficiency of conventional weight loss diets is that they don’t work long-term. Low-calorie, low-fat diets can lead to loss of muscle mass, and with less muscle to burn calories, this type of diet effectively reduces metabolic rate so we need less food. Rare is the person who loses weight by counting calories and keeps it off after they liberalize their diet! However, continual dieting for the rest of your life is not the way you need to live, and you do not have to be deprived of pleasure in order to lose weight. Overweight is not due to a lack of willpower. Rather, it is due to a chemical imbalance in our bodies. Once we begin to correct that imbalance by applying the principles in Food Allergy and Gluten-Free Weight Loss, we can lose weight without hunger or deprivation and can maintain a healthy weight permanently and easily by regaining normal self-regulating hormonal control of our weight.

1 comment:

  1. I have a question for Nicolette. Is gluten-free foods hard to find? I was reading your book and I'm thinking this might help me but as I've never bought gluten-free food before, I have no idea where to look. Can you find this at your local grocer?


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I realize the extra step of having to do the word verification is time consuming, but I have had so much spam that it is necessary. if you leave a comment, I will return the favor.

Related Posts with Thumbnails