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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some Awful Facts About Dieting

I am not a nutrition expert, so I do not guarantee the accuracy of what is written below.

For the past several years I have been trying to deal with the weight I’ve gained since the mid-90’s when I was an aging seminary student. As a result, I’ve read bits and pieces here and there about the science of eating, weight gain, and dieting. It’s a grim pursuit. There is nothing but bad news to report, with the exception that early in the morning there are lots of slender elderly ladies exercise-walking at the local mall. Of course, it’s the light weight ones with white hair who are still walking in their seventies and eighties. The heavy ones are using walkers.

So, what do I think I have learned?

Well, people who carry their weight lower down need a low-fat diet and people with all that dangerous toxic fat around the middle need a low-carb diet. So sez Dr. Oz.

The expert lady on the car radio said that when you lose a lot of weight, your metabolism slows down. We all knew that, but what I didn’t know is that it slows down forever. For the rest of your life. The more you yo-yo, the worse it gets. Once you get to the same weight as your friend who was never on a diet, you will have to eat less than him or her forever to maintain your weight loss.

And of course, you have to eat less as you age anyway, because the aging process turns muscle to fat. We all know that muscle burns more calories than fat. That’s why men use more calories than women. That and the fact that women have five times more fat cells than men. O yes and the fact that their fat cells are bigger. But what is fairly new in the you-don’t-want-to-hear-this department is that fat cells, when they sense a consistent negative calorie input, fight back with enzymes that tell you that you are hungry and you need to eat eat eat.

If you eat until you are full and you stretch your stomach, your stomach sends a famine message to your body to store what you ate as fat.

If you try try try to eat less and you get hungry and your stomach starts to growl, your body makes an enzyme called grehlyn (sp?) which tells your metabolism to store what fuel there is as fat.

If you go to bed a little calorie starved because you don’t want to sleep on those carbs, your liver will make up for it by shooting stored carbs into your system while you sleep. That produces insulin just as if ate a jelly donut. Insulin produces fat.

If you go more than 5 hours without eating anything, your liver produces the fuel, which produces the insulin, which calls for fat storage.

If you are stressed, even about your struggle to lose weight, your body produces cortisol, which sends the message to your metabolism to store fat around the waist. So quit stressing about your flippin’ weight!!

The gurus used to tell us that it’s all about calories, so just make a simple adjustment on your diet and do everything else the same. The negative calories will add up and you’ll start to lose weight. Simple math. But it’s not simple math. Your body is not a computer. It’s an organic, responding, changing, morphing, pouting, adjusting, subversive chemistry factory that knows that famine is coming and the Huns are at the gates and you need all your fat cells to bring the hay into the barn. Your body doesn’t know about your bridge club and your Facebook account.

Furthermore, all those fat cells are a toxic waste dump. They store nasty, gooey things that mayhap will be released into your body if you do manage to shrink them a little.

So what’s the solution?

Quit dieting. Change the way you think about food. Change the way you eat, but make it a life change and not a diet, so make it be something you can live with forever. Don’t be thinking you only have to survive it for 3 weeks.

Lose the weight slowly. Firmly explain to your body you are not dieting and hope it believes you.

Don’t give up sweets and goodies altogether, but seriously reduce carb and sugar spikes. Don’t wait until you are 50 years old and are becoming insulin resistant to start that habit.

Eat breakfast, but make it a complex carbohydrate rather than the jelly donut.

Eat more often, but make it be less than a meal.

Put the cookies and cake in the freezer. Eat salad for dinner. Eat your heavy meal in the middle of the day. Go for the fiber. Even if you are young.

Don’t give up all carbs. Just eat less of them. Eat more protein. Have a protein shake.

Have a piece of meat or cheese before you go to bed.

Take a vitamin with iodine in it. Your thyroid needs iodine.

Drink a couple glasses of ice water each day.

Be a little more physically active. (Yeah, right. Easy to say.)

Last of all, have a happy life-change. I hope you are better at following all of this great advice than I am.