Weight Loss Tips and
How food and exercise affect metabolism
Mary Howard, RN
have probably heard so many tips and tricks
about weight loss that you're left wondering
which tips are best and which tricks really
are tricks. Let's look at how food and exercise
affect metabolism and weight loss to help us
understand why some of these tips work and why
others do not.
Lately there has been a lot of publicity about
the low carbohydrate diet, which claims that
people are losing weight and getting healthier
without paying attention to the amount of fat
they are eating. You may have even heard that
the USDA is looking at changing the food pyramid.
have likely also heard about the low fat diet
plan. There is a major flaw in the low fat diet
and scientists are finally being forced to admit
it. Very little of your blood cholesterol comes
from diet. Your body manufactures most of your
cholesterol from carbohydrates. The culprit
of turning these carbohydrates into fat is insulin.
Role of Insulin in Weight Gain
is vital, for it regulates blood sugar, controls
fat storage, regulates the liver's production
of cholesterol, functions as a growth hormone,
plays a role in appetite control, drives the
kidneys to retain fluid, and much more. Insulin
is absolutely essential to life, but too much
of a good thing can cause problems. Too much
insulin can cause fat storage and cholesterol
production, and is caustic to the blood vessels.
activating or inhibiting various metabolic pathways,
insulin can make you sleepy, hungry, satisfied,
dizzy, lightheaded or bloated. As you age, your
insulin receptors become less sensitive to insulin,
and your body produces more than you need.
monitoring the types and amount of carbohydrates
you eat will help can clean up the insulin receptors.
Decreased insulin receptor site sensitivity
is frequently a problem with Type II Diabetics
(Adult Onset Diabetics).
Not mixing certain food types is a popular dietary
concept that actually makes some sense. For
example, if you eat only a fat and a protein
together the fat goes right through you. Dietary
fat by itself is not the culprit, but when you
add a carbohydrate to the mix, the body converts
the dietary fat into body fat.
if you don't eat fat, if you eat a little protein
and carbohydrate together, your body will make
fat to either store or use for energy depending
on your activity level at the time.
decreasing your intake of concentrated sweets,
like sugar sweetened food, and by not overeating
starches like breads, pasta and potatoes, you
may keep your body from the overproducing insulin.
Carbohydrates actually have a metabolic effect
that causes any fat you eat to be worse for
you. Carbohydrates also affect the hormone balance
in your body, contributing to depression, lack
of energy and mood swings.
carbohydrates turn dietary fat into body fat
it is healthier to avoid carbohydrates than
to avoid fat, because avoiding naturally occurring
fats often results in also avoiding good quality
the Key to Healthy Weight Loss
Exercise really is the key to healthy weight
loss. By increasing the strength and mass of
your muscles you burn calories more efficiently.
Exercise makes the rest of your everyday activities
easier, not only by burning up more calories
from the exercise, but also by giving you more
energy to complete your daily activities. Having
that energy is more likely to keep you busy
and prevent you from thinking too much about
eating for three hours before bedtime is also
one trick that does work. If you go to bed shortly
after a big meal you won't sleep as well, plus
you will not have a chance to "work off"
your meal. There is also another important factor
- Human Growth Hormone (hgh) is produced at
night to help our body build and repair muscle.
If you eat a carbohydrate within two to three
hours of sleeping, your body will not produce
nearly as much of this hormone.
first thing in the morning is also effective.
If you have not eaten after your evening meal
your body is in a fasting state the next morning.
Exercising before breakfast forces your body
to burn fat. If you follow that exercise with
a protein breakfast, you would stay in the "fat
burning" (glycogen dominant) phase a little
longer. Quality protein sources such as those
found in meat, eggs, fish, and nuts are the
best and quickest way to build lean body mass
when you exercise regularly. Lean body mass
(muscle) will help you burn calories.
Tip on foods to eat and foods to avoid:
you are serious about losing weight, avoid all
sugar sweetened foods. As much as possible,
avoid foods that contain all or mostly starch,
such as potatoes, white bread, and pasta. Processed
foods should also be avoided as they often contain
unhealthy fats and chemicals that will make
your system less healthy and efficient.