Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Really Causes Weight Gain?

We have been told that a healthy diet should consist of low fat foods, plenty of whole grains, limit meat, and use fats and oils sparingly. Also of course limit sweets and junk food. (See food pyramid above) If you are trying to lose weight you are not only to follow this way of eating but also limit calories. The sad thing is that this rarely works and if it does it is usually short term followed by gaining more weight back than was lost.

So you may be wondering how someone should eat for weight loss and overall health.

Well, instead of eating a higher carb, low fat diet full of grains, many are saying that just the opposite is the answer. Many doctors such as Dr.Atkins (The Atkins diet), Dr. Mercola, Dr. Al Sears and more are saying that we need to seriously limit our carbohydrate intake and not worry so much about fat (unless your talking about bad fats such as in fast and fried foods) . Fat (good fats) do not make you fat. In fact, good fat eats bad fat!

If you eat a diet of mostly carbs (especially processed carbs and sugar) you may have more problems than just extra weight. Excess carbohydrates have been linked to higher cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and insulin resistance, and for many this can also lend to heart disease. This is especially concerning because not only is this a problem for adults but children as well!

Here is an excerpt from an article in Mother Earth News that explains why when insulin levels are high, the body won't let go of fat and weight loss cannot happen.

"When insulin levels remain elevated, fat can’t escape from the fat tissue. It goes in, but it doesn’t come out, and we can’t use it for energy. "

To read this interesting article click here

So just to recap.... excess carbs, processed foods, sugar, junk food- bad.
Healthy fats, veggies (hopefully organic), some fruit, lean (preferably grassfed) meat and other proteins such as fish, chicken (eggs), and legumes, nuts-good!

That's not to say that you shouldn't have a certain amount of acceptable carbs such as a small potato, sweet potato, or the occasional bowl of oatmeal, maybe a piece of sprouted bread. The problem comes when people eat too many carbs and that is the bulk of their diet, not enough veggies or protein. What is considered excess carbs you ask? Well, that can be different for every person. One way to find out that I really liked was to take a metabolic typing quiz. Dr. Mercola has what he called Nutritional Typing and although I have never personally tried it, I have heard that it is very helpful. The most important thing when making any changes to your diet, exercise, or health program is to read and research as much as possible and find what works for you. It may take some trial and error but you will find what works for you!

Interested in more information?

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