Calming Your Client’s Weight-Gain Hormones with Keith Spennewyn
Learn why your clients store fat and where they store it when this hormone comes into play...and what to do about it.
In the latest blogs I’ve written, I have discussed how hormones will interfere with your ability to lose weight. I have alluded to the idea that before meaningful weight loss can occur, we must gain control of these systems. I have mentioned how insulin and leptin cause us to gain more fat and initiate hunger to stop us from keeping that weight off.
Getting Your Hormones Under Control
I have also mentioned that weight loss is virtually impossible without getting your hormones under control.
The question is what do we need to do to accomplish this, and is it possible?
To look at this issue first we have to understand that your body is a product of what you eat. If you eat healthy, good chance you will be healthy! So, any food that you eat, and the nutrients or lack of, will be processed and metabolized for fuel to power your body.
That food is broken down into its most simple components for absorption, and what cannot be processed is removed. The simplest absorbable components are the micronutrients or building blocks your body needs. They include amino acids from proteins, fatty acids from fats and glucose from carbohydrates.
The proteins and fats are used by the muscle for tissue regeneration and many other processes inside the body. Carbohydrates on the other hand are fast fuels with lots of quick energy. The problems of course occur when we eat more energy than we are using. That excess carbohydrate energy is quickly converted to fat; no matter what the source.
Insulin and Fat Storage
In looking at it this way we can quickly see that excess whole wheat muffins, a bowl of oatmeal or whole wheat pasta is broken down into the exact same substance as a can of soda, a doughnut or a bowl of frosted flakes; glucose. Excess glucose is met by insulin. Insulin increases your fat storage.
The problem is simple; while we look at glucose as a tasty little treat, it is actually toxic to the body if it is left floating around in the bloodstream. The body has a defense to it, and that’s where insulin gets released. But in the case where the individual is not an exerciser then the glucose stores are smaller and typically full anyway.
Now, an exercising body can use that extra glucose to beef up its muscle glycogen stores so that we can use it again the next time we exercise. But people who don’t exercise don’t do that. Their excess blood sugar is turned into triglycerides and stored fats.
Insulin, Leptin and Inflammation
To make matters worse, insulin and leptin share the same hypothalamus centers which activate hunger. So, over time excess carbohydrate and sugar intake steadily increase the insulin levels and the extra body fat that is stored secretes more leptin.
So, there you have it in a nutshell: too much sugar triggers insulin which triggers weight gain. Simple, right? Not so fast. It gets even better. The grains, which are a nanosecond away from being converted to sugar, cause inflammation in the gut and leads to damaging the gut lining. In turn this damages your immune response and opens your body to future disease.
Of all the sugars, it is fructose that causes the most damage. It can only be processed in the liver, and too much of it causes a fatty liver, again weakening your immune system. Meanwhile the excess sugar in your bloodstream is triggering the release of cortisol and adrenaline so your blood pressure and resting heart rate are now climbing too. See the problem?
The question is how do we fix it?
And the answer is not as difficult as you might think. First you need to understand that all of these contributing factors do not happen on their own. They happen because they are trying to counteract your lifestyle.
Researchers often look at the single variations in disease in order to discover cures, but the best approach is one that addresses the body as a whole. We cannot just cut out sugar for instance but keep eating a high processed foods diet. Neither can we just throw in exercise but keep our diet the same.
Let’s take the diabetic for instance. When they are diagnosed, they are told to lower their sugar intake. That’s a great start but the handouts that are given to them allow you to eat cookies and brownies and bread and pasta. They then tell you to eat less fats! They also think margarine and vegetable oil is a better choice than butter or coconut oil! It is indeed a strange world in which we live.
Let’s get it straight. It does not matter if you are overweight or diabetic, the issues are primarily the same. Your diet causes you to produce too much leptin and insulin to get rid of the toxicities of your diet. Eventually you become resistant to both hormones and left long enough you will eventually change into a disease state.
It isn’t just keeping blood sugar levels down through insulin control that helps diabetes! This kind of approach will not help you. What will help is to fix the actual problem causing the diabetes.
Addressing just one aspect of the problem (blood sugar or insulin) ignores all the other factors like poor diet, toxins, stress, gut problems, immune issues, lack of exercise etc. This isolation-led-approach contributes to the problem, making insulin resistance worse and eventually leading to insulin dependent diabetes when the pancreas shuts down completely. Many doctors and nutrition experts recommend the typical 6-11 servings of complex carbs from whole grain sources daily, suggesting that the fiber helps mitigate insulin response.
The Good, The Bad and More Carbs (the ugly)
The 6-11 servings of carbohydrates a day is bad for anyone, even healthy people. But it is gasoline on a fire to anyone with an impaired insulin response.
In future posts, I will cover seven steps to improve your hormone balance (perhaps more, that will depend on where the research leads).