Enlightenment, Diet, Dangers Of

Being fat is a metabolic--not a moral--state.

It has nothing to do with how much you exercise or how many calories you eat. 

In most cases, it is simply a consequence of eating too many starches and sugars, a.k.a. refined carbohydrates.

Not fats, not proteins.  Carbs.

Because eating excessive carbohydrates raises your insulin levels and forces your liver to have to work overtime.

Which, lo and behold, makes you more susceptible to the very diseases (obesity, hardening of the arteries) that we have been told for the past thirty-five years are associated with eating too much fat.  Not to mention making you more susceptible to diabetes.  And quite possibly cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic "diseases of civilization" that only appear in populations when they start eating lots of sugar, flour, rice, and beer.

This is because insulin is our bodies' primary regulator for storing fat.  When our insulin levels are high, they encourage our fat tissue to store fat.  When our insulin levels fall, our fat tissue releases fat and uses it for fuel.

Our fat tissues make fat from carbohydrates, not fat.*

So why do we eat so many carbohydrates?  Because they make us feel good.  Briefly.  While our glucose levels are up.

But then our glucose levels fall again and we crave more carbohydrates to make them go back up. 

Know that feeling you have of not being able to stop eating even though you know you have had enough?  Ever notice what it is you eat on a binge?  Cake.  With frosting.  Cookies.  With frosting.  Popcorn.  With caramel.  Bread.  With sugar (yes, I've done this). 

Carbs.  Carbs.  And more carbs.

It's an addiction, just like alcohol.  Or nicotine.

And just as difficult to break.

Because you found it at a time when you were vulnerable, under stress, needing comfort.

They're called comfort foods for a reason.

Which is why being fat feels like a moral issue even when it isn't.

To break the addiction, you need to allow yourself to feel the feelings that the carbs have been covering up.

And then trust yourself to eat.

Meat.  Eggs.  Whole milk.  Chicken.  Fish.

My whole world has turned upside down.

*Meaning, therefore, that it is all those low-fat foods that have been making us fat, thus the obesity epidemic.  Ironic, eh?

Comments

  1. I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't actually like meat very much most of the time. I think the key is protein, really, in whatever form. I love edamame and high protein Greek yogurt, because they both keep me really satisfied and prevent carb cravings. They are also delicious, and that's quite important to me. Life is too short to eat stuff I don't enjoy! I eat both edamame and yogurt with my lunch nearly every day, and since I've started doing that, I generally don't even want the afternoon carb fix snack.

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  2. Actually, eating meat as such has never been a problem for me, Texas girl that I am. The real shocker on that front was thinking about the large-scale effects of agriculture that Lierre Keith describes (and which, as an historian, I recognize as true, even if she is a bit hyperbolic on some counts). Happily, I have always eaten full-fat yogurt and whole milk, but the fat is as important as the protein: low-fat diets are also associated with higher incidences of breast cancer. As I said, upside down, everything.

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  3. Seriously? You are just now hearing about Atkins???

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