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It ain’t rocket science…

January 11, 2012

Because a couple of you have asked, I am going to outline how Chris and I are changing our habits and the rationale (because we are thinkers–read brooders) or science behind our choices.  I am also going to leave you a few links at the end that expounds on our little plan–because none of it is original.  I am going to spread it out over a few posts so you don’t get bored of reading and I don’t get bored of typing, or rather, my children leave me alone long enough to type more than one sentence at a time.

First, let me explain the slow carb thing–it isn’t rocket science, but it is science.  This is basic information about food and fuel and calories that I hope won’t bore the bajeebers out of you but may help you put calories, fats and proteins into some context.  First, please don’t think I am patronizing, but I am a nurse and was trained to teach to the lowest common demoninator, all of our energy comes from food so it is essential, second, all our food evokes a chain of myriad chemical and hormonal responses in our body to convert that food to fuel, extract the good, process the bad into waste, and store whatever is left for later when we haven’t killed a boar or the nuts and berries have been eaten by a large bear.  All of our energy comes from calories and calories are either in the form of carbohydrate, fat, or protein.  Each of them have a different caloric content, chemical make-up, and physical response in our bodies even though they all cook down to the same basic energy source.

Primary difference:  carbs burn quickly so if you flood your body with them, your body has to decide whether the need is to burn them or store them.  It doesn’t take nearly as much calorie to provide fuel as we would like to believe so the body immediately switches to storage mode, cue insulin, cue a bunch of hormones; end product cellulite on our thighs because our bodies assume–and we can’t switch this off–that we will need more later.  While a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, all carbs were not created equal.  The more processed the carb is the faster it will burn or the easier the carb is to obtain in American society, the faster it will burn. Fruit Loops and french fries–fast burn; Quinoa and lentils, slower burn.  Fats are nearly non-burners.  Our bodies fat requirements are limited to a few hormone and vitamin transmissions and anything that is not immediately required for fuel source is stored.  It is almost like the body decides that it is too much effort to process the fat for fuel so it places it in small packages for our ass to carry around until it is absolutely needed (like that little pun there? Just trying to keep it interesting). Proteins are slow burners, its like the difference in a firecracker and a two foot log.  We put proteins in and our bodies recognize the food and start the process of breaking them down to produce fuel.  Once again cue the insulin and the hormones, only this time instead of a burst of insulin to capture all the quick burn of a carb, it is a slow, steady release as the protein slowly breaks down into useable sources of energy.  No insulin and hormone spikes, no rush to get all those quick burners stored for later.  Translate this internal process to something we can relate to albeit a little oversimplified:  If we keep our insulin steady, so will the rest of us be steady–no ravenous hunger because our bodies think fuel is needed, no excessive fat storage because it isn’t afraid of famine (more on that later) and no hormone (food related) surges that cause some people to get food pouty-no Chris, I am certainly not talking about you!

Problem:  We need foods from all three sources to maintain a healthy body.  Solution: find the correct balance of carbs, proteins and fats (no oxford comma today) to provide for weight loss, weight maintenance or weight gain.  It all depends on our need.  At our house, it happens to be weight loss.

Solution:  Coordinate our food intake to consist of the fuel that we need and the nutrients that we need in a package that is going to create the optimal amount of insulin and hormone release and create some fat burn. For us that means a diet (noun not verb) that consists of mostly proteins, some fats, and carbs that will provide what is necessary while limiting our spikes in insulin and hormones.

Result:  We eat lean meats, we eat lots of eggs, we eat any vegetable that God created–potatoes are not a vegetable–we cook with olive oil and some butter (butter butter, not some man-made form of butter-like spread) and we eat a whole lot of legumes.  Right now we are seriously limiting the dairy and have eliminated any grains on a daily basis.  But we do have free day.

What is that you say?  Something about a day where you eat anything you want in whatever quantity you want?  Say it ain’t so!  I just can’t live with that kind of freedom.  Oh, the debauchery to be had on free day.  Like Paul Harvey said.  Stay tuned for the rest of the story…

Here are some links:

The Four Hour Body

Understanding Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

The Sugar Blues

Up to Date:  Dietary Carbohydrates

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Finley McKinney permalink
    January 14, 2012 6:44 pm

    Cool beans! (no pun intended…)

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