Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Consolidating my reading thus far

A recent conversation gave me cause to take a crack at expressing the understandings I have constructed through my research thus far. I've decided to put what I came up with up here, so that people can give me feedback, etc. I'm on my way to bed, but I'll come back at some point and link the scientific points back to one of the locations I found the info during my many varied ventures through scientific reports, presentations, articles, and arguments.

If you restrict your caloric intake, your body naturally restricts your caloric expenditure to match, so you need to be alerted to the need to maintain expenditure levels in order to see results, and for many people this is achieved through routine exercise.

Here is a summary of the science behind fat accumulation - to keep fat in the fat cells, we need to produce the molecule alpha glycerol phosphate, which is a product of insulin secretion, and as we know insulin secretion is triggered by high blood glucose levels, and blood glucose is increased by the consumption of carbohydrates. Therefore, you need consume carbohydrates to drive fat accumulation. And if your body is turning your available energy into fat and storing it in the fat cells, the rest of your body is deprived of the energy it needs, and it responds by demanding more food. People don’t simply over-eat - they eat carbs and then eat more food because the energy from the previous food has not been delivered to the rest of the body. However, if you don’t eat carbs and don’t trigger the insulin-driven process I’ve outlined, your body is fueled by your intake of calories much more effectively, and that energy is kept available for your body to use rather than being locked up in your fat cells. If you don’t need that energy, then eventually your body will store that energy as fat, but even the sedentary (i.e. me right now) has trouble over-eating non- or low-carb foods such as meat, eggs, leafy greens, etc, purely because these bulky, low-GL foods prompt a sensation of satiety for far longer than high-carb foods.

A calorie-restrictive diet including high-carb foods leads to fat accumulation occuring while the rest of the body may go without adequate fuel, resulting in the body cannibalising muscle and organs to fuel the other cells (aka starvation mode). A calorie-restrictive diet not including high-carb foods may also lead to said cannibalism but on a much smaller scale, because the fat in the fat cells can be metabolised to make up for the caloric intake deficit, as the fat is not held hostage in the fat cells by insulin.

The science behind all of this is sound, and is backed by 150 years of research, both observational and clinical.

What do you think?

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