In December of last year I was diagnosed on the low end of prediabetes. It was a wake up call for me that it was now or never on losing weight and getting control of my health. At 40 years old and 80 pounds overweight, I was eating your typical American diet of high carbohydrates and low fat, thinking that was a “healthy” diet. I knew that I should eat less sugar and had heard that eating less carbs was better for diabetes, but I wanted to know why. Why was it so “hard” for me to lose weight and why did I struggle with intense food cravings? So I started to research and dig deeper into the world of insulin and how it affects the body. Google soon gave me this information…
Insulin is secreted in response to a type of carbohydrate called glucose … Insulin tells muscle, organs and even fat cells to take up the glucose and use it for fuel. It also tells fat cells to store fat for later use. As long as insulin levels remain high, fat cells retain fat, and the other cells preferentially burn glucose (and not fat) for energy
Basically when you eat carbohydrates, they spike blood sugar (glucose). A high level of blood glucose, often due to excessive carbohydrate intake, causes insulin secretion. The insulin in turn then delivers the glucose in your body to cells which it uses for energy. This process is what becomes broken in diabetes as the insulin in your body either isn’t used properly or you are not producing enough. My prediabetic state meant my body wasn’t using this energy source well. I was constantly bloated, my feet hurt and I had nerve pain. And the weight? I just kept gaining.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
To lose excess body fat, according to this view, carbohydrates must be restricted and replaced, ideally with fat, which does not stimulate insulin secretion.
This research lead me to try the Keto Diet, which has helped me shed almost 30 pounds so far. I truly believe that fat does not make you fat. Carbohydrates (and processed food and inflammatory fats and lack of sleep and exercise) makes you fat. If your goal is to shed body fat and you struggle with carbs like I did, the recipe is quite simple – limit carbohydrate intake and make healthy fats your preferred source of energy.
Want to learn more? I highly recommend Mark Sisson’s book, The Keto Reset Diet. I also love listening to the podcast The Natural State, by Anthony Gustin. The more you know the more empowered you will be to improve your own health!