Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fat Chicken or Fat Egg?

. . . what if we’ve confused cause and effect? What if it’s not overeating that causes us to get fat, but the process of getting fatter that causes us to overeat?
The more calories we lock away in fat tissue, the fewer there are circulating in the bloodstream to satisfy the body’s requirements. If we look at it this way, it’s a distribution problem: We have an abundance of calories, but they’re in the wrong place. As a result, the body needs to increase its intake. We get hungrier because we’re getting fatter.
I can't quite believe the sort of foods I now thrive upon. Not so long ago, and I really do mean not so long ago, most vegetables were on my "I don't like it" list, simply because I refused to try them, not even because I definitely didn't like the taste. 

Many profess disbelief at my enthusiasm for my diet ("Okaaaaay," they reassure me as though dealing with a ranting fruitcake threatening to jump off a bridge). But they don't understand that I don't experience hunger or cravings the way I used to. They can't comprehend that by shunning potato chips, I don't even want them. I have no teivah for them anymore.

"Always Hungry? Here's Why" by David Ludwig and Mark Friedman explain that it's not just calorie counting. It's about food quality. Bad foods produce excess insulin, which in turn causes weight gain. 
Fats were demonized in the '70s, so "fat-free" and "low-fat" processed foods were peddled instead (quite successfully). The problem is that simple starches were utilized to ensure that the product actually remained appetizing, resulting in a demonic food-ish creation, while "good" fat sources were left out in the cold.
If this hypothesis turns out to be correct, it will have immediate implications for public health. It would mean that the decades-long focus on calorie restriction was destined to fail for most people. Information about calorie content would remain relevant, not as a strategy for weight loss, but rather to help people avoid eating too much highly processed food loaded with rapidly digesting carbohydrates. But obesity treatment would more appropriately focus on diet quality rather than calorie quantity.
To be smug, that was my initial weight loss step: Eat only healthy. It won't be initially easy, since bad foods are, in essence, like crack. There will be some torturous withdrawal side effects. But soon, one day, you will crawl out of bed and actually feel like having some orange pepper. Really. 
My kingdom for sugar snap peas!

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