Weight Management, Obesity and Losing Weight
If you haven't heard, obesity is all but an
epidemic in most industrialized countries around the world, with the
US leading the statistics. Look around at the malls and on the
street or in the mirror, and more than 50% of the people you see
will have a weight problem.
How on Earth did this many people end up with
There are lots of things that could be pointed to.
We are a country of couch potatoes eating processed foods by the
boxful. Those are good reasons but more and more experts are looking
at the issues with high glycemic foods.
Glycemic Index and Insulin Resistance
If you are not familiar with high glycemic foods, please
read the page here on it. Simply put, carbohydrates are not all
the same. Some carbs digest very quickly and enter the blood stream
rapidly. These are called high glycemic foods. Other carbs slowly
trickle into the bloodstream and are referred to as low glycemic.
Ray Strand MD talks about the process
According to Dr. Ray Strand, "following a
high glycemic meal the blood glucose level quickly rises, which
initially causes the beta cells of the pancreas to secrete insulin.
Insulin drives the glucose into the cell to either be utilized or
stored as fat. The blood sugar will then usually drop precipitously
and can actually get too low. This is called "functional
hypoglycemia." The regulatory responses of the body will then
kick into action, leading to the release of glucagon, the fat
burning hormone, in an attempt to counteract the actions of the
insulin in an attempt to get the blood sugars to rise again.
We have all experienced a time in our life when
this has happened to us personally. If we go without eating, we get
weak and shaky and can hardly think. Our appetite increases and even
after our blood sugars are back into a normal range, we will still
feel like we must eat something. In fact, we tend to crave
high-glycemic foods and the cycle starts all over again.
On the other hand, when a low
glycemic meal is eaten, none of this happens. The blood sugar will
rise slowly and there will be a nice balance of insulin and glucagon.
The blood sugar stays in a normal range and concentration comes more
easily. Because no rebound of low blood sugars takes place, there is
no craving of high carbohydrates foods."
Strand says that "over 90% of
the individuals developing diabetes today develop type 2 diabetes or
what was previously referred to as adult-onset diabetes mellitus.
This type of diabetes normally takes decades to develop and is the
most preventable form of diabetes. Over time these individuals
become less and less sensitive to their own insulin. The body
actually begins making more and more insulin to compensate for this
insensitivity. As the blood insulin levels rise, the body is able to
still control blood sugar levels. However, as you will learn a
little later in this newsletter, there are several metabolic changes
that occur as soon as these blood insulin levels begin to rise even
though your blood sugars still remain normal and you do not show any
signs of diabetes. The moment you develop insulin resistance, your
arteries begin to age much faster than they should.
As long as you are able to keep
producing these abnormally high levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia),
your blood sugars will remain normal. However, over the years, in
the overwhelming majority of cases, your body simply canít keep
making all of this insulin. In the majority of individuals with this
problem the insulin levels finally begin to drop. As these insulin
levels begin to drop, your blood sugars will then begin to rise and
you become diabetic."
So what does this have to do
with Gaining or Losing Weight?
The metabolic syndrome, or what
has also been referred to as the insulin resistance syndrome or
syndrome X, is a constellation of problems that develops because of
underlying insulin resistance.
A sedentary lifestyle along with
the All-American diet has caused a tremendous number of Strand's
patients to develop the metabolic syndrome and eventually type 2
diabetes. The number of people who are starting down this slippery
slope of accelerated aging is unbelievable. The Journal of the
American Medical Association article stated that nearly 25% of the
adult population already has the metabolic syndrome, and many of our
children are also developing this silent disease, another 25% are on
the way there.
What Comes FirstóObesity or
The media and medical community
keep telling us the reason we are seeing an epidemic of type 2
diabetes mellitus is that more and more people are getting fatter.
Dr. Strand says "what has become very apparent to me after
researching the medical literature and observing patients in my own
clinical practice is that people are not only becoming overweight
because of insulin resistance, but they are also developing type 2
diabetes mellitus because of insulin resistance.
The reason that this becomes so
important is because physicians continue to tell their patients that
they just need to lose some weight if they want to avoid becoming
diabetic. However, one of the hallmark signs of insulin resistance
is inability to lose weight, no matter what you try. This leads to a
tremendous amount of frustration among patients, because by the time
they have seen the doctor and have been told that they are on the
verge of becoming diabetic they have tried almost everything to lose
weight without success. I have learned that unless these individuals
reverse the cause of their underlying insulin resistance, they not
only are not able to lose weight, but they are also not able to
prevent developing diabetes."
After years and years of abusing
your insulin by consuming tremendous amounts of high-glycemic
carbohydrates day in and day out, you too are most likely becoming
resistant to your insulin. A calorie is no longer a calorie because
the tracks of this glucose train have been switched and your body is
not functioning properly. If you donít learn how to switch the
tracks back, you simply will not be able to lose weight even with
the most aggressive diets. In this state, the body is resistant to
almost any weight loss program.
If you are not able to lose
weight, itís not because one day your fat burning ability
disappeared. If your doctor has told you that the reason you have
begun putting on weight is because your metabolism has declined, he
or she is mistaken in the overwhelming majority of cases. The truth
is, the tracks of your glucose train have been switched, and glucose
is now being delivered to your fat cells rather than to your muscle.
The only answer to this dilemma is a program designed to reverse
insulin resistance and allow you to successfully "flip the
switch back again." You now need to focus on exactly what you
can do to prevent or reverse this underlying insulin resistance and
allow you to not only prevent becoming diabetic but also allow you
to lose weight permanently."
Ray D. Strand, M.D. is quickly
becoming one of the worldís leading authorities in Nutritional
Medicine. Dr. Strand is an international speaker, and consultant on
health and preventive medicine as well as the author of, What
Your Doctor Doesnít Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing
You. A graduate of the University of Colorado
Medical School, Dr. Strand has been in private family practice for
over 30 years.
He has two web pages that are