By Michael Biamonte, C.C.N.
Many people are looking for magic diets and pills to burn fat. I can now report that this “magic” has been found! The key to weight LOSS is to control blood sugar. Let’s begin by first understanding how the body does this. When we eat food, the food is digested by juices secreted by the mouth, the stomach, the pancreas, and the liver. The food is chemically broken down into simpler substances. When the food is absorbed into the blood, sugars trigger the body to release insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that brings sugars into the cells to be used as energy. This energy helps fuel our muscles and creates heat. Other foods can also break down into sugars. Starches such as pasta, bread, potatoes, beans, peas etc. also break down into sugars, but they do so more slowly. The amount of energy that food contains is measured as a “calorie”. A calorie is a unit of energy that can produce a certain amount of heat. Fats like butter, oils, cream etc. also cause insulin to be released but to a lesser degree.
Heat is essential for many chemical functions in the body. Many doctors and patients do not fully understand the importance of a normal body temperature in allowing for normal chemical reaction to take place. If the body is not producing enough heat, body temperatures will be lower and we will not burn up food energy. Instead, it will be stored as fat, The thyroid gland releases a hormone that helps our cells to burn up food into energy and heat. Sometimes the thyroid does not release enough of this hormone. In many cases, nutritional deficiencies render the hormone ineffective. Take your underarm body temperature for ten minutes first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. If the temperature is under 97.8 you may have a thyroid deficiency that will not show up on any blood test. Please read my article “THYROID”, for more information.
THE PURPOSE OF FAT
The purpose of fat is to insulate our bodies from cold, to act as a cushion to protect our organs and glands. Fat is also used to store toxins that we ingest like pollution and drugs. The main purpose of fat Is to act as reserve fuel for future use. When blood sugar rises too quickly, the body tells insulin to drive it out of the blood and into the muscles and liver for storage. However, the storage areas are usually full so the body drives the sugars into the fat cells who always have room for more energy. If someone eats more food energy than their body can burn up, it will be stored as fat However, it will only be stored if the sugar level in the blood rises too fast and triggers Insulin to be released. If someone ate more food than they needed but it was absorbed slowly, then insulin would not drive it into the fat cells. This is why counting calories don’t work. The trick Is to eat In a way that does not cause insulin to store food as fat. Most of today’s popular diet books are being based on these theories. The first thing we need to learn is what to eat!
THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
The “GLYCEMIC INDEX” is a measurement of how fast a food will cause insulin to release and store as fat. This research was originally done to help diabetics. When we choose foods we want to choose foods that have the lowest GLYCEMIC score or number. The higher the number the faster the food will store as fat. A lower number food has far less chance to store as fat. For a listing of foods and their glycemic index consult my book, “THE FAT BURNING PROGRAM.” When constructing your meals, select those that have the lowest number. These foods will have the lowest fat storage potential.
YOUR METABOLIC TYPE!
There exist two types of metabolism. We call refer to them as fast and slow types. it is not true and that all slow metabolisms are fat and fast ones are slim.
THE SLOW METABOLISM
The slow type should avoid fats and oils. They do not burn fats efficiently as a fuel and tend to gain weight and feel sluggish from them. They usually have: cold hands and feet, dry skin, lowered body temperature, constipation, low blood pressure, weight gain on the thighs and hips and low energy particularly in the morning. Mineral testing on this type of person shows an inability to utilize calcium correctly as well as high levels of the mineral copper in their tissues.
THE FAST METABOLISM
The fast type of metabolism does not burn carbohydrates well. They tend to gain weight from starches, fruits and other carbohydrates. They, particularly, gain weight from the waist up and may be thin from the waist down. They usually have high blood pressure, they perspire easily, they tend to be warm, they have high levels of energy for short periods of time and then many times crash! Mineral testing on this type of person shows low levels of calcium and magnesium with elevated sodium levels.
A dieter should see a clinical nutritionist in order to be tested to determine their metabolic type. They should then select foods from the GLYCEMIC index that best fit their metabolism. This further refines the diet and makes fat burning much easier .
THE 3 FOODS FROM HELL!
There are 3 popular foods which I have found to be the most fattening a dieter can consume:
- WHITE POTATOES
- WHITE PASTA
- WHITE BREAD
These foods have very high GLYCEMIC indexes and should be avoided at all costs. Sugar, honey and commercial jams and jelly are also to be avoided. The sugars contained in whole fruit jams contain fibers called “pectin.” Pectin slows the absorption of sugar making them less fattening. Bread seems to be tolerated the best in the morning. Earlier in the day the body is better able to burn up carbohydrates like bread. As one is more active, early in the day these carbs will be burned.
Avoid combining fats with carbohydrates. This mixture is especially bad. It triggers the release of a hormone combination that stimulates fat storage.
Avoid these popular combinations,
- BREAD AND BUTTER
- PASTA IN CREME SAUCES OR OIL
- BAKED POTATOES AND SOUR CREAM OR BUTTERThese combinations are high in fat and carbohydrate and are more easily stored as fat than other foods. If you must eat bread, eat it in the morning when the body’s insulin response can tolerate it better. The safest spread to put on bread is low fat cottage cheese.IMPORTANT FAT BURNING NUTRIENTS!Modem nutritional research has been able to identify some legitimate nutritional substances that are able to help the body burn fat. The following is a brief list and description of the ones used on my program:
- CALORAD: This is a collagen protein that stimulates fat burning and the production of lean muscle tissue. 85% of those who use it regularly, have found that it reduces their body fat percentage and increases muscle mass and muscle tone. It also has been found to promote better sleep and higher energy. Chiropractors have recently been using it in cases of degenerative arthritis. Being a collagen protein is may help repair and reverse the cartilage and connective tissue damage found in arthritis.
- CHITOSAN: This is a marine fiber that has the ability to block fat absorption. In doing so it aids in weight loss as dietary fats will not be absorbed from a meal. DO NOT TAKE CHITOSAN IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO SHELL FISH.
- EPHEDRA: This has become a controversial substance, Ephedra is a Chinese herb known as “Mau Huang”. It has been used for centuries in China as a remedy for asthma and bronchial congestion. Recently, western researchers have studied its thermogenic properties. It has the ability to stimulate the same fat burning system in our bodies that burns fat to keep us warm when we are exposed to cold. This is called “THERMOGENSIS” Studies show that the amounts of EPHEDRA necessary to burn fat are greatly reduced if it is taken with caffeine and aspirin. I am not in favor of regular aspirin use. I am currently researching alternatives. Tyrosine, ferulic acid and taurine have also been found to enhance the effects of EPHEDRA and may be substitutes for aspirin. This product can be effective in increasing metabolism and fat burning if used correctly and under the supervision of someone who is familiar with its use. PLEASE ASK YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL IF EPHEDRA IS SAFE FOR YOU TO TAKE BEFORE USING!
- CHROMIUM PICOLINATE AND VANADYL SULFATE: These are trace elements. They have been found important in the regulation of blood sugar levels. They have been gaining attention recently for their fat burning effects. They help in the metabolism of fats, burning them up into energy. They also seem to help the body burn stored fat and promote the growth of lean tissue.
- MCT: This is an oil called medium chain TRYGLYCERIDES. These are unique oils found largely in coconut. It contains no cholesterol or harmful fats. They stimulate thermogensis to a lesser degree than Ephedra. They also act as very fast and stable sources of energy in athletes or those who suffer from energy crashes (hypoglycemia).
THE IMPORTANCE OF CORRECT LAB TESTINGProper lab testing is essential to finding the right program for you. A simple analysis of ones hair can determine if the metabolism is fast or slow. For thyroid testing, blood is traditionally used; however, simply taking one’s underarm body temperature first thing in the morning can sometimes give a truer indication of actual thyroid levels than any blood test can. Blood testing Is essential for those who have chronic problems with their weight. Blood testing can help determine if someone is having difficulty burning fats or cholesterol due to liver or glandular problems. A new test which measures hormone levels is very useful, Many women have chronic weight problems due to imbalances in estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen can cause weight gain particularly on the thighs and hips. This new test is a saliva test which is more accurate than blood tests. This test can also measure DHEA and TESTOSTERONE which can also be involved in weight problems. Of all the popular weight loss aids, the above mentioned are ones that have enough scientific and experiential evidence behind them to be sound. Proper weight management must be a combination of exercise, diet and proper nutrient intake. In this article I have tried to summarize some of the short cuts that one can use which do work.