There is a very simple strategy that you can use to insure that you never get fat. You simply have to use your body the way it was designed to be used. It is helpful to remember that our ancestors not infrequently died of starvation.
As a result, your body is designed to insure that you don’t starve to death. When the dominant lifestyle was one of frequent exercise searching for food that tended to be low in calories, fat was a precious resource. Conserving food energy was crucial once; now it means that you have a better chance than ever to eat yourself to disease or death.
Let’s look at some of the differences between ancient design and modern practice.
Exercise. Ancestors: frequent physical labor. High caloric expenditure. Modern: frequent desk or stationary jobs with little exercise, elevators instead of stairs, cars instead of feet, etc. Low caloric expenditure.
Diet. Ancestors: smaller quantities of natural, calorie sparse food requiring considerable energy to digest as a result of fiber content, or protein (almost 25% of protein’s caloric value is burned simply digesting it). Modern: large quantities of artificial, calorie dense food with little fiber—high sugar, high fat, low nutrition.
This food is essentially "pre-chewed food" with little energy required for digestion. It has a high glycemic load, which spikes blood sugar, leads to insulin resistance and the manufacture of FAT. Remember, your body is still trying to prevent starvation, so it wants to save every calorie.
Stress. Ancestors: stress response allows for rapid, physical resolution of dangerous situation. Situation resolved, stress response ends. Modern: stress response does not allow for rapid resolution of possible future undesirable outcomes. Stress response continues.
Blood sugar and fatty acids released as energy source for physical action are not used and stored as fat. Frequently high glycemic food is eaten to trigger serotonin release to relax brain. Sleep patterns may be disrupted, resulting in lowered leptin levels and elevated grehlin levels. The body wants to be fed.
Breathing. Ancestors: physical labor encourages deep breathing.
Short term stress responses prevent breathing from being conditioned into long term rapid, shallow stress response breathing. Modern: lack of physical labor and prolonged stress responses condition breathing into rapid, shallow mode.
Less oxygen is absorbed, less oxygen is available to support basal metabolism. Metabolism slows down; fewer calories are burned. Proper, efficient breathing not only short circuits the stress response, it raises the basal metabolic rate.
The answers are obvious. Follow the owner’s manual, and use the body as directed.
Peter Guare, OBDS