How to Lose Weight: Science Matters When It Comes to Body and Food
By Dr. Molly Casey
It’s still the beginning of the new year and often one of the most frequent resolutions concerning health and wellness is weight loss. Folks often set a resolution to lose weight and fail over and over. So each year the cycle begins again. This series of articles was created to walk you through the process of sustainable change to create your desired results.
The first article addressed the importance of understanding the current situation of the issue you want to change in your life.
The second article addressed the different layers of food and their role in our life, how it is more than fuel.
Here, we focus on the fact that science matters and often people don’t know it, ignore it, and/or are confused by it. So let’s get to the basics.
Food, at the most basic level, is fuel for the machine, which is your body. So let’s look at the mechanics of it. When you eat food and it is broken down into different usable components, one of them is glucose, a sugar. Blood carries glucose to cells within the body to be used for energy. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. The level, or amount, of glucose in the blood at any one time is referred to as blood glucose level or blood sugar level. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose into the cells so the cell can use the glucose as energy. Insulin also helps in other metabolic processes that assist in the breakdown of fat and protein.
A healthy and fit body has stable blood sugar levels, enough insulin to facilitate glucose entering the cells for usable energy, and cells that are appropriately responsive to the presence of the insulin.
When a body has excess weight, it interprets that nutrients being consumed are being stored as fat for later instead of being utilized upon consumption for energy. Excess weight is not the problem, but the symptom of a larger problem. There can be a multitude of reasons why the body is carrying excess weight. However, common today is unstable blood sugar levels and cells that are not responsive to insulin.
The Standard American Diet is full of processed, sugary foods with artificial sweeteners and loaded with all sorts of chemicals. Life is busier than ever before. Eating habits are leaving a lot to be desired. Bodies are often under chronic low-grade stress, meaning it’s always in the fight or flight mode. The quality of food, the habits around eating, and the body’s constant state of stress (as well as other elements) play a role in inconsistent blood sugar levels being so widespread. It is common that blood sugar runs perpetually high and, as a result, the pancreas is consistently releasing insulin. Insulin is present so much that cells become resistant to it and simply send the glucose off to be stored as fat instead of used as fuel within the cell. As a result, weight (as fat) rises and/or becomes hard to drop.That’s why obesity is so closely attached to type 2 diabetes. So what is the first step in changing?
Eat for Life
From a mechanical standpoint at the most basic level, people should be eating to maintain a stable blood sugar level. What this does is provides a steady, consistent level of energy/glucose available for use by the cells of the body. Consistency is one of the main elements to success. When the body has consistent and appropriate levels of energy and the tools needed to use that energy properly, it has the opportunity to function as intended -- utilizing that energy as needed -- and then, if appropriate, drawing upon stored energy in fat cells resulting in weight loss.
Desired results and sustainable change in weight loss and improved health requires more than applying a diet and getting in the gym. Doctors of chiropractic study nutrition, biochemistry, and physiology in school, and they can be a resource for you in gaining more information for your desired results in your weight loss journey. Science matters and it can’t be ignored.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.