A07 Medical Evidence – The Hidden processes that actually control bodyweight.
Channel: Tarek Kareem Harris
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Chapter Seven, the hidden processes that really control weight.
Controlling the body's most powerful hormone of growth, namely, insulin is the key to controlling our body weight. Let's learn how this happens.
Eat less sugar and starch, substituting them with good quality fiber, and vegetables, and be unafraid to eat foods which are natural, well grown, and contain fats and proteins are plenty. That's one half of the insulin reduction story.
The other half of the story is not eating at all. Fasting is effective and natural. The body has a whole range of programmed hormonal responses, which kick in when we fast, and only when we fast. And it's about time, we use them to do what they were designed for, to help regulate the excesses of our bodies and minds. With fasting, blood sugar levels stabilize, not raging upwards or downwards like a mountain landscape, and the body switches to burning fat, something it is quite happy to do. It uses its own internal systems to get the work done. It doesn't require willpower or some special supplement or diet trickery.
When we don't eat, insulin levels drop, this tells the body that it's time to break open some of its own energy reserves, namely fat. It's all about the hormonal imbalance being corrected.
If you're still not sure about this, why calories is irrelevant. And the real answer has to do with insulin. Let me tell you a story that every doctor must know about if he's just able to call himself a doctor.
And it's a cardinal sin. If as a doctor, you don't know this rule.
If someone came to you and removed your pancreas, the organ which produces insulin, you could eat as much as you possibly tried anything at all. But regardless of what you eat, you will start losing weight dangerously quickly. In medicine, we know this, if a young person comes to a doctor with severe weight loss, drinking a lot of water and urinating a lot. And he or she reports eating huge amounts of food but not gaining any weight. The doctor must suspect type one diabetes. It's a complex disease, and it's difficult to predict who might get it. But the cause is a sudden and total failure of the pancreas to make insulin.
So here we have a situation where no matter how many calories the person is taking in, they're just not gaining any weight. They're losing weight to the point where they could very well die if something wasn't done.
Where's that calorie advice gone? Now? Doesn't it become clear?
It's alarmingly simple, in one sense, manage your insulin levels, and you get to unlock the key to long term healthy weight, and a renewed and happier relationship with your body.
And the all round greater confidence and direction one finds when you finally feel in control of yourself. But let's not go to extremes, we do need insulin. So I'm not suggesting getting rid of it altogether. I'm suggesting finding a lifestyle where we are sympathetic to where the body really works.
Let's talk about metabolism. Our metabolic rate is the amount of energy used in just normal bodily functions while we rest, a bit like that background idle rate, when you see a car with just its engine switched on.
That's what's needed to keep the car systems going. All the pumps, the electrics, the fans, the lights and so on. So the background metabolic rates in human beings, it's actually quite expensive. It consumes the majority of our energy. To give you an idea, the average man of 70 kilos, burns energy at a rate of around 116 watts. That's about two of those old proper filament light bulbs. And that's quite a lot. It keeps us breathing. Our heart is pumping, keeps our liver and kidneys doing their jobs, keeps our brain away. All our thinking power, all our digestion, sweating all of that.
And this is by far the greatest energy we burn compared to things like exercise, exercise, especially aerobic exercise, jogging,
rowing and so on, burns surprisingly little energy. For all the mental effort it takes the average 70 kilo man, running for a full hour burns only about 550 calories. That's the energy found in a single chocolate bar.
And even at full effort, an Olympic cyclist burns energy at around 430 watts for just a few seconds. Compare that to just being alive, which burns as we said earlier, 116 watts 24 hours a day.
So the total figure is much higher. When we compare our background metabolism to occasional bouts of exercise.
hormones like insulin and thyroxin have an influence on this base metabolic rate. And it varies from person to person. Depending on the genetics and their life, history, age, and so on.
The rate varies even in one person by up to 35%. According to fitness, age, outside temperature and other factors.
Insulin remains the main switch between building fat or burning fat. It's the hormone which decides
and both of those states have different metabolic rates. Turns out that the burning fat state actually uses more energy than the building fat state. The fasting state is actually a higher state of metabolism.
If you eat a high carbohydrate, low fat diet, like the experts used to recommend and many still do recommend, then your insulin stays high, so your metabolic rate stays low.
If you restrict calories, and eat high carbohydrate foods, the carbohydrates keep the insulin high. So the metabolic rate drops
to compensate for the reduction in your energy intake. So no wonder you feel fatigued and exhausted and you burn less energy. You stop losing the weight that you first lost on this diet. No wonder it's demoralizing and unsuccessful. Not to mention you miss having fats in your food. They're tasty.
When we fast, our metabolic rate goes up because it takes a fair amount of energy to break fats down compared to building them up. But more than this, there are instincts in the brain beyond our awareness, but still very much part of the knifes which tell the body to be more alert, to be more ready to seek food and to be good at spotting food when we are lacking
Alhamdulillah this praise Allah for our many known and unknown survival responses, you need good energy levels to seek food and the knifes is smart in this way. It picks up your metabolic rate when you haven't been eating for a while.
End of Chapter