When you’re young you can eat like crazy and stay slim. Your muscles are firm and your body agile… regardless of what you eat. But that changes with age. After you hit middle age it’s a battle to lose weight and stay in shape… and one that gets tougher each year.
We tend to accept this fact and put it down to getting old. But that doesn’t explain what causes this mysterious change. Why do we start to store more fat and build less muscle?
And it doesn’t explain why some people don’t seem to have this problem. Plenty of 60-plus men stay trim, maintain muscle, and remain fit and agile. These guys have the bodies of men half their age. So how do they do it?
Their secret doesn’t lie in low-fat or low-calorie diets. They do it by controlling one simple hormone. Most people think this hormone is something that only diabetics worry about… but it’s the key to controlling how much fat your body stores and how much muscle it builds.
If you enlist this hormone in your battle to lose weight, you can have the metabolism of a 22-year-old… and the body to match.
The secret to weight loss is coded in your hormones
The secret to weight loss is in your biological hormones. If you balance your cellular reaction to starch and sugars you control your hormones. And controlling your hormones – and one in particular – helps you to burn fat and build muscle.
Your best defense against weight gain is learning how to control the hormone called insulin.
Insulin is a storage hormone: it takes nutrients from your blood stream and stores them in your cells. And you produce insulin when your blood glucose rises.
Eating foods that are sugary or starchy releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin transports blood sugar to your cells.
Insulin signals your fat cells to absorb those sugars as glucose – and a primary source for energy. It then tells your body to stop using its fat stores for energy. This means you’re not burning any of the fat in your body anymore – you’re just storing it up.
While some of that new glucose will be used for energy, the rest will also be stored as fat.
In short, a high starch diet creates higher levels of insulin, which builds and stores fat.
If you’re always eating starches and sugar, your body is always producing insulin. That can lead to your second weight-gain problem: insulin resistance.
This happens when a hormone is in the bloodstream too often and for too long. Once you’re insulin resistant, your body has to make more and more insulin to do the same job. And suddenly you’re producing more and more insulin… storing more and more fat… and gaining dangerous amounts of weight.
Balance your hormones to keep insulin in check
Our hormones unbalance as we age, which often happens because of diet. Too many years of eating sugar and starch constantly spike your blood sugar levels. And that damages your hormonal balance and leads to resistance.
So the trick is to limit your sugars and starch. A low-sugar, low-starch diet keeps insulin under control. And starting that diet today can fix your hormonal balance.
All you have to do is identify the foods that are high in sugar and starch… and avoid them!
This is where a low-carb diet comes in. That’s because most carbs are high in sugars and starch. Eating carbs spikes your blood sugar and that ends in fat production and storage.
By the way, don’t be taken in by the wholegrain myth… Wholegrain bread spikes blood sugar just the same as white bread.
Here’s a list of five bad carbs to avoid:
- Breakfast cereals
- White rice
- White potatoes
On the other hand, eating a high-fat meal, or a high-protein one, doesn’t raise your blood sugar. That means you don’t release insulin. In other words… Insulin is only triggered in response to carbs.
The more carbs you eat, the quicker you raise your blood sugars. And that releases insulin which makes and stores fat.
This is why you must eat foods that don’t spike your blood sugar. There’s an easy guide to finding these foods. It’s called the glycemic index.
Combat blood sugar spikes using the glycemic index
The glycemic index ranks foods by how quickly they spike blood sugar. Foods that have a low glycemic score create only small fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels.
Two foods can have the same calories, but the one with a high glycemic score creates more fat. You can check out the official glycemic index database at www.glycemicindex.com.
The guide clearly shows which foods are high or low. Picking options with a low glycemic score balances your blood sugar levels. That means you produce less insulin and wind up building less fat.
Some great low glycemic foods include:
- Grass-fed beef
- Coldwater wild fish
- Free-range poultry
- Cage-free eggs
- Almonds, walnuts, and pecans
- Plain yogurt
- Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries
Power up your hormones and lose weight with protein
Protein is a crucial element for good health. It makes up your hair and nails. It builds blood, bones, and muscles. Plus, it plays a critical role in keeping your body lean.
While carbs cause weight gain, protein causes weight loss. It’s an essential player in maintaining your insulin levels. Protein doesn’t raise your blood sugar level… which balances your insulin. If you’re balancing insulin, you’re storing less fat.
“Protein balances your blood sugar,” says Dr. Mark Hyman. “The best way to control blood sugar throughout the day is by eating protein with every meal. It keeps a slow infusion of energy going through your system rather than being quickly absorbed.”
Protein powers up your metabolism like no other nutrient. That’s because it’s your body’s best source of energy. Because you’re giving your body what it needs, it doesn’t store protein as fat. Instead it uses protein as pure energy.
If you always eat plenty of protein you keep your energy supply high. And this tells your body it doesn’t need to keep fat stored up anymore. You’re basically training your body to burn fat.
Protein is also loaded with 20 amino acids; eight of those are vital to good health. You can’t get them any other way than through protein.
Controlling weight loss is easy if you understand how your hormones respond to food. Balancing your insulin levels is a dramatic tool for burning fat and building muscle.
Michael Jelinek is the managing editor of the Natural Health Dossier newsletter. The newsletter scours the world for the most crucial, cutting-edge discoveries made by the best doctors and researchers in natural and alternative medicine.
Natural Health Dossier is a series of private research briefs prepared that challenge established beliefs and evaluate new ideas in order to dispel mainstream myths about diet, exercise, nutrition, health and healing, aging, pain relief, and more.
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