Why it is so easy to gain weight and so difficult to lose it – part 2

Our unchanged hunger gatherer genes make us good at storing fat and our world makes it is so easy to eat more than we need;  these are key reasons for the alarming increase in obesity we have seen in the past 50 years. Carrying on from the last blog I will attempt to explain more about why the world works against us when it comes to weight loss.

Refined carbohydrates promote fat storage
Refined and starchy carbohydrates such as white flour, the products made from it and starchy vegetables are digested quickly causing blood sugar to rise fast and high.  Insulin is released to lower blood sugar and it does this by pushing it into fat and muscle cells. Insulin is considered “the fat storing hormone”; the more you produce (as with easy to digest starchy and refined carbohydrates) the better you are at storing fat.  Eat wholegrain and high fibre carbohydrates instead howeve,r and you will have better blood glucose control – you will have longer and slower rises in blood sugar, which require little if any insulin to lower as normal body activities will use it up.  The lows are not as low also which means less hunger and after a longer time.  Put very simply, refined carbs make you fatter and hungrier while high fibre carbs are more likely to keep you lean and full.

We are told cooking is a chore
Processed and fast foods are promoted as easy and attractive alternatives to the “chore” of cooking; food companies constantly tell us we are “far too busy to have to cook”. It is interesting that we are not too busy for leisure screen time which has increased considerably in recent years!  Given that until very recently food gathering and preparation skills have been fundamental to life, it is ludicrous to think that people should be encouraged to think of them as an optional extras rather than part of life’s givens.  Sadly now, many children are growing up in households where convenience, processed and fast foods are the norm.  This means they have to depend on others for their nutritional health.  Sadly these ‘others’ have shareholder profit, not our health and weight, as their bottom line. An increasing number of apartments in the USA are being built without a kitchen; a microwave and fridge considered the only appliances necessary!

Fast and convenience foods are not emotionally satisfying
Imagine if you were suddenly spirited away to a luxury tropical resort.  While you would probably enjoy the experience, the enjoyment may not be as full as if you had planned the trip, anticipated it, experienced it to the full and then remembered it for the total experience that it was. People who are true food lovers recognise that more enjoyment of food comes from the complete process of eating; planning what to have, selecting good ingredients, putting them together in a way that enhances their taste, anticipating the joy of eating, eating mindfully and feeling deliciously satisfied afterwards.   Eat on the go and you are likely to miss the true satisfaction of food as well as essential nutrients.  More often than not, you will want to keep eating in an attempt to fill an empty emotional space or because the body is crying out for the nutrients it needs.  Either way, you are likely to consume more kilojoules than you need with the extra going to fat stores.

Watch this space – more next time!

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