If you ask an overweight person about the reason for his/her weight gain, he/she is probably thinking some or all of these things-
1. “I tend to overeat.”
2. “I do not exercise or go to the gym.”
3. “I do not have high metabolism unlike some of my friends.”
Depending on what the overweight person is feeling guilty about, he/she would try to correct it by doing the opposite- eating less, joining a gym, or trying out various powders or drinks to increase metabolism. All of them fail. Trying to eat less makes you hungry and sooner or later you will start binging. The gym is good for health but weight loss results mostly never materialize because people compensate by eating more. And any powder or drink has little or no effect on changing the metabolic rate.
The science of weight gain is simple and centered around two things- (a) glucose level in blood and (b) total calorie intake. The solution to managing both is still the same- eating the right food.
Glucose Level in Blood
Note that I have not written ‘blood sugar’ as most people relate it to table sugar that we eat. Glucose in blood mostly comes from carbohydrates and table sugar is just one of them. Glucose in the blood can come even from food that we don’t associate as ‘sweet’. Also, to be more accurate, I should have written ‘Glucose spike in blood’ instead of ‘glucose level in blood’. Glucose is very necessary to provide energy for our body and it is a very important fuel for the functioning of our brain. Our body is designed to keep the level of glucose in our blood constant. It is only the excess glucose (glucose spike) that causes the cells to convert excess glucose into fat.
Although most natural foods contain all three nutritional categories- protein, fat and carbohydrates- less than 1% of our body contains carbohydrate. Our body is primarily water, protein and fat by weight. Most of the carbohydrate is either absorbed to provide energy through conversion to glucose or is thrown out of the body (fiber).
The glucose spike in the blood is directly connected to how fast the carbohydrate is absorbed in the body. The fast-absorbing carbohydrate will spike glucose in the blood whereas slow-absorbing carbohydrates will release glucose slowly and not spike blood sugar at all. Although many people classify carbohydrates as ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ to denote fast-absorbing and slow-absorbing carbohydrates, it is not so straightforward. For example, sugar in fruits is a simple carbohydrate. But If we eat whole fruits the fiber in the pulp binds with sugar in the fruit and makes it harder to absorb sugar fast and delays the absorption. Whereas if we drink fruit juices, there is no fiber and the sugar in fruit juices spikes glucose in the blood.
Simply put, since the excess glucose in the blood is converted into fat, if we eat foods that do not spike glucose in blood there would not be fat accumulation in the body. If we eat foods that spike blood sugar we will slowly gain weight.
Total Calories Intake
Every food is packed with energy. And that energy is released for our body to use when to eat that food. Our body spends the energy in mainly three things- internal functioning of the body (basal metabolic rate), physical movements, and absorption of food. If the energy we get from our food intake is more than what the body needs, it will be converted into fat and stored. If the energy is less than what the body needs the fat in the body will be broken down to provide energy. For example, you might think of having a low-carb diet to lose weight but if your calorie intake is more than what your body needs, the body would even convert protein into fat.
Satiety index ranks foods (with respect to white bread) on their ability to satisfy the hunger for long. It stands to reason that if we eat foods that are higher on the satiety index we’ll not feel hungry for a longer duration. Therefore we will avoid overeating and higher calorie intake. This is not entirely true. Foods on the same satiety index are not of the same calorific value. For example, popcorn (satiety index 154%) and eggs (satiety index 150%) have nearly the same capacity to satisfy hunger. But 100g of eggs have only 147 calories whereas 100g of air-popped popcorns has 387 calories. And 100g of orange which has satiety index much higher (202%) has only 47 calories. So eating the same amount of orange will satisfy your hunger for much longer but provide you with fewer calories as eating popcorn or eggs.
Conclusion and the Rati Beauty Diet
Nutrition science has come a long way since Robert Atkins promoted his low-carb diet. We now know which foods contribute to glucose spike and which ones do not, low-carb high-carb doesn’t matter. For those looking for weight loss, all they have to do is to eat nutritious food that does not spike blood sugar and counts calories. And there are millions of such foods to choose from.
At Rati Beauty diet, we are on a food discovery. We are finding one nutritious food after another. All our diet plans contain rich wholesome food, and are balanced in terms of macros and calories. We do not believe that you need to starve yourself to lose weight, in fact it is counterproductive. Our meals are filling. Not only that, you will be eating healthier than what you have been eating before.