Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Why Are Fat People Hungry

Weight loss is a terrible goal when simply living, eating and playing in a healthy-ancestral way has the side benefit of a 'nice' body.  A body that suits your pheno-type.  But some people are into solving symptoms like 'losing weight' instead of 'identifying why they need to lose weight.'
I always ask the question 'why are fat people (those who store excess adipose tissue) hungry'?  
I weigh 157 pounds with ~6% body fat.  Let's round up to 10lbs of fat, that's 35,000 dietary calories of energy.  That is enough stored energy to run every second i'm awake for 10days, and I am a pretty small dude.  Yet people with 5, 10, 50, 100lbs of fat on their body need to eat 3 times a day (plus snacks) to maintain their sedentary lives to keep from being hungry?  That's hard to swallow.  

If you're curious,... it's metabolic derangement, that is why fat people get hungry.  with all that stored potential energy on board, one can not burn the stored fat in your adipose tissue if you're producing insulin.  One produces insulin in response to simple carbohydrate intake.  

Consuming simple, refined carbohydrates is like spraying ether in your old lawn mower.  In stead of priming the carburetor to get the REAL fuel from the tank into the engine, you spray something that is burned easily, quickly and then gone. You can keep an engine running by constantly spraying a bit off this fluid into the carburetor, leaving your full tank untouched.  the revs go high and then conk out - like you at 3pm at work looking for a snack, or a carbohydrate-dependent marathoner at mile 20.  

Weight loss clients should be asking, how can I access the fuel in my tank rather than storing more and more. I highly recommend Dr Davis's Wheat Belly which explains how the stored visceral (belly) fat becomes it's own organ secreting hormones contributing to the derangement of needing constant short term fueling.  

Shouldn't I just exercise to get rid of fat?  Exercise has been proven to increase appetite. Making yourself hungrier makes weight loss difficult. The only way exercise causes you to lose stored fat is because high intensity exercise squashes the insulin response from the carbs you've eaten allowing access to some fat.  You have to over come the simple sugars, then suppress the insulin, THEN burn stored fat in that order.  Again, you are squashing a symptom.  

Shouldn't I eat less to get rid of fat?  This is a tough question, you may trick your body into tapping into stored fat after you've beaten the strong urges to eat.  Once this happens you will be surprisingly sated.  This is temporary as soon the stored fat soluble vitamins will be depleted and you will achieve a new hunger, that of micro-nutrient depletion.  This is why calorie restrictive diets typically fail and the dieter regains the weight in spades.  Calorie restriction typically accompanies micro-nutrient restriction, which is bad and beyond the scope of this post.  
  1. Lower carb consumption - plot your macro-nutrients in a web based food log like livestrong.com\myplate and tinker with what foods to cut to reduce high "glycemic load" foods.
  2. Change the timing of your carb consumption - never eat carbs for breakfast, try to continue your sleep-fast into mid day.  Eat energy dense foods early bacon, eggs, sausage, avocado, nuts and raise carb intake as the day goes on.  Workout on an empty stomach, dive right into your fat reserves.  
  3. Both - lifestyle changes give you lifestyle benefits. I kick off my athlete's fat burning metabolism with a weekend fast, no food for 24-36 hours.  It's easier than you think.  Check out Perfect Health Diet, or Warrior Diet for why.
It's not just for you and 'how you look', a carb-dependent, heavy person is starving inside.  Your kids will be born wired to think the world is short on food and posses a thrifty gene epigenetic expression. 

For a crash course in molecular biology to see what's happening inside the cells, Dr McGuff says it all (the entire video is good, but I've ffwd it to the relevant portion):