I got a great email from someone new to the blog, and interested in weight loss. She’s confused because her doctor gave her a diet handout that used the government sponsored “my plate” as a weight loss guide. She’s discouraged because she feels she’s been eating pretty healthy, and actually very close to the “my plate” guide lines, yet she’s overweight and has just been labeled “pre-diabetic” according to her fasting blood sugars and A1C. Hmmmm. She only eats whole wheat or whole grain products, and often even chooses gluten-free grains.
She’s wondering how whole grains can be bad, and asked why I’ve advised people to avoid them when her doctor says they’re healthy. I love this because it gives me a chance to dive into our Plan for Change: change our body by changing our minds. All behavior is belief driven. If you believe that weight loss is just about math ( calories in / calories out), and you eat accordingly, one of two things will happen: you might lose weight, but you will probably gain all of it back plus a few pounds (that’s a statistic: more than 95% of everyone who loses weight gains it back), or, (2) you won’t lose any weight at all. That seems to be happening more and more these days as more and more people are “broken” after years of the Standard American Diet.
Your body’s not a math equation, it’s a chemistry set. When you eat grains and sugars, and your blood glucose rises above normal, hormonal shifts happen that make weight loss IMPOSSIBLE and weight gain a CERTAINTY.
High blood sugar, which happens easily with grains and sugars, causes the release of Insulin, a hormone that stores and builds. Insulin takes excess blood sugar to the liver, where it gets remade into triglycerides, or FAT, and then deposited into fat cells in the abdominal area. Remember our mantra for the week? “Grains and Sugars are deadly and fattening” ? That’s no exaggeration.
In addition to fat deposit and weight gain, high blood sugar and high insulin: suppress the immune system, cause high cortisol, suppress thyroid hormone, shrink brain tissue, make blood thick and sticky, create inflammation throughout the body, creates free radicals, inhibits cellular uptake of vitamins and minerals, damages artery walls, raises blood pressure, raises the “bad” cholesterol, decreases HDL, narrows the vasculature of the eyes, kidneys, feet, and brain, causes headaches, and causes depression.
That’s a short list, but it makes my point that Grains and Sugars are deadly and fattening. Want to lose weight? Go back to my statement, all behavior is belief driven. When you believe grains and sugars are deadly and fattening, real change happens. You can get all the carbohydrate your body needs for fuel from vegetables and fruit, which also come with whopper doses of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber. Check out my What I Eat page if you’re wondering what’s left when you cut out pasta, bread, and cereal. Keep learning, keep reading, keep focusing, keep saying the mantras. You really can change your body, but you have to change your thoughts first. You can do this!