The common dogma eat less, move more has long been preached by ‘authorities’ and health ‘experts’ as the ideal weight loss formula.

This ‘key’ to weight loss continues to fuel a multi-billion dollar industry of ‘low-fat’ diets and celebrity-endorsed exercise fads, with the calories in and calories out still polluting the minds of helpless individuals stuck in a life sentence of yo-yo dieting and metabolic misery.

It is naïve of us to think that weight control is under conscious influence, and there is years worth of research to disprove the calorie concept. To put it simply, the body increases hunger and decreases metabolic rate if ‘calories in’ are reduced or ‘calories out’ (for example calories burned) are increased.

The typical ‘low-fat’ calorie-restricted diet puts the body into ‘starvation mode’ (when the body stores calories for energy), the effects of which persist long after the calorie restriction ends, leading to metabolically broken individuals weighing more than when they started.

Read: Three Diet Recipes That’ll Make You Think It’s A Cheat Day

Read: 5 Diet Myths Exposed

Read: 8 Diet Tips From Around The World

So, what makes us fat?

In short, insulin, and to a lesser degree cortisol (a steroid hormone).

Insulin is the ‘fat storing’ hormone which signals to the body to increase its ‘set weight’. Calorie-dense refined carbohydrates and increased meal frequency drives ‘insulin resistance’, which can lead to type two diabetes. High insulin stops the body from breaking down what you eat and tapping into the endless fat resources.

Understanding that weight is primarily driven by insulin, we can start to answer the million dollar question: How do we lose weight?

Tips To Lose Weight

  • The key is to control insulin levels. Lower insulin allows us to fix a broken metabolism, giving free access to the energy contained within our fat stores. Carbohydrates have long been established as the primary driver of insulin, particularly sugars and refined foods. Eliminating processed foods and grainy carbohydrates – replacing them instead with whole foods high in natural fats – reduces unwanted insulin spikes. Fats also have the added advantage of making us feel fuller and utilise more energy to digest.
  • Animal and fish proteins also drive up insulin levels, particularly in combination with carbohydrates. However, the effects are substantially lessened by the addition of fat. For that reason, ditch the egg white omelettes and lean meat in favor of whole eggs and fatty meat.
  • Similarly, switch skimmed milk with whole milk or full fat cream, or even substitute with unsweetened almond milk.
  • Incorporate some sort of intermittent fasting on a daily or weekly basis. Eating during a reduced ‘feeding window’ lowers insulin levels and switches the body to fat burning mode.

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Words: Dr Nas Al- Jafari

Image: Getty