Holistic Healing Expert: Carol Lee
I honestly believe the diet and the food industry are ‘playing’ us.
The collective, disempowered experience of ‘failure’, felt by millions of men and women caught on a dieting treadmill means corporate pockets will continue to be filled, again and again. The lie we are told is that eating too much fat makes us fat.
This is based on this fact; fat, per weight, has twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrates. This is a simple (and simplistic) truth.
Nourishment To Our Body:
But is a calorie just a calorie? In my opinion, absolutely not. There is a huge difference between brown rice and white flour, concentrated apple juice and a whole organic apple, a wild salmon fillet and deep-fried chicken nuggets. The difference is the message it brings to the body about nourishment.
Healthy fat is good for us, essential to our health and wellbeing in every way. It supports good mental health as it makes up a huge proportion of our brain. It forms the basis of our hormones and keeps our skin velvety. It makes meals tasty and satisfying, helping to signal to our body that we are full.
“This raises blood sugar, putting the body in a state of emergency.”
If It’s Not All About Calories, What Is It About?
The real villains are sugar and processed carbohydrates. Both are food ‘fillers’, temporarily tasty, cheap to produce, with a large profit margin and highly addictive. The food industry spends millions, if not billions, finding that specific ‘bliss point’, where food becomes irresistible and ‘more-ish’. Most of us know that feeling of having to keep eating until the packet is empty!
So what is it specifically about processed carbohydrates and sugar that means we put on weight and then find it hard to shift it again?
The first important thing to know is that processed carbohydrates are exactly the same to the body and brain as table sugar. These include flour products, crisps/chips, cakes, crackers, bread, and pasta, along with processed grains such as white rice. Carbohydrates, in their processed state, turn rapidly to sugar, or glucose when eaten. This raises blood sugar, putting the body in a state of emergency. The body then produces the hormone, insulin, to pack away the sugar away for later. This can be in the liver, the muscles, or as fat.
“This means we feel less hungry, we are less sensitive to the food cues around us, we want to be active, and our metabolism speeds up.”
Metabolism For Our Body:
Insulin is our fat-storage hormone; the more we call on it every day, the more our body stays on this setting, holding onto energy and not releasing it to be used. In a fat storage setting, we feel lethargic, like a ‘couch potato’ – always hungry. Our metabolism slows down and our cravings feel out of control.
Leptin, on the other hand, is our weight balance hormone. It is produced by the fat cells to let our brain know when we have accumulated too much fat. Once our brain has been notified, we switch into fat-burning mode. This means we feel less hungry, we are less sensitive to the food cues around us, we want to be active, and our metabolism speeds up.
But here’s the thing that trips our body up every time. Insulin blocks the action of leptin, meaning our natural weight balancing mechanism cannot do its job.
Natural Weight Balance:
The key, therefore to natural weight balance, is to allow leptin to do its job. For this to happen we need to reduce the call we make on insulin.
This can be done by …
- Cut out processed sugar, get your sweetness from whole fruit
- Cut back on processed carbohydrates, choose whole grains and fat-based flours such as almond and coconut
- Stop drinking your sugar including drinks containing artificial sweeteners, fruit-based smoothies, and juices (it is the fiber in fruit that is protective for the liver where fructose is metabolized)
- Stop snacking on dried fruit and choose fresh whole fruit with a handful of nuts
About the Author:
Carol Lee is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist, Sugar-freedom coach, Creative Kinesiologist, Teacher and Author from the U.K. She has been working in Complementary Health for over 25 years. Her holistic approach to healing and transformation is about listening to, witnessing and working with the body’s ‘knowing’. Carol believes this is where we hold our wisdom, experience and capacity for change, especially as mid-life women. She works with women wanting to kick the sugar habit, those who are navigating health challenges, or who are wanting to up-level their life in some way; helping them to clear the blocks to success and wellbeing. She is currently enjoying her empty nest, and the freedom it brings, with her partner Jon. She loves the coast and walking the wild landscape of South West UK, snuggling her sweet rescue cat Stevie, gardening and eating delicious, nutritious food.