How can we eat more yet weigh less?

Now we can approach our meals with the confidence of knowing we’re eating food that will avoid the threat of gaining weight, becoming diabetic, risking heart disease and developing joint pain.

NOURISH ONESELF on naturally grown food like fresh fruit in place of processed foodstuffs (photo credit: TNS)
NOURISH ONESELF on naturally grown food like fresh fruit in place of processed foodstuffs
(photo credit: TNS)
The pleasure of eating is sadly unattainable when we’re plagued by constantly conflicting thoughts like, “I want to eat because I’m hungry, but I shouldn’t eat because I don’t want to gain weight.” However, the joy of eating is indeed a possibility. It just requires the proverbial “Ya gotta know how.”
Since the advance of nutritional science, that hovering cloud of conflict has vanished – poof! Now we can approach our meals with the confidence of knowing we’re eating food that will avoid the threat of gaining weight, becoming diabetic, risking heart disease and developing joint pain. Instead, the discoveries about how food affects us is giving us the ability to control our weight, our appetite and we can now actually eat more and weigh less. Sounds like a snake oil commercial, but science provides a clear explanation of this (not so new) reality.
Broadly speaking, the three food groups – fat, carbohydrate, and protein – each one affects us differently.
Fat doesn’t lead to weight gain (that’s the role of the sugar/insulin action) instead, it is beneficial for our skin and digestion.
The two components that provide the key to eating more and weighing less are carbs that contribute to weight gain and proteins that contribute to weight loss, as follows:
Carbs release sugar that gives us the energy we need to move, talk, breathe etc., but with the passing of time, after having eaten food that releases too much sugar that we don’t need for the amount of energy we are expending, the extra sugar becomes stored as fat and that’s how we gain weight. To inform us about the amounts of sugar we are adding to our system from foods that are seemingly non sugar items like flour, potatoes, dates, etc., we now have the convenience of the glycemic index (there are multiple listings of the GI on the Internet) to help us choose carbs according to whether we want to gain weight, prevent or control diabtetes and more.
Unlike diets that dictate what to eat without understanding why, the GI enables us to make informed choices. To review, counting calories and measuring food are not necessary. To withdraw from sugar, lower the insulin level and jump-start weight loss, simply choose food that is low on the list, from 0 to 15; from 15 to 35 weight loss continues; from approximately 35 to 55/65 maintains current weight – you don’t gain and won’t lose. For the average individual, over 65 on the list adds too much sugar, and that’s how we gain weight.
You will notice that proteins, the second component that lets us eat more and weigh less, are not listed on the GI simply because they don’t turn to sugar, and that’s the wonder of proteins. Unlike carbs, it is eggs, chicken, meat and fish that are the proteins that actually help us lose weight because proteins require excess energy in order to be broken down and digested. That energy is derived by burning our body fat, which is how we lose weight. Also, proteins provide a ‘feel full’ sensation, and feeling full signals us to stop eating. Since proteins don’t add sugar to our system, the more we eat, the more fat will be burned, and the more weight we will lose.
So now we can enjoy eating with a free conscience, knowing almost precisely how to eat to satisfaction, without gaining weight.
IT WOULD seem that losing weight no longer needs to be a difficult struggle, but that’s simplifying the issue. There are insights that are necessary to help understand the barriers that nevertheless stand in the way.
It’s important to recognize that food is not intended to nurture us, rather, it is meant to nourish us. Eating isn’t meant to make us feel happy, it’s meant to satisfy us and keep us healthy, but somewhere along the way those goals converged. Realistically, feeling well and looking good are what make us feel happy!
Much of the processed food that is popular and aggressively advertised tastes great, but it often provides little or no nutrition at all, and when we receive no nutrition from the “food” we’re eating, instead of providing nourishment, it leads to unwanted consequences that compromise our quality of life.
Meals have slowly been losing their connection to cooking. They have become a reflection of what we can afford and how fast it can reach the table. Processed food is slowly controlling our health, and eating out has become routine with the introduction of low-cost fast-food places, and welcoming restaurants, which means that taste is primary, and health is no one’s concern.
Finally, we now understand clearly how to eat healthy, but in today’s world it’s a battle; unfortunately, eating healthy is not the norm and that makes it an effort to pursue.
The next and final segment will answer many questions that seem to have no solid answers, like why we get hungry, why we gain more weight after dieting, etc. Send in your questions and hopefully gaining new understandings will help steer you in the direction toward good health, and satisfaction.