How I Became X Obese – Part 3 – Food Pharmacy

Miguel Damas

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How I Became X Obese – Part 3

We eventually need to start focusing on what people eat, if we want to beat obesity and become ex obese. Not on the overall amount of food, though, but on a specific component: carbs.

Reducing insulin secretion

The reason why carbs are crucial is actually not because of themselves, per se, but rather the influence they have on the body, in particular in the secretion a crucial hormone, insulin. There should never exist a discussion on obesity with spending most of the time discussing it. It is, without the slightest shadow of doubt, the key player in weight loss, obesity and fat storage management.

Insulin is a hormonal central piece in the energy balance system we have in our body. Released into blood circulation by the pancreas, its job is to make sure we have enough glucose circulating in the blood, to account for our on-going needs, and all the excess glucose is stored somewhere in our body.

To make that happen, insulin signals the liver to start converting glucose into other molecules. The first one is glycogen, the short-term form of energy storage. It accumulates in key places, like the liver and the muscles, ready to be converted back to glucose when we need a quick release of sugar into the blood, being it because of exercise or lack of food intake. The problem is that our ability to storage glucose as glycogen is very small.

Because of that, we have a way to save all this extra glucose, as fatty acids. After glycogen storage is full, we start producing free fatty acids in the liver by signal on insulin. These are converted to triglycerides to be moved into the storage units, the fat cells, in which they are converted back to free fatty acids.

The more carbs we eat, the more insulin is released, the more carbs are converted to free fatty acids, the more fat we accumulate.

However, the system works the other way around too: the less carbs we eat, the less insulin is released, the less carbs are converted to free fatty acids, the less fat we accumulate. Actually, it is even better than that! By cutting carbs from the diet, we have less glucose in the blood, which means that we not only start to pick up free fatty acids, stored in the fat, to reconvert them back to glucose but we also adapt into burning directly fat for fuel. 

Either way, fat storages get lower and weight is lost.

This was ”How I Became X Obese – Part 3” . Read part 1 here and 2 here.

This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.

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