I can hear you now… “Potassium for weight loss!?”
Potassium is a valuable asset in controlling the health chaos created by carbohydrate consumption. Carbohydrate consumption generates glucose. Lots of glucose. And, from the earlier lessons I shared, (Get all the lesson here – FREE.), we realize that glucose, in excess, is the cause of much health deteriorating stress.
The Many Ways Excess Glucose Damages Health
Glucose feeds cancer cells.
Glucose breaks down into tiny particles that adhere to proteins which are known as AGE, Advanced Glycated End-products. These are the culprits behind all of the age-related ailments like neuropathy, dementia, atherosclerosis, etc..
And glucose converts into the dreaded belly fat. Potassium has a powerful influence on whether glucose possibly gets stored as glycogen rather than stored as fat.
Watch: How To Use Potassium For Weight Loss… And Eliminate Cravings
The Role Of Potassium For Weight Loss
Potassium is largely found in the cells of our body. Together with sodium it triggers nerve impulses and assists with heart functioning, blood pressure, and fluid balance.
During exercise, potassium helps our blood vessels to widen during exercise. Not only does that help with circulation, but dissipates heat generated during exercise.
When It Comes To Maintaining Weight Or Losing Weight, Potassium Is Powerful
That’s because potassium is required for the creation of glycogen from glucose. Glycogen is the storage form of glucose that we hold in our muscles and liver.
With a potassium deficit, glucose that could have been converted to glycogen may end up going straight to fat storage. If we want to avoid creating new fat as much as possible, Potassium is paramount.
The Potassium / Glucose Balance
For every molecule of glucose, a molecule of potassium is needed to create glycogen.
I think of potassium as the glue that holds the molecules of glucose together, allowing the glucose to be stockpiled for use as need arises.
Glycogen is simply stored glucose. It’s an at-the-ready reserve of quick response fuel. And it is the body’s first responder for energy demands.
Our liver holds glycogen for supplying all-day energy primarily to the brain and other systems such as red blood cells and kidney cells. Only glycogen stores of the liver are used by the entire body.
Muscle glycogen isn’t shared.
Muscle glycogen is only used by the muscle. Here we can see the value in daily activity. Every day we are wise to use up or tap into our muscle glycogen stores. Storage capacity is not unlimited. We must create a deficit before any more glucose can gain entrance.
Simply stated, the more carbohydrate we consume the more we’d better be moving. If we’re not depleting muscle glycogen, our next carbohydrate feeding will end up around our waist.
How Not Enough Potassium Can Cause Sugar Cravings
Insufficient potassium can trigger sugar cravings.
Being the efficient machine that our body is, it will send us messages in an effort to address a deficiency. A body not consuming enough potassium is less able to store glycogen. It’s actually a ‘glycogen deficiency’.
The craving for sugar happens because there’s not enough potassium to fulfill the stored sugar/glucose requirement.
The Sugar Craving Solution Is Not To Eat Sugar But To Eat Potassium!
The wider scope message here is that if you find yourself craving carbohydrates/sugar, check your potassium intake (greens!). The sugar craving may be a sign you need to up your potassium intake so that you can up glycogen stores.
To Get The Most Potassium For Weight Loss… Eat Your Greens!
Our best course of action is to consume the lowest carbohydrate foods with the highest potassium content. This action rules out the often reached for banana.
The False Potassium Prophet… The Banana
The banana’s carbohydrate content is about 30 grams which converts into about 7.5 teaspoons of sugar.
But, the banana only delivers about 400 milligrams of potassium. We should shoot for roughly 4,000 milligrams daily. The banana comes in too high on carbohydrate and too low on potassium.
Potassium Foods With a PUNCH… And No Sugar Surprise
Compare the banana to foods like brussel sprouts, avocado, broccoli and almonds. All outrageously low in carbohydrate/glucose and lots more potassium than the banana. These kinds of foods end up stored as glycogen rather than waist weight.
Greens are loaded with potassium and not loaded with glucose. That’s the winning combination!
The High Potassium, Low Carb Foods List
Think, “Green goes with everything.”
Green leaves are especially potassium plentiful. Ideally, make greens a part of every meal.
Look beyond iceberg and romaine lettuce. Enjoy them but add other leaves to your food repertoire.
Arugula, kale, beet greens provide variety and plenty of potassium. Just one cup of beet greens (the leaves, not the actual beets) delivers over 1,000 milligrams of potassium.
Try to incorporate a variety of leaves into every dish. Heck, just grab a handful of fresh spinach leaves!
High Potassium, Low Carb – Champions
High Potassium, Low Carb – Runners Up
High Potassium, Low Carb – (Very) Honorable Mention
I know someone (my husband) who literally fistfuls his way through some spinach every midday. He munches on spinach while he cooks up his favorite soft-boiled eggs, which he smothers in butter.
Think of greens this way. Your total greens intake for the day should balance out your total carbohydrate intake for the day.
We Eat Salad Type Meals Not Because They Are Low Fat, But Because They Corral Glucose
Greens corral glucose two ways…
One, by contributing only minimal amounts of glucose. And two, by providing ample potassium which tips the odds in our favor regarding the creation of glycogen over the creation of new body fat.
Potassium For Weight Loss Helps Keep The Carbohydrate From Thickening Your Waistline
Carbohydrate will end up in our muscles and liver or around our middles.
Green, potassium-rich leaves tip the balance against new fat creation around our middles. And corralling glucose minimizes insulin response. Leaves are insulin suppressing foods. And their low carbohydrate value means we can heap on the satisfying and flavorful fats like cheeses, creams, buttery sauces, and oil dressings.
Aside from having some leafy greens with each meal, every week I buy a fresh bunch of parsley. I chop and top all our foods with this potassium power house. Looks nice, adds flavor, delivers potassium.
Potassium For Weight Loss Takeaway…
Begin to think about and choose ways to best incorporate additional potassium into your day – and which greens you’d like to add to each meal to help you reach that goal!
Try to consume as many greens as you do total carbohydrate. This action tips the odds in your favor by allowing glucose to go to storage as glycogen rather than converting to fat.