We think we want to lose weight but, the big question is, “How to lose body fat.”
If we focus simply on losing weight and let the scale be the sole measure of success, we’ll always be misled… and betraid.
The scale knows not what’s really going on.
Yes, the scale measures lose of weight including…
Water Weight Lost
Loss of Bone Density
And if you know what you are doing, which you will after reading this article, you’ll be one of the minority who knows how to LOSE BODY FAT, instead of muscle, and bone.
Let’s begin with the video below…
Watch: How To Lose Body Fat
First Let’s Connect The Dots – What Causes Weight Gain
Desperate to help my then 22 year old daughter, I uncovered a simple ’cause and effect’ that changed everything.
Through her college years especially, weight gain, body fat and water weight accumulation was steady. With no sign of slowing down.
The weight was accumulating despite regular exercise and healthy eating.
In fact, our family was the epitome of exercise and healthy eating. We were health club owners, exercise instructors, and nutrition advocates.
We’d always been ‘fitness people’.
We knew a thing or two about nutrition and exercise and how these aspects are, in the gym and exercise industry, the Holy grail of weight loss.
But for her, it wasn’t working out. Not even close.
The Weight Loss Difference Maker
Now, there was a difference for her. A somewhat recent change in her life. A seemingly unsubstantial, insignificant, totally irrelevant difference between her life and the lives of the rest of the family…mine, her brother and sister, and her dad’s life.
That difference was, and still is, the autoimmune condition she’d been diagnosed with in her first week of junior year in high school. My daughter, a Type 1 Diabetic, the one struggling with chronic weight gain, injects insulin.
Her body, no longer able to make insulin, she must inject it multiple times daily. This is what all Type 1 Diabetics must do.
Dot #1 – Insulin
So, one of the dots is the hormone, Insulin.
With her body no longer producing insulin she must inject insulin. Insulin was the single differing variable introduced to her life at the age of 16.
The BIG Weight Loss / How To Lose Body Fat Discovery
Then came my discovery that none of us, none of us! can lose body fat.
Wait a minute. No one can lose body fat?
We Must USE Body Fat.
We must use up body fat. THAT is weight loss. Not the losing so much as the using.
Do you see the subtle yet significant shift in understanding?
Now here is the next dot.
The Role Ketosis Plays In USING Body FAT
Our body cannot, will not, does not use body fat unless we’re in the metabolic state called ketosis.
Ketosis Is Body Fat Burning, Or Body Fat Using.
And guess what? Being in ketosis is conditional.
Ketosis only occurs under one specific hormonal condition.
And the one hormone is…you guessed it, insulin.
Insulin must not be overly present for the body to enable fat burning. There is no way we can get into ketosis if our insulin levels are elevated.
Remember, my daughter was injecting insulin. How the heck would she get into ketosis, burn body fat to lose weight, if she has to inject insulin?
(Background Note: No one stays alive without insulin. We each have some degree of inulin circulating in our bloodstream 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over our entire lifetime. It is when insulin is in high volume that many unfortunate health hardships develop.)
This is the plight of anyone injecting insulin.
Diabetes is the messenger of the 21st century. If we’re just willing to stand still long enough, roll up our sleeves, and take a hard look at the science.
So, look at the evidence so far and apply it to your circumstance. What is the cause of any person’s body fat accumulation and their inability to lose weight… despite heroic effort?
Whether you are an unlucky injector of insulin or are completely unaware your body produces and releases insulin all day, every day.
When you are held hostage by weight gain, insulin is the gatekeeper.
Watch: How To Trigger Ketosis
How Is It Possible To Fast And Still Gain Weight?
Just recently a new client shared her defeat and frustration.
She had powered through three different, 36-hour fasts and she….. you know what I’m going to say don’t you….she gained weight.
The Calorie Myth
It’s not about calories, is it?
Calories in, calories out is the conundrum of the century.
Very few are tuned in to the truth that while calories come in quite easily, calories do not go out with the same ease.
And it’s not about effort. Don’t let those group exercise instructors, fitness trainers, athletic coaches and docs make you believe you’re lacking in discipline and hustle.
Blood sugar and glycogen calories are always available for use but body fat calories can become quite trapped.
Elevated Insulin Traps Belly Fat.
Even if, like my new client, we go without eating for 36 hours. If her insulin is active, she’ll not be allowed access to using up stored body fat.
Fasting is excellent for weight loss.
But fasting must be implemented with an eye on insulin for it to be effective. Who wants to not eat for 36 hours, 3 different times, with nothing to show for it?!
No one, of course.
Why Does Insulin Elevate or Spike?
Insulin levels spike, or elevate, for a couple of different reasons.
And if you are carrying any degree of unwanted waist weight, it’s there thanks to insulin.
However, the power of insulin goes beyond fat accumulation, body fat storage, and lockdown.
Insulin is a purely anabolic hormone, which means it’s a building up or growing hormone.
Elevated Insulin Causes Serious Damage To Our Body
Insulin is implicated in supporting cancer cell growth by enabling angio-genesis. It is also implicated in the thickening of our blood vessels with its atherogenic nature.
Insulin-driven growth was a blessing when we were kids, adolescents and young adults.
It can become a curse when we hit middle age, as we no longer need to expand, grow or thicken any parts of our body.
The Diabetic Disadvantage
Can you see why diabetics are far more likely to develop cancer and heart disease in addition to battling obesity?
Hyperinsulinemia, is a form of diabetes.
The way I see it, we all have some “degree of diabetes” or blood sugar-insulin consequences.
And then there’s Hyperinsulinemia which means hyper amounts or lots of insulin. The individual doesn’t present with high blood sugar but does present with high insulin which is dispersing the sugar from their blood.
Learn More About Hyperinsulinemia In The Video Below…
Where Does The Blood Sugar Go?
Besides gumming up organs, crusting delicate nerves, plaque-ing brain cells and wreaking havoc on joint tissue, the blood sugar most often ends up around our waist.
You know it as the dreaded and seemingly impossible to budge, belly fat.
Insulin brought you your weight problem.
And, insulin is blocking your ability to resolve your weight problem.
Willpower. Exercise Intensity. Kickass Effort.
We’ve been brainwashed into believing that we’re not tough enough, strong enough, disciplined or determined enough.
Weight Loss / Body Fat Loss Success Is About Working Smarter…. NOT Harder.
Id’ like you to know that it’s about working smarter, not harder.
YOU are more than enough and you can do it.
Okay then. So let’s get a little bit smarter.
If the answer to the question, “How to lose body fat?” is to keep insulin quiet.
Then we need to know what stimulates the release of insulin in the first place.
Watch: Where Does The Blood Sugar Go?
What Is It That Makes Insulin Release In Our Body And When Is It Too Much?
Let’s consider a hormone most people converse about.
You may be familiar with a key stress hormone, cortisol.
Or the friendly endorphins.
Someone who is really stressed out might say, “Oh my gosh, my cortisol is through the roof.”
We know enough to realize that when we’re stressed, we have a stress chemical release, right?
When we’re dancing with our friends to our favorite tunes we have a pleasure chemical release. Endorphins are released when we’re engaged in health-supporting activities like running.
Cortisol is released when we are in crisis or stressful activities.
Neurotransmitters, chemical compounds and hormone messengers release inside of us in response to specific body phenomenon.
The question is, what’s the body phenomenon that stimulates insulin release?
It’s your blood sugar value. Any time the amount of sugar in your blood rises past its ideal set point, that rise in blood sugar triggers insulin release.
And the amount of insulin released is directly proportional to the amount of blood sugar.
Really high blood sugar? Matching high insulin is released.
Just a little bit of blood sugar? Just a directly correlating little bit of insulin is released.
(In certain health-compromising circumstances, the amount of insulin released does not match blood sugar rise. An insulin resistant body generally releases far more insulin than should be required. And a faulty pancreas or auto-immune attack can disable a healthy response and release far, far less than is needed. In bodies with fully functioning pancreas, the healthiest ones require and release far less insulin than unhealthy bodies.)
So, What Is The Body’s Ideal Blood Sugar Value?
How much blood sugar does it take to trigger an insulin release?
The set point for all humans is approximately four grams of sugar. That’s roughly just a one teaspoon amount.
This is the quantity of sugar in your blood your body will strive to maintain. It’s not much.
Unfortunately, we’re often directed to eat foods that dump 50 to 100 grams of sugar or more into our bloodstream.
We unknowingly overwhelm our blood. Any degree of overwhelm, from 6 grams on up, triggers your body to release the fat storage hormone insulin.
How Insulin Feeds Cancer Cell Growth
Insulin indirectly mirrors blood sugar.
Blood sugar is glucose. Glucose in your blood stream is blood sugar.
And, glucose is available to every cell of your body including cancer cells.
Cancer cells are engineered to take full advantage of bloods sugar spikes. And insulin ensures the cancer cells access the glucose from the bloodstream.
Insulin, being the growth hormone it is, helps cancer cells grow by stimulating angiogenesis.
Cancer cells grow a more advanced blood supply network, like tentacles, so they can pull in more of the sugar from your blood.
The ‘beating cancer, empowering news’ is that cancer cells need about 30 times more glucose than a normal, healthy cell needs.
This is why being glucose aware and insulin intelligent is critical for those grappling with cancer.
Knowing how to curtail blood sugar and insulin even a bit could be the fatal blow to cancer cells. Depriving cancer cells of their access to glucose and depriving them of the amount of glucose they need to survive is an action every one of us can easily implement.
Insulin Driven Body Fat Accumulation
Okay. Back to resolving insulin-driven fat accumulation.
Insulin elevates because of blood sugar. Insulin responds every single time.
If we are eating glucose-generating foods all day every day, we end up in an insulin dominant state.
Always insulin. Always in fat trap. Always struggling with weight gain. Always disabled where fat burning is concerned.
Where Does The Insulin-Triggering Blood Sugar Come From?
Well, when it comes to the foods we eat.
Categorically blood sugar comes from the carbohydrate.
Once we eat any form of carbohydrate, it breaks down to glucose.
Whether it’s complex, whether it’s simple, whether it’s whole, whether it’s real, whether it’s moral, whether it’s blessed, whether it’s ancient, whether it’s a Prize-Winning Instagram post or magazine cover shot carb.
Vegetarians and Vegans struggle with this because they subscribe to a carbohydrate-lopsided diet.
Naturally, they’re going to have a good deal of blood sugar happening with a lot of insulin release and ……..
There’s the fat accumulation.
Why Vegetarians & Vegans Can Struggle With Weight Gain
Do you know any lovely vegetarians who are struggling? Those who, in their morality-directed eating actions, are unknowingly causing themselves great distress?
A very kind, diabetes and obesity-struggling woman once shared with me that she didn’t eat anything with eyes. I get it.
What she didn’t ‘get’ was that her exclusion of fat and protein-based foods had her over-consuming carbohydrate foods.
Blood sugar foods. Insulin-stimulating foods.
Cravings and weight gain were the outcome of her morality-based eating. Plant-based eating is carbohydrate-based eating.
Plants are very good. But carbohydrate-lopsidedness will lead us into metabolic consequences we may not have anticipated.
Carbohydrate Is Not The Only Food Category That Stimulates Insulin
And carbohydrate isn’t the only food category that stimulates insulin. Carbohydrate does. Protein can.
When we take in more protein than our body needs for repair and fortification at the time of eating, our body converts it to glucose.
So, protein can act like a carbohydrate.
Have You Ever Heard Someone Say That Protein Is A Conditional Carb?
That’s confusing, isn’t it?
What they’re saying is that protein can behave the same as a carbohydrate behaves in your body.
That’s because protein, through gluconeogenesis, will be converted to glucose.
Over-consuming protein, your body can’t store the excess for later so it converts it to fuel, glucose.
So, protein also becomes blood sugar. It may sound all a bit defeating but I assure you it’s not!
Your body can handle a lot. You just need to be smart about how much and with what you want to overwhelm it.
Watch: Does Protein Increase Blood Sugar
Which Foods Are …Essential?
We all know that some foods are essential and some are not. But this last dot is the one that sealed the deal for my daughter and me.
Carbohydrate Is Non-Essential.
That blew my mind.
All the directives to eat carbohydrate, carbohydrate, carbohydrate. All the fuss and fanfare. All the complex, whole, nutrient-dense, colors of the rainbow, golden foods.
Our Body Creates It’s Own Sugar
Carbohydrate is not essential for the basic principle of your body being quite capable of synthesizing or manufacturing its own glucose.
We don’t need to eat carbohydrate, because carbohydrate’s building blocks are glucose. And glucose is made by the body itself.
Carbohydrates may deliver different micro-nutrients, however, all carbohydrate is strictly fuel.
Protein Is Essential.
It is essential for the simple reason that the body cannot make amino acids by itself.
You gotta eat them.
Fat Is Also An Essential Macronutrient.
Your body cannot create all the fatty acids it needs to fortify and to survive.
Your brain is 60% fat.
Proteins build, maintain, repair, and…fuel by its conversion to glucose.
But carbohydrate? It only serves the body as fuel.
And yet we’re chastised by dietitians and nutritionists, coworkers and medical experts to adhere to a carbohydrate-lopsided diet.
This is why we have an epidemic, or as Dr. Padda explains, a pandemic of systemic inflammation.
Metabolic Syndrome encompasses every variety of health compromise driven by blood sugar and insulin.
Weight, blood sugar, insulin, pain, inflammation, brain degeneration, cancer, heart disease, the list goes on.
Watch: Why We Get Fat
Unlocking The Door To Good Health
Everything’s going wrong because we just can’t get ourselves out of this because we don’t even realize that we are trapped.
Like trying to open a door that we don’t know is locked.
So if we are trying to get into body fat burning, quieting insulin is key.
Excessive exercise can appear to be effective at weight loss but most often means muscle loss not fat loss.
How We Lose Muscle During Exercise…
With elevated insulin, an exerciser’s body, unable to tap into body fat store, will revert to burning through sugar and then make more sugar as needed by stealing protein from the muscles.
That protein, as you’ve already learned, will be converted to sugar.
How To Lose Body Fat During Exercise…
With exercise, there’s lots of calorie burning but very little fat calorie burning… if any at all.
Not unless you get insulin down can your body shift to using fat .
The body fat we’re carrying will not be tappable. You cannot “dine in” on your body fat if insulin is elevated.
Insulin has gotta be quieted down. Okay?
The Final Piece To Body Fat Lose
You know your body makes its own glucose.
And carbohydrates are not essential.
So now, let’s make one final dot connection.
How STRESS Impacts Our Ability To Lose Body Fat
As we mentioned earlier, when we’re stressed out, we have a cortisol rise.
The ‘fight or flight’ stress response kicks in, signaling alpha cells of your pancreas to release glucagon.
Glucagon in turn signals your liver to release some of the glucose it has stored. That glucose is dumped into your bloodstream.
The rise of sugar in your blood prompts a subsequent insulin rise.
This is why, in our SHIFT community, we talk about what’s between the ears.
We learn powerful insulin suppressing actions. Insulin is stimulated by both what we chew on with our mouths and what we chew on in our minds.
Summary: How To Lose Body Fat
Wrapping it up.
Connecting-the-dots: Carbohydrate. Blood Sugar. Insulin. Weight Gain. Ketosis.
You can either be body fat trapped.
Or, with insulin quiet…..body fat tapped.
When insulin is minimized, body fat is mobilized.
You can see how my daughter had been trapped.
Injecting insulin according to the directives of her health team AND being able to lose weight were in direct odds with one another.
Only when we learned how to minimize insulin needs could she finally get her old self back. Forty pounds shed. Never coming back.
And you can do it too.
And It’s Not Even About Not Eating Carbohydrates.
It’s about strategically eating carbohydrates.
And strategically allowing enough fat that when your body starts dining in on its own stored fat, you enjoy hours when you literally forget to eat.
Your energy needs are met because you’re working off of the fuel tank that you’re carrying… your body fat.
To Solve BIG Problems.
Use Sytemized Steps.
To Get Predictable Outcomes.
This is why those of us who know a thing or two have it a little bit easier than those who don’t.
Is it time for you to connect your dots?