It sounds simple, right? Eating healthy when you’re hungry will prevent new, added, unwanted weight. Just hear me out ladies and gents…
So here’s the scenario:
You just got out of work: your tummy is grumbling and begging you for some food! You are already tasting the possibilities in your mouth. 🤤
What are you going to eat?
Here are some options probably running through your mind:
a) A big bowl of pasta (or any carb-heavy meal)
b) Arugula, spinach, avocado, zucchini, asparagus, celery, bok choy, mushrooms, Swiss chard and/or broccoli rabe
So what option do you pick? OPTION B…. if you don’t want to gain weight.
“But, why? I am craving a big ol’ bowl of pasta!”
The answer is simple, it all starts with the Pavlovian response.
As for the simplest explanation, here is an excerpt from Gary Taube’s Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It, pg 122-123:
- You think about eating a meal containing carbohydrates.
- You begin secreting insulin.
- The insulin signals the fat cells to shut down the release of fatty acids (by inhibiting [hormone-sensitive lipase]) and take up more fatty acids (via [lipoptotein lipase aka the hormone that helps make you overweight]) from the circulation.
- You start to get hungry, or hungrier.
- You begin eating.
- You secrete more insulin.
- The carbohydrates are digested and enter the circulation as glucose, causing blood sugars to rise.
- You secrete more insulin.
- Fat from the diet is stored as triglycerides [you DO NOT want these] in the fat cells, as are some of the carbohydrates that are converted into fat in the liver.
- The fat cells get fatter, and so do you.
- The fat stays in the fat cells until the insulin level drops.
Chapter 11 in Taube’s book is a great read to understand why people are overweight.
The quick point I am trying to get to is that if you’re hungry and your insulin levels are high which means the enzyme LPL is in effect and ready to help store fat, do not eat carbohydrates! Your body prefers to burn carbohydrates before it burns fat. So if there is no “bad” carbs and more complex carbs (from plants for instance) in your meal (especially when your body is super hungry and ready to burn and then store the leftover carbs and fats from your food as triglycerides aka cells that are too big to sneak their way out of the cell membrane that occurs around a fat cell), the first thing your body will burn is FAT when it is done quickly burning the complex carbs. Woohoo! It’s a simple fix. Again, if your body has little to no carbs to burn, it WILL burn the fat you digested and therefore; little fat will be stored (remember you do need some fat). For a more in-depth understanding of this concept, I highly recommend Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes. It will answer all of your questions about carbohydrates, LPLs, HSLs, and insulin. But as a vegan, I do not commend his advice to eat meat, but that is a personal choice I will touch upon later on my website.
Writing all of this has made me hungry haha. Time for some veggies 👌🏻🥗