You know you need to lift. You know you need to lift heavy. You may even know that steroids are the smart choice.
But I'll bet some of ya'll still look like fat slugs. Strong fat slugs, maybe, but fat slugs nonetheless.
Because of some of the astonishing misinformation I see in the comments every time we talk about diet.
Now, most of you have heard how not to be fat:
- Avoid sugar
- Reduce starch
- Eat fat.
- Eat protein.
- Eat fiber.
- Eat often.
... but a lot of you don't believe it, or don't do it, or don't do it enough. In my experience, people don't usually follow instructions they don't understand the purpose of. So we are going to talk about why. Why these instructions work. And what it is that actually makes you fat.
The thing that makes you fat is the same thing that makes your cells fat. This is should not surprise you; you are made of cells. Cells become fat when more fat moves into cells than out of them. This also should not surprise you if you think about it for a few seconds. But what moves fat into cells?
It's called "Insulin". You've probably heard of it.
Insulin (from the Latin, insula meaning island) is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood to skeletal muscles and fat tissue and by causing fat to be stored rather than used for energy.
You see, most fats you eat are in the form of "triglycerides". That's three fatty acids joined together at one end by glycerol. This whole structure is too big to pass through cell walls. It has to be broken down into fatty acids, which can pass through the cell wall, and reassembled within the cell. To retrieve fat from cells, this process must be performed in reverse.
It is insulin in the blood which triggers the process of breaking triglycerides in the bloodstream. It plays a similar role in glucose (sugar) uptake.
Now, it should be obvious that insulin is a vital hormone that plays an important and necessary role. You need to store fat and sugar. But you become a fat fuck when you store too much. This is the real reason why you are fat. Not too much food. Too much insulin. Do you seriously think that billions of years of evolution produced a species that becomes fat and unhealthy every time there is an abundance of food? That food scarcity was so universal, so uniform, so constant, that we have no biological mechanism for stopping ourselves from eating too much?
Of course we do.
We do not get fat because we eat too much. Instead, we eat too much because we are getting fat. Specifically, when we have insulin levels that are way too high, our body moves huge amounts of fat and sugar into cells. Now we have low levels of triglycerides and glucose in the blood. So we become ravenously hungry. That's why fat people eat like greedy pigs. Not because they have weak "willpower", but because their brainstem is convinced they are starving.
So now that we understand all that, where are these hyperelevated insulin levels coming from?
Insulin levels rise in response to elevated blood sugar. The more sugar, and the faster it hits your bloodstream, the more insulin, and the faster it spikes upwards. And the more often this happens, the more insulin levels become chronically elevated. (That's bad, in case you couldn't guess.) And the more you start to get something called "insulin insensitivity". And the next step after that is Type II diabetes.
So now that we understand that, where is are all these rapid spikes in blood sugar coming from?
Does anyone want to take a guess?
Starch is made of sugar. Sugar is also made of sugar. The more processed and refined it is, the quicker and easier it is to digest, and the quicker it hits your bloodstream... all in one big lump. Now your insulin goes through the roof, and your body starts busily working on turning you into a hamplanet.
So there it is. A calorie is not just a calorie. That is the biggest lie ever told about food. Instead, substances you into your body are different substances, and they do different things.
- Avoid sugar (it hits your bloodstream fast, and spikes your insulin)
- Reduce starch (it turns into sugar... and the more refined it is, the more quickly it does)
- Eat fat (fat calories don't spike insulin)
- Eat protein (muscle is made of meat. Muscle consumes stored fat. Muscle increases insulin sensitivity. Muscle is good. Strong people die less.)
- Eat fiber (Fiber slows the digestion of whatever you ate with it. It also does many, many other things for you, all of them good. Most of your carbs should come from vegetables.)
- Eat often (smaller more frequent meals stabilize insulin levels).
It's not so funny anymore, is it?