Seems like an easy answer. “I put food in my mouth and don’t think about it.” Let’s explore the science after you “don’t think about it” anymore.
Most of the time when you eat you ingest more food energy than you can immediately use. The excess energy needs to be stored for later use. The key to “storage for later use” or “immediate use” is insulin (and you thought insulin was something diabetics worried about).
Insulin is released into the blood stream when you eat carbohydrates and protein and to a very small amount when you eat fat. Insulin is a pathway key that does one of two things and in this order, 1) it turns on the storage of the excess as fat and 2) it keeps the cell’s glucose (the sugar that is made primarily from carbohydrates) receptors open so the glucose can be immediately used as fuel for the working parts of your body.
Proteins are broken down into their amino acids to be absorbed. The amino acids that are not absorbed are used to make more glucose. Protein does not in them self raise insulin levels but they can raise glucose which in turn raises insulin. Fats are directly absorbed as fat and have minimal effect on insulin.
Simple science, right?
Did you notice that when insulin is present in the blood because of glucose, it puts the body in storage mode? That means that the 1,200 calorie meal you just ate was mostly stored as fat and not used right away. It was either stored in glycogen, to top it’s tank off, or it was stored as fat. If your glycogen level was mostly full, like 99% of the people in the world (generally athletes and highly active people are the exception), that big meal was mostly stored as fat.
Have you noticed about 80% of the people around you are overfat? If you have noticed then you’re starting to believe what I’ve just described to you is correct.
You might be asking then, “Are we eating to much?” or even a better question might be, “How can I get access to this fat?”
Insulin is the key to both answers to those questions.
If you read the post titled “Eat Less, Move More” Model; a Sure Way to Slow Your Metabolism and Gain Weight you’re aware of these duel calorie storage compartments (glycogen and fat) and the eating less and exercising more model may be a course of additional weight gain even though intuitively that doesn’t make since.
Frankly, most people continue to spike insulin with their choice of foods. Carbohydrates are the gatekeeper to using fat. The more carbohydrates people eat at each meal the higher levels of insulin. Now because you read this article understand the role of insulin, also understand that a person needs to lower insulin in order to get into fat burning mode.
Watch for a subsequent blog post where I’ll give you a few strategies that many people are starting to employ to lower insulin and burn more fat.