Mohammed Razik M.D. (Europe), B.C.C.T., H.D., D.H.M.S.
Our body burns calories for energy; these calories are from the macronutrients we include in our diet, fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates are our immediate source of energy; they break down into sugar, and the excess is stored as fat. We have a limited source for proteins and that should be the last source of energy we consume, it is vital for lean muscle mass and hormone production. Fat is the most concentrated source of energy. We basically store it more than we use it, and that’s where the problem lays.
“Are you adding any shape or tone to your body”?
If the answer to that is no, then you are most likely burning off calories from proteins, not from fat. Not quite want you want if your goal is to lose weight. Wouldn’t you agree?
But how does our body make the choice of what to use for energy? What makes it chose carbs over fat or proteins over carbs?
What we use to burn for energy depends on several factors.
All three factors are equally important, and all three factors are interconnected. But let us assume that you are indeed eating well and exercising regularly. What role do your hormones play in determining your energy consumption, and how important is that role?
Our Adrenals and Stress:
With stress our Cortisol levels rise and DHEA levels drop.
Insulin and Glucagon production?
Secreted by the Pancreas, these two very important hormones play a vital but often neglected role in weight management. Like Cortisol and DHEA they also act on determining what we use as a source of energy and how we store fat in our body instead of utilizing it. The foods choices we make (Glycemic Index) are very important in determining which hormone is dominant. Ultimately we are trying to obtain a balance between these two hormones. When eating foods with a high Glycemic index, blood sugar levels rise and with that our pancreas is triggered to release Insulin, the more we eat these foods the more insulin is produced and the less Glucagon. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose for energy, we can only use so much for that and the rest is stored in our body as fat.
(Insulin lowers blood sugar while Glucagon raises it)
In other words: Insulin triggers our body to store fat, at the same time inhibiting the release of glucagon which promotes the breakdown of fat. What we need to do is create a balance between the production of these two hormones, neither should be dominant.
Furthermore, fluctuations in blood sugar levels will add stress to the adrenal glands, and vice versa. Cortisol plays an important role with insulin as it combats its effectiveness; therefore more stress leads to more cortisol, leading to more insulin, leading to more stored fat.
Is your Thyroid under-active?
If so then your metabolism is in jeopardy. The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy and calories our body burns at rest, and that determines how well energy is consumed. Often times an under-active thyroid goes undiagnosed despite existing symptoms such as weight gain, cold intolerance, decreased sex drive, PMS, and loss of concentration, probably because they are often attributed to other conditions such as depression, aging or menopause.
If you BMR is below normal, most likely weight gain will ensue and losing it would be difficult.
What could be done to help?
As you can see there are so many elements that come into play, and now that you have a better understanding of your metabolism and energy consumption, you will surely be ready to start losing that extra weight you always wanted to get rid of.