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March 13, 2012

Key to Weight Loss: It’s What Missing in the Diet

Weight Loss and Abdominal FatWeight loss in challenging and according to this FoxNews article losing weight is the biggest health concern this year for 43% of US workers – and it should be. Being overweight is unhealthy in many ways. Fat is not an inert tissue. It is filled with inflammatory cytokines that predispose individuals to diabetes, heart disease, strokes, cancer, arthritis, and more. Any pound of fat that is lost is helpful to one’s health.  But, how do you lose fat and achieve successful weight loss?

It’s What We Don’t Eat That Matters

There’s a lot of confusion regarding the success of different types of weight loss diets.  Some low-fat diets have been shown to be successful.  High protein diets have been successful in losing weight. Weight loss has been achieved with low carbohydrate diets, and good old calorie restriction diets have been successful. And, many people have tried all sorts of diets to find one that works for them.

So is one diet more likely to be successful for one person, and another diet for another?  Probably not.  When you analyze all diets that are successful in losing weight there is a common thread.  The common thread isn’t with what is eaten; low fat, or high-protein, or low-carbohydrate.

The common thread is what is not eaten.  The one thing all successful weight loss diets do is eliminate the fattening carbohydrates that come in the form of simple sugars; soft drinks, fruit juices, candy bars, desserts, pastries, and so on. It’s carbohydrates that make us fat, not eating fat.  Even low-fat diets eliminate these unhealthy carbohydrates from the program.

Also, processed foods are filled with any number of sweeteners that contribute to fat gain by raising insulin levels. These sweeteners include brown sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, honey, lactose, maltose, mannitol, maple sugar, molasses, sorbitol, sucrose, and a variety of syrups.  Avoid them as much as possible. Easiest way to do that is eat only natural foods.

Good Carbs – Bad Carbs

Fats and proteins are essential macronutrients.  All of our organs consist of fat and protein.  Though we use carbohydrates for energy it is not essential that the body run on carbohydrates for fuel. So carbohydrates are less essential than we’ve been taught. We get fat because of insulin.  Carbohydrates elevate insulin levels.

The good carbs are the complex carbohydrates naturally found in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables need to be broken down and digested. This prevents a large spike in insulin levels from occurring.

Though fruits also contain simple sugars they are generally acceptable to eat because the fiber they contain delays the absorption of the simple sugars, thus preventing a spike in insulin levels.

Weight Loss: Focus On What Not to Eat

If your goal is to lose weight you need to reduce your consumption of carbohydrates. The more overweight you are the more carbohydrates you need to avoid – until you get to a desired weight then you can add some of them back if you can maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.

Initially for many needing to lose significant weight avoid….

  • White rice
  • White potatoes
  • White pasta
  • White bread
  • Alcohol
  • All processed food
Many will notice significant fat loss in 2 weeks or so. Eat healthy snacks in between meals.  Eat only enough to satisfy your appetite.  Eat slowly.  It takes the body about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it has had enough. There’s a tendency to overeat when eating too fast.  Drink plenty of water.  Some of us misinterpret our need for food and our need for water. So if you’re hungry drink some water, and if you still feel hungry 15-20 minutes later you probably need to eat.
Good Luck!





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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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