Why Your Past Diets Have Failed (and why it's not your fault): Part 3
Jan 13, 2020
This article is part 3 of a 3-part series that walks you through why you have been struggling with your weight and why it's not actually your fault. You have been doing everything you were told to do, but it's just not working. Why? Well, if after 40 years of the same advice and with over 60% of American women now overweight or obese, maybe it's time to re-examine what you were told to do. What if the advice you've been given has been wrong the whole time?
We must see ourselves as an intricate network of systems that are in constant communication with one another and our environment using hormonal signals.
Each system in our body is regulated by powerful hormones and chemical signals. For example, sleep and wake cycles are regulated by the hormone melatonin. Body temperature and metabolism are regulated by the thyroid hormones. Puberty and lifecycle stages are regulated by the sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Height and muscle mass is regulated by growth hormone.
Your important biological systems are controlled by hormone-based feedback cycles to keep your body in homeostasis, or a state of perfect balance. Meaning, if you have enough it turns off, if you need more, it turns on. On and off, on and off as needed so you have just the right amount of what you need to be awesome and thrive.
Why would we think that the regulation of our body fat mass would be different?. Why do we tell people that their fat mass is the net total of how much they eat versus how much they burn? Like it was somehow left off the list of super important things that the body needs to regulate carefully.
Maybe because it doesn't feel like your body is controlling it at all? Like you are out of balance and out of control?
One of the most interesting systems in our body is weight maintenance. Our body is very good at controlling our weight. Even though it may feel like your weight is out of control.
It uses the hormone ghrelin to tell us we are hungry, to eat more, and accumulate fat. Our body fat releases leptin, a hormone that tells our brain that our fat stores are plentiful and we can now eat less. Our pancreas sends out glucagon to release the stored sugar and fat for use and it uses insulin to tell the body to burn the plentiful sugar and store more fat.
And there's more being discovered every day! Adiponectin, lipoprotein lipase, and hormone-sensitive lipase to name a few. Multiple systems, all working at once to help control your weight.
Your body fat is regulated by hormones. If you have too much body fat, your hormones are directing your body to accumulate that fat. If you want to change the amount of body fat that you have, you need to change how your hormones are signaling your brain and body systems.
Your genes determine where you store the fat, not how much fat you will accumulate. You will notice yourself carrying your weight like your mother and her mother before her, but the amount you carry is up to you.
You need to balance the hormones that cause you to accumulate fat, not too much and not too little.
To really get at the heart of body fat regulation, you need to start paying more attention to types of food your eating, and less attention to the amount. That is how we influence our hormones.
It's time to discard old and outdated advice that isn't serving us.
It's time to think outside the conventional advice that we should all be exercising more and eating less.
It's time to open our eyes to a new and better way to lose weight and keep it off without starving ourselves and working out until we hurt.
We need a solution that works.