You’ve been telling your body to store fat for decades. Here’s how to stop.
Our story starts with a gentleman I coached, David. Decades of suffering from chronic inflammation had taken its toll. Before age forty, he hauled fifty extra pounds on his 5’4″ frame.
Now in his 60s, he’s not only transformed his health but has been a beacon of hope for those in his community struggling with obesity.
Over a decade ago, before I met David, he and his son Joshua embarked on a weight loss journey. They were serious, and ready to do anything the program they bought told them to.
For the first two weeks, they were pleasantly surprised how easy and effective it was. Following the expert advice from the fitness guru who designed this program, they ate a diet low in carbs and high in fat. David and Joshua shedded weight and more importantly, felt awesome.
“This is going to be easy,” they thought.
Then, their guru foolishly changed the programming. They were ordered to eat prepackaged, low calorie meals. The amount of calories they were allowed were based on a weekly weigh-in.
If they hadn’t lost weight, they were to eat even less.
If they had lost weight, they were ‘rewarded’ by maintaining their current low calorie diet.
They felt terrible. They had even less energy than before. Eating crept into their thoughts every waking moment of the day. They were tempted by every passing glance of food.
It’s not surprising that they quit and went back to their old ways of eating, now skeptical of dieting and experts.
It’s not just you. Calorie counting doesn’t work.
Do you think our body keeps track of how many calories we consume?
I asked 50 middle and high school health teachers this question. Forty seven said yes.
That’s right. The vast majority of these health leaders believe there’s some sort of ticker tape at the bottom of your esophagus, tallying up each morsel of food we consume.
This is FALSE!
FACT 1: Your body keeps track of the types of food you eat.
There’s no ticker tape, hormone, or magical green troll that keeps track of how many calories you consume, determining if you lose weight that day based on your intake. This is a myth.
But your body does know which type of food you eat – fat, protein, or carbs.
David and Joshua’s metabolism went on low power mode when they restricted their calories on that fad diet program.
A decade later, David read my book ANYWAY YOU CAN. He stocked his cupboards with fatty, ketogenic foods and ate whenever he felt hungry.
At first, Joshua was skeptical and scolded his father for eating so much fat. But the results extinguished all doubt.
Both were convinced they needed to reignite their metabolisms with lots of fuel.
Since they were both chronically inflamed due to decades of carrying extra heft, they needed an energy source that didn’t spike their insulin.
Fat was the perfect food for them. Let me explain.
FACT 2: Your body evolved to store carbs as fat.
In days of yore, when food was scarce and humans labored as hunter-gatherers, your body evolved to treat these two macronutrients differently:
Fat triggers our body to absorb nutrients and signals our fat-based hormones to surge.
Carbs trigger insulin, signaling our body to store food.
Our ancestors survived through this critical distinction. It was essential to eat carb-filled seasonal foods before they spoiled. So that’s what they did, and the spike of insulin told their body to store that energy as fat.
They burned that fat later in the year, when their tribe would go days at a time without food. The lack of food told their mitochondria to produce ketones from those fat cells.
If their mitochondria couldn’t do this – produce energy in the absence of food – they would have died.
There is one fat-based hormone that you could think of as a magical green troll. This hormone is called cholecystokinin.
Cholecystokinin is secreted when fat binds to receptors in your intestines. It gives your brain a simple message:
This is the key to why David and Joshua lost so much weight on the keto diet. It didn’t require discipline. They ate fatty foods until they couldn’t stomach another bite.
This revitalized their fat-based hormones, reigniting their metabolism and signaling their mitochondria to produce ketones.
Do you want to lose weight?
Then stop instructing your body to store food.
Sounds obvious, right? Unfortunately, modern dietary literature neglects this.
Once upon a time, my patients, in a moment of vulnerability, would ask how to lose weight. I told them to count calories.
As it turns out, that advice was useless at best and harmful at worst.
So what do I tell my patients now?
FACT 3: Insulin is King
Remember what I said about insulin signaling your body to store food? That’s what we’re trying to avoid. Again, insulin is triggered when you eat carbs.
Do you see the connection?
Limit your carbs, lose weight.
Yes, hacking your metabolism is that simple.
Blue line: Ketones. Red line: Insulin.
Insulin is king. It influences your body composition more than any hormone.
The old adage “fight fire with fire,” is misleading. You fight fire with water. But every firefighter knows the truth in that statement. Regarding weight loss, replace the word “fire” with fat!
“You fight fat with fat!”
To learn more, watch this video.
This article is based on my book, ketoCONTINUUM: Consistently Keto Diet for Life.
It’s an amazing guide that walks you through my revolutionary protocol for the keto diet.
It’s changed thousands of lives. Now it’s your turn.