Learn How to Eat Whatever You Want Towards Your Advantage | Part 1 of 3
Posted by Scott Emmerson
Last Saturday, my cousin Andrew and I went to Wendy’s. I had a triple Baconator with fries. Then I went home and watched Game of Thrones, while devouring two bags of Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Cream bite size chocolate thingys. I would tell you what Andrew had but I was too busy slipping into a food coma to remember. That was my cheat meal and I earned it because I ate like a caveman all week…
I am going to assume that you are probably reading this article with the intentions of cranking back some unhealthy delicious foods over the holidays! If you are like me then you obviously want to avoid having “more to love” by the time January hits and you’re forced to hit the gym harder than that Baconator hit my pancreas.
If your going to understand why these tips work then you need to understand how cheat meals can make us fat. I know, boring but just shush and keep reading.
When carbs get digested they have to be broken down into sugars before they can enter the blood stream. Complex carbs represent long chains of sugars bound together, while simple carbs represent smaller chains. Long and short chains of sugars have to be broken down into individual sugar molecules to be absorbed. Picture various groups of prison inmates (sugars), holding hands walking through a prison (your intestines). Then correctional officers (enzymes), are all like, “hey stop holding hands, that’s weird, you’re in prison.” The correctional officers eventually break the bonds between the inmates and send them to their cells, pun intended (Boom).
Once our sugar bonds are broken up in our intestines they enter the blood stream, and our pancreas is notified of the increase in blood sugar. In turn, insulin is released to combat this. Then a bunch of insulin goes and snatches up the sugar molecules and transports them into their designated cells (could be liver, muscle, fat or various other cells). In most circumstances insulin will look to drop off those sugars in your liver, however, once your liver is full they will have no choice but to juicify your love handles (in article number two I will touch on how we can get insulin to send sugar into our muscles). Now, our bodies have many mechanisms for making us fat, but in my opinion high carb consumption is the number one reason for obesity.
Tip #1 – The Obvious Tip…
Try to avoid processed food. A heck of a process goes into making bread, so try to avoid it. Brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, and Cous Cous don’t take much to get them ready to eat, so they are okay. If you’re overweight, cut complex carbs entirely and watch the pounds fly away. If you’re not overweight and you’re naturally skinny/lean (aka my stupid cousin Andrew), you can have some complex carbs. My personal opinion is that a VERY small amount of people would ever need more than 100 grams of complex carbs in a day.
Tip #2 – Insulin sensitivity increases with each sugar free meal
One thing I didn’t mention about our friend insulin is that if you have too much sugar circulating in your blood stream (especially over a prolonged period of time i.e. days/months/years) then you can become insulin resistant. It’s kind of like when I try and scare my parents. Occasionally I can scare them so good that they will accidentally swear; it’s honestly hilarious. But, if I tried scaring them ten times a day they would become resistant to my immaturity and I wouldn’t get to enjoy their swears. But in all seriousness, if this is what’s happening- you’re becoming insulin resistant- then you’re likely on track to becoming diabetic.
I like to think of our relationship with insulin as a really big teeter-totter. On one side sits insulin resistance, and on the other side sits insulin sensitivity. The more sugary food we eat the further we move towards insulin resistance, and eventually if we eat so bad, we can walk right past insulin resistance and hop off the teeter-totter leading to diabetes. But, with every good meal we eat we can walk toward insulin sensitivity, and eventually get a super power or something.
When you are “low sugar” for long enough your liver gets a chance to make room for some new sugars thus blitzing yourself with a cheat meal, in some instances can actually make you leaner. When you eat “low carb” for long enough your Leptin levels decrease, and one of Leptin’s roles is to metabolize fat. Guess what gives Leptin a boost… cheat meals! This does not mean pizza is now a healthy choice, it means it “can be” if your diet is on point. Earlier this year I went two weeks without a gram of sugar and I decided to have a gluten free pizza, which is awesome by the way so shut your mouth if you’re a gluten free hater, and I actually lost 2lbs the next day.
Moral of the story, with every carb free day that passes you will increase your efficiency when you finally decided to crank back some deliciousness. I’m pretty sure superman became superman from going carb free for a year and then having a Baconator, just saying.
Tip #3 – Fit Cocoa, Green Tea, and Cinnamon into your diet wherever you can
In a nutshell research says that these three guys can increase your insulin sensitivity. I have found moderate to high consumption of these puppies on my cheat days to be particularly helpful. If you want more detail check the sources :).
Green Tea (1,2)
– favanols=high antioxidant/High Nitric Oxide(arginine-alpha-keto-glutarate (AAKG). ) bioavailability… Nitric Oxide bioavailability=”stimulated glucose uptake”