Americans do it, anyway
Americans generally eat like poop. I’m talking about the vast majority of us, on the Standard American Diet (SAD). Many countries around the world are adopting our poor form of eating. Many countries around the world are gaining weight.
I’m not about fat-shaming. That’s not what this is about. Your attitude is the most beautiful thing about you. If you feel beautiful and confident, you will be attractive—regardless of your size.
We are talking to those of us (me, included) who are not happy with their current weight. I was a heavy kid as a child. I was heavy as an adult.
I’m now learning that my old diet was very much to blame. It’s OK not to know the science. Science is hard (math, too!) Now I know, and knowing is half the battle.
Unfortunately, your childhood weight determines your weight as an adult. Fat kids become fat adults. Skinny kids become skinny adults.
Do you have that one adult friend who looks amazing and eats like a pig? Yeah. That one. Ask about her weight as a kid. 9 times out of 10, she was skinny as a kid.
I’m not saying that your weight is set in stone as an adult. I’m saying that it is more difficult to change your weight as an adult. Ask your super-slim friend how he or she loses weight. Most likely, they can shed pounds effortlessly by tweaking their diet a bit.
Now ask a heavy friend how they lose weight. They have to move mountains to move the needle on the scale.
Not impossible, but difficult.
When you are heavy, your body is actively working against you. It’s trying to keep the weight on. The less you eat, the more hungry you become. You can make that worse by continuing an unhealthy diet.
Ask your skinny friend how they can gain weight. It’s probably difficult, regardless of what they eat.
Ask your overweight friend how they can gain weight. It might take a single bad meal to tip the scale (“Get off! Get off!”)
Never take diet advice from a skinny dude.
I am a fat dude. I lost a lot of weight, but I’m still a fat dude. How I Lost 109 Pounds
I’m still working to lose weight. Some stuff works and some stuff doesn’t. What I do know is what doesn’t work. One poor diet performed with enthusiasm made me gain 40 pounds in a month!
But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
What foods can and can’t I eat?
If the only reason you’re here for the answer, I’ll make it easy. Do not combine:
- Carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, sugar)
- Fat (bacon, cheese, anything deep fried)
Never ever eat the two of these at the same time. You can eat carbs, but not with fat. You can eat fat, but not with carbs. The problem with the Standard American Diet is that these two are often combined.
Now for our skinny people out there, they are scoffing right now. Yes, you hosers. You can eat doughnuts without getting morbidly obese. I’m talking to my fellow fat friends right now.
YOU can eat a doughnut. I eat a doughnut and gain a pound.
You can stop reading now (my skinny friends). That’s OK. You can leave now. Fat people talking.
Why is this combination a problem?
I am the type of person who needs to know “why” to make information stick.
If you’re still reading, you might be one of those people, too. We can talk freely. The skimmers are gone. If they’re still with us, then maybe they are closet seekers-of-truth. Ssssh!
What happens when you eat a carbohydrate? We ALL know what a carbohydrate is. Our “health” indoctrination of the last 30 years has drilled this into us.
When you eat a carbohydrate, it turns to sugar and enters your bloodstream. A sugar is a teeny, tiny crystal. A crystal is a teeny, tiny razor blade. It’s not good business to have teeny, tiny razor blades floating through your veins. Your body releases insulin. Your body is pretty good at keeping us alive. Generally. Some times. God willing.
Insulin has one job. It lowers your blood sugar. It tells your cells to absorb this free-floating energy. If blood sugar is still high, those free-floating bits of energy get turned to fat.
Hey, diabetics! Wake up from your carb-coma! I’m talking to you! Did you realize that your daily dose of insulin was making you fatter? Yes, it is keeping you alive, but you are gaining weight. You’re pushing out the goal post.
You’ll be fine. They make plus-size coffins now.
OK, now we’re getting to the super bad part
Let’s give you a little example. Take a gram of carbohydrate. It has four calories. Now take a gram of protein. It also has four calories. Finally, let’s take a gram of fat. NINE CALORIES.
That means that if you eat a little bit of fat, it’s like eating more than double the same quantity of bread or meat.
This is no big D.
If you eat a carbohydrate, it spikes your blood sugar. That lets out the gatekeeper—insulin. If you then introduce fat into your system, the insulin will turn the fat you eat into the fat you wear. Sometimes forever.
How long does insulin stay in your system?
Remember, the only job insulin has is to lower your blood sugar. This can take different lengths of time for different people. This is easiest to check with a blood sugar monitor. Most diabetics have one of these. I’m sure they’ll gladly show you how to poke yourself. Misery likes company and all that.
It might take 4 hours for your blood sugar to go down (if you’re healthy). It might take 8 hours for your blood sugar to drop (if you’re unhealthy). If you’re in serious trouble, it might take an entire day for your blood sugar to go down to normal levels (If at all).
High blood sugar equals high insulin levels.
This is where intermittent fasting comes in. Conscious or not, people on IF diets are eating when their blood sugar (and insulin) are low. After eating, they do not eat again until their blood sugar (and insulin) are low. A healthy person can use their hunger as a sign to eat again. With a little practice, a healthy person can figure out the best times to eat.
Notice that I said a “healthy” person.
Unfortunately, modern science has kicked your butt. They have learned to combine different elements of food. They trick your natural hunger signals. If you eat processed food, your body is not sending the right signals. Check out the fascinating book Sugar, Fat, Salt if you wanna learn more (no affiliation).
What’s the solution to figuring out your “real” hunger signals?
We’re getting further and further down the bunny trail here. That’s what happens when you ask a question and then follow every answer with, “Why?”
Don’t combine carbohydrates and fat. Eat one or the other. You don’t have to know all the science behind it.
If you wanna go down the bunny trail, start doing research.
I didn’t find my own “real” hunger until I went on a long-term fast. That may or may not work for you.
Definitely stop eating processed foods.
Think of your favorite dessert. It is full of carbohydrates and fat. You are stimulating two primal urges in your brain. One says, “Sugar! I love that!” The other says, “Fat! I love that!”
Our ancient ancestors couldn’t go to a drive thru. They could not buy an apple fritter. Our brains kinda freak out when we find either a carb or a fat.
It’s the combination that is deadly.