Fast Weight Loss – Or Long Term Health?

When our thoughts turn to losing some weight we often focus on how fast we can lose it. Any diet will do, as long as we lose those extra pounds fast. Unfortunately, not many of us stop to think about the long term health consequences of the diet we choose. Losing the weight is the only thing that matters, isn't it? And losing weight is a simple matter of going on a low calorie/low fat diet, is it not?

But supposing there's more to it than that? What if we've overlooked a crucial aspect of why we become overweight? Supposing whether or not we put on surplus weight is heavily determined by the way we as individuals respond hormonally to the highly processed foods we now eat? And, if there are hormonal reasons for putting the excess weight on in the first place, wouldn't it be more effective and healthy to follow a diet that takes these into account?

At this point we should be clear that when we talk about hormonal reasons for putting on weight, we're not just talking about those of us of the female persuasion. The hormones we're referring to here are just as much an issue for the male of the species.

The main hormone concerned is insulin. Insulin controls fat storage. High insulin levels mean our bodies are more efficient at storing than burning energy. Insulin acts as the gatekeeper in the other direction too, preventing the release of our stored fat. In other words, we may reduce calories in our attempts to lose weight, but if insulin is too high, the desired release of stored energy from our fat cells can't happen. A double whammy.

So which are the foods which cause high levels of insulin? It's carbohydrates, particularly the highly processed sort, deficient in fibre and nutrients, which have become our staple foods today. For instance, sugar, white flour, white rice, pasta, pizza, sugary drinks, sweets and candy, biscuits, cookies, cakes, pastries, sugary desserts and many savoury foods too, such as corn or potato snacks.

Researchers and clinicians have been saying for years that the low calorie/low fat approach doesn't work long term for many people. The millions of 'yo-yo' or serial dieters who keep the low calorie/low fat-focused multibillion dollar diet and diet food industry in business are testament to this. In recent years many clinical studies have been done which demonstrate that diets which keep insulin in balance are indeed more effective at weight loss for many people than the traditional low calorie/low fat diet. Diets which work on this principle include low carb and low GI (glycemic index) diets.

However, that's not all that recent research has discovered. Controlling the passage of fat in and out of our fat cells isn't insulin's only role. Insulin has other, far-reaching effects in our bodies and it is now increasingly recognised that the long term damage that leads to type 2 diabetes and heart disease is down to high insulin levels, too. In other words, low carb and low GI diets are likely to be better for our long term health than the standard low calorie/low fat diet generally promoted as 'healthy eating'.

Unfortunately, most dieters (and, sadly, most medical professionals) are unaware of the latest research and understanding of the part hormones such as insulin play not only in weight regulation but also in conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. More information can be found in the free e-book on this important topic "Why You Should Consider a Low Carb or Low GI Diet".