Obesity – How To Fix It
I received two short videos recently – The Alliance for Natural Health have been busy. They outlined the global obesity problem (and the solution) in terms the lay person could understand. The Americans would say the videos give ‘the skinny on fats’ and how they can better serve our human engines, not just keep them fed with junk fuels. Yet, with all the £billions spent on dietary advice so far, something isn’t working. With big interest, from Big Food, it’s likely money talks – while we are all starved of nutritional advice from established media channels. Clearly their saturated advice, is wrong.
Excess human body weight and disease now has more costly names, including: obesity and diabetes. Both are global problems and with huge emotional tolls, physical burdens and financial costs. Those costs are in the hundreds of £/$/€ billions each year and still growing. Some people are growing fat – on that spending alone. The obesity epidemic is overwhelming health services and budgets – resulting in mis-allocation of huge resources.
What if Eaters Have Been Mis-Directed?
To survive, humans need food and water, but in recent decades the type, quantity and ease of access to fast food has changed out of all recognition. The new phrase ‘junk food’ has come into being, where in previous generations ‘junk’ and ‘food’ were quite distinct. But times have changed. New words have come into vogue, such as calorie counting. But what if, instead of calories, it’s actually chemicals we should be counting. Just as we have vast amounts of de-natured foods we now have chemical additives in our foods for morning, noon and night and that mid-afternoon snack too. Many chemicals have entered through the ‘invisible door’ and along with ‘carbs’ have changed our very body types from (healthy) ‘fat’ expectant, to sugar expectant – in two generations.
To date a fair bit of time, effort and sweat has gone into shedding some of those unwanted pounds. But for all that we’ve spent, it’s not been a winning formula. If, say, we had lost our car keys, would we look just under the street light, or at the very place where we had actually lost them? Shedding excess pounds is a bit like that, we need to know where to look, not just be dazzled by the bright lights. First, we need to understand our human physiology. So, what might an ‘ideal diet’ regime look like?
The first four minutes of this video may help with a better understanding of healthy foods that truly serve us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6gExJIkaK4&feature=youtu.be
The following two short videos explain (with the accompanying narrative) how we’ve arrived here and how we can heal our dietary ills – when we’re ready and if we want to:
The Obesity Fix, Part 1: https://anhinternational.org/2018/03/15/the-obesity-fix-part-1/
“The human body isn’t a machine. Each individual is a living breathing organism, created to its unique genetic blueprint which then interacts with its environment in complex ways. Everyone agrees we’ve got a big problem with obesity, but not everyone agrees with what causes it. Least of all is there any agreement with how we should fix obesity in our society. Most health authorities say the root cause of the problem is as simple as too much Energy In versus not enough Energy Out. That’s why they think reducing everyone’s calories each day will resolve the obesity crisis. We don’t think this approach is right and more importantly this approach has failed over and over again. The scientific evidence suggests obesity is a much more complex problem, in which both our metabolism and the hormonal regulatory system that controls it, our endocrine system, get messed up. That means that overweight and obese people often feel hungry even when they’ve got more than enough food stored in their bodies. They then eat more. The more dependent they are on simple refined carbohydrates, like sugar, white bread, pastas and pizzas – the less likely they are to burn fat.
Modern Living, Driving An Epidemic
This ‘disregulation’ happens because of many things that are common with our modern lives. That includes: relying too heavily on processed foods, eating too often (in other words snacking on top of three meals a day), being stressed too much of the time, not sleeping properly and of course being sedentary for hours every day. We started off by saying humans aren’t machines, but to help us understand what’s going wrong, to help us put it right, let’s think of our bodies as a motorcar.
Two ‘Fuels’: ATP and Ketones
Carbohydrates, fats and protein aren’t fuel, they’re energy carriers. Our bodies actually have two fuels, one’s called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the other, ketones. We’re built to be hybrids that can run off both of these fuels, but most people have become reliant to run only on ATP and get most of that ATP from one energy carrier, in the form of carbohydrates. We make ATP from carbohydrates, fats or protein in tiny little energy factories called mitochondria that we have in nearly every cell in our bodies, especially in muscle cells. But there are three important rules that our body uses, to keep us functioning in the absence of food – because we’ve actually evolved to be better at dealing with fasting than we are to feasting.
Rule Number 1
If we are relying mainly on carbohydrates for our fuel and we eat carbohydrates regularly throughout the day, our fat burning machinery becomes dormant.
Rule Number 2
If we stop eating carbohydrates but have allowed our fat burning machinery to become dormant we can burn protein to produce ATP. That system is there only for emergencies because the main protein energy carrier there, in our bodies, is muscle – and who wants to burn their muscles?
Rule Number 3
To get good at fat burning we need to restrict carbohydrates and fast for extended periods, say five hours or more (or a lot more than that overnight) between eating or snacking. We call that intermittent fasting.
Ketones Are Key
But what about our 2nd fuel, ketones? We use the plural because there are three chemically distinct ketone bodies that our body uses with: beta-hydroxybuterate (or BHB) being the most important. We produce these ketones in the liver, but they can only be generated if we burn fats in the absence of carbohydrates. Ketones are our long range fuel, that allow us to function really well in the absence of carbohydrates – that’s why a lot of people refer to them as our endurance fuel. Our over eating and snacking culture means that a lot of people never get into the state we call nutritional ketosis, one that helps us produce just the right amount of ketones, to use for fuel.
The Bonus Ball
There’s a bonus too, ketones are our brains’ favourite fuel – as our brain prefers ketones even to glucose. You might have come across people who’ve been working hard all day long saying they forgot to eat but their mind stayed crystal clear. That’s often because they’ve been relying on ketones. We’ve identified so far that the engines of our cars have got messed up, because of the way so many of us live. That’s why focussing on putting slightly less fuel in the tank, as health authorities are suggesting, simply doesn’t work. People just fill up more often. We need to focus on what’s wrong with our engines. When we’ve fixed our engines, we can easily shift our metabolism into a state of nutritional ketosis whenever we need. We will have become what we call metabolically flexible and it’s at that point we earn our badge saying that we are keto-adapted”.
The drug free obesity fix, Part 2: https://anhinternational.org/2018/03/22/the-drug-free-obesity-fix-video/
“There’s been a lot of science and clinical work to work out the best things we can do to fix our engines to become keto – adapted. It doesn’t involve taking any drugs or diet pills, but being a complex problem in which our internal signalling systems that control both our feeding behaviour and our energy metabolism have got mucked up. We have to do more than just one thing. No, there isn’t and never will be a magic pill. There are five things we can do to become keto – adapted, in the process giving our bodies the best chance to fix our metabolic engines. Those who have benefitted most do all five things that our five point keto – adaptation plan suggests:
Plan Rules: One to Five
The first thing is calorie restriction – in line with our body size and our energy expenditure. That means ‘a one size fits all’, say a: 400, 600 and 600 calorie formula for our: breakfast, lunch and dinner, is next to useless. While allowing yourself to go hungry for increasing periods while being over seen by a practitioner or health coach who specialises in the process of keto – adaptation, is of course quite a different thing.
The 2nd thing we need to do is intermittent fasting, that includes at least a 12 hour overnight fast and fasting periods of at least five hours between meals and of course, no snacking.
The 3rd thing is to engage in a low carb’ high fat (or LCHF) diet. For most people this means that carbohydrates shouldn’t exceed more than 25% total energy needs, with healthy fats delivering around 60% with high quality protein sources, the remainder.
The 4th thing we need to do is engage in regular, daily, physical activity. This doesn’t necessarily mean going down to the gym but it does include limited amounts of high intensity exercise.
The 5th thing we need to do is engage in stress transformation. This means getting the best out of your sleep, making time to de-stress and turning negative stress into positive stress.
So there you go, the problem and the solution in a nutshell. The biggest take home is that we don’t think you should have to wait for Government authorities to get it right. They’ve got it wrong so many times before and that’s why our waists are continuing to grow and why we’re getting even sicker from related conditions like Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Big Problem, Big Governments…
We think many people in Governments understand more than they let on, but because of the close tie up between Governments and some of the biggest corporations on the Planet they keep offering sticking plasters to a much bigger problem that they don’t really want to fix. There’s just too much money to be made out of a society that over-eats and gets sick.
Handing Our Health To Us, On A Plate
The real answer is in reality, in our hands and not theirs. It’s about changing, quite fundamentally, how we live our lives. It’s not just about losing a bit of weight. It’s about benefitting from having our body’s working as Nature intended – that means having enough energy to live life to the full and enjoying long, healthy lives, without becoming more and more dependent on drugs. The choice is ours”.
Videos Produced by Dr Rob Verkerk, Animation by Charlie Jones. Reproduced by Kind Permission of Alliance for Natural Health International.