A new perspective on weight loss: Reset your physiology
A new perspective on weight loss: Reset your physiology
Guest Post by Dr. Jon Wisco, Ph.D., Anatomy and Neurobiology
Professor, Brigham Young University and University of Utah School of Medicine
Fat is good. We need fat.
The most important system in our body (okay, I’m biased, I’m a neuroscientist) – our nervous system – is comprised of nearly 60 percent fat! Without a healthy amount of fat, our nervous system would not functional properly. Our endocrine system needs fat in order to effectively create one of the most important hormones in the body – progesterone. This hormone is the precursor for testosterone and estrogen, two of the sex hormones that helps us maintain physical fitness and mental alertness. Just two examples of why fat is an important tissue in our bodies.
However, too much fat is bad. The risk for coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, some cancers, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, liver disease, asthma, and some mental disorders1 increases with greater Body Mass Index (BMI) and body fat percentage.
And, not enough fat is bad. The risk for hypotension, heart failure, osteoporosis, muscle weakness and atrophy, and kidney failure2 increases with lower BMI and body fat percentage. The bottom line: The body needs just enough fat – not too much, not too little – for normal metabolism.
The body’s three sources of energy- carbohydrates, fat and muscle
Of these macronutrients, the body prefers carbs because it can easily metabolize it into glucose, and through a number of biochemical reactions, the principal energy molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Fat and muscle metabolism also ultimately yield ATP, but the biochemical reactions are more involved and not as quick as carbohydrate metabolism.
Although carbs are metabolized quickly, they are not as powerful of an energy source as fat. The body is smart: If it has a sufficient source of carbs, it will choose to burn that; otherwise, it will burn fat, and then as a last resort, muscle. If the body has an abundant source of carbs, it will metabolize what it needs, then store the rest as – you guessed it – fat. Why not? The body knows it can receive a larger amount of energy per fat molecule than per carbohydrate molecule. Thus, if the body encounters acute, or stressful, metabolic conditions, it will store some carbohydrates as fat. If the body has consistent physical activity, it will properly balance the carbohydrate, fat, and muscle metabolism to maintain a healthy physical state.
Constant fat storage?
The problem in our American society and culture is that we have a diet consisting of an overabundance of carbs, and a lifestyle with minimal physical activity. So, generally speaking, our bodies are constantly storing fat. In addition, carb metabolism activates the insulin/glucagon hormone pathways, which, when overactive and unchecked can lead to unwanted weight gain, insulin resistance, and the inability to metabolize carbs and maintain the normal carb, fat, and muscle metabolism homeostasis. Ultimately, the result is increased fat storage, increased stress, and decreased physical health in the form of oxidative stress and inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and many neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia.
Weight loss for health
With that brief introduction to the importance of carbohydrate, fat, and muscle metabolism, it is appropriate to ask where weight loss fits into all of this. Our societal and cultural fixation with weight loss is generally centered around body image, but the importance of weight loss should extend to good physical and physiological health. Again, our bodies are smart: If we subject them to a state of oxidative stress or inflammation (both of these occur when carbohydrate intake is too high, insulin levels spike, and the body converts carbohydrates as fat), then our bodies will “reset” its physiological baseline to minimize the stress and inflammation as much as possible. Part of that reset is storing excess fat to deal with anticipated needs for energy metabolism. Therefore, an approach to weight loss focusing on body image without resetting the body’s physiology only adds more stress and encourages the body to store more fat. This is why crash diets or water pill diets not only don’t work, but are counter-productive to the ultimate goal of restoring the body to a healthy weight.
Resetting the body to its intended, healthy weight is difficult work. The body will resist the initial stress of reducing weight. A healthy approach to resetting the body’s physiology is to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity (minimizing risk of injury) while at the same time modifying diet to shift the body’s metabolism from relying solely on carbohydrates to utilizing fat. Muscles love to use the fatty acids metabolized from adipose tissue! We can take advantage of that physiological phenomenon by simply shifting a diet to consist of more fat and protein, and less carbs. Yes, you have to eat fat to lost fat. Exercise is important because it increases the activity of the largest metabolic organ in the body – your muscles. Yes, gaining muscle mass speeds up fat metabolism.
How can Limitless Worldwide products help with weight loss?
The products included in the Shape Your Body Pak, as diet supplements, are formulated in just the right chemistry to minimize oxidative stress and inflammation, and maximize satiety, and the development of important metabolic hormones (namely human growth hormone, hGH) to promote an increase of muscle mass and healthy metabolism. The products Thrive, Charge, and Lunagen, found in the pak are formulated to help reset the body’s physiology to encourage healthy, not body image focused- weight loss.
Does someone absolutely need Shape Your Body to lose weight?
Of course not. But it REALLY helps. To illustrate, I love sports drinks. They are an excellent source of carbs and ions when the body is in a high metabolic state. But, sports drinks are nothing more than a source of excess carbs when the body is at rest. I reduced my intake of 2-3 sports drinks per day (approximately 36 g of sugar per bottle!) to only one sports drink per week. Without even exercising, I dropped 8 lbs in one week. By adding a modest 2-3 sessions of 20 minutes of moderate exercise in a week, I lost an additional 7 lbs over the course of several months.
I maintained that weight loss for several years until I discovered Thrive. After taking Thrive, I dropped an additional 5 lbs. over the course of a few weeks. I lost an additional 5 lbs. after starting a vigorous exercise program. The only reason I probably didn’t lose more is because I started adding muscle mass, which is starting to replace my fat mass. I expect in another year that I’ll be back to just above my high school weight because I started using Charge.
I think that’s it for now. In future blog posts I can go into more detail on aspects of this overview. For now, I hope you enjoy resetting your physiology!
- Knight JA. Diseases and Disorders Associated with Excess Body Weight. Ann Clin Lab Sci Spring 2011 vol. 41 no. 2 107-121.