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Category Archives: Insulin Resistance

Low Calorie Diets Lead To The Yo Yo Effect

By | Diet, Fat Burning, Insulin Resistance, Weight Loss | No Comments

For decades now, the standard advice for weight loss has been to reduce calories, essentially follow a low calorie diet. They said “eat less and move more”.

The problem with that concept is that we have hormones which respond differently to the type and amount of the food that we eat. Insulin is the primary hormone affecting fat storage- when its up we are storing energy, not releasing it.  Our basal metabolic rate (metabolism) is also regulated by hormones just like our heart rate, liver function and hair growth.

Typically a low calorie diet involves cutting caloric intake by 25-30%, for example from 2000 calories per day to about 1500 with the idea that the deficit will be made up by stored fat. However, our bodies don’t respond that way for very long. Eventually it determines that it can’t maintain this calorie deficit at the current metabolic rate so, as a survival mechanism, the hypothalamus reduces the metabolic rate to match the new amount of calories coming in.

The new, lower metabolic rate leaves you with less energy, less fuel available for generating body heat, hungry and often in a bad mood. Of course this also leads to a stall in the weight loss because there is no longer a calorie deficit. At this point, most people return to there normal diet, with the new lower metabolism, and the weight comes right back on- and sometimes a bit more. That’s the yo-yo effect.

What is the alternative? On a low carb diet, you can eat adequate calories so the metabolism stays up where it needs to be but insulin will come down sooner after a meal. Higher carb diets raise insulin levels for a longer period of time and can even lead to insulin resistance, elevating insulin levels even more.

Since keeping insulin as low as possible for as long as possible is the goal, the additional strategy to use is to limit eating to three distinct meals, or even two meals and a snack, and completing all meals within a 12 hour window of the day. So if your first meal is at 7 am, finish your last meal by 7 pm or sooner. Compressing the daily eating window to ten or even eight hours a day is even better. And no snacking. Eat enough whole, nutritious food at your meals that you don’t need to eat between meals and can go without eating four or five hours until your next meal. This gives insulin enough time to drop and make body fat available for fuel. If we are eating every 2-3 hours then we limit the amount of time in the day when body fat can be made available because insulin is constantly being stimulated.

Combining a low carb diet where carbs make up 15% or less of total calories with eating three or fewer distinct meals within a 12 hour window of whole, unprocessed food and no snacking will provide more time when insulin is low, or not present and body fat can be made available for energy. Since adequate calories can be eaten there is no drop in metabolism and no yo-yo effect.

I Wrote A Book

By | Diet, Insulin Resistance, Insulin Sensitivity, Low Carb Book, Weight Loss | No Comments

I finally did it.  I finally finished my first book, much of which had been sitting on my hard drive for almost two years.  Its called “Low Carb Lifestyle & Weight Loss Made Simple”.

One of the main reasons I hadn’t finished it was because I wanted to somehow make it different from all of the other low carb diet books already written. While the plan does have some aspects that make it different from most diets out there, it also has an interactive component to help the reader actually walk out the plan day by day.

The interactive component is a daily planner specific to following the plan that helps create some personal accountability and a sense of accomplishment. The planner pages consist of boxes for meals and activities with options for each because not every day is the same. If you can check a box, you can follow this plan. 

The plan portion of the book is fairly short -less than 70 pages- and easy to read. In addition to mapping out the eating plan I explain why it works and why other diets fail, as well as meal examples. Food choices are the primary focus and need to be established first, before any changes to activity or exercise levels are made because, as you may have experienced, you can’t out exercise a bad diet.

I am also offering group coaching to follow the plan in the book to help people put it into action. Its a 30 day focus on implementing the plan and tracking your progress in the planner for people who want to lose weight, hosted in a private Facebook group. If you would like to know more about the group, please email me at zane@zanegriggs.com.

You can purchase the book directly from the printer at this link: Low Carb Lifestyle & Weight Loss Made Simple

If Your Primary Goal Is Weight Loss, Carbing Up Before Your Workout Is Not A Good Idea

By | Diet, Exercise, Fat Burning, Insulin Resistance, Insulin Sensitivity, Intermittent Fasting, Metabolism, Weight Loss | No Comments

Its not uncommon to hear people talk about carbing up before a workout.  This is at typical practice with distance runners or cyclists and weight lifters and it certainly helps with performance.  However, if your primary reason for working out is weight loss then carbing up probably isn’t going to help you.  You will certainly have a stronger workout but your carbs can get in the way of tapping into those fat stores you want to release for fuel.

When you eat food that contains sugar and starch, your blood sugar goes up and insulin is released.  At this moment, your body is trying to remove that sugar from your blood stream as quickly as possible because you aren’t moving fast enough to burn it all up sitting at the table.  Your body slows or stops the release of fat for fuel because you already have too much floating around and insulin is transporting what you’ve just eaten to muscle and fat cells.  There is no reason to release more fuel.

As I mentioned, the readily available sugar you’ve just eaten will top off your muscles fuel supply and will certainly help your performance during your workout, but is that your goal. Are you there to run farther, cycle faster or lift more OR are you there to tap into your fat stores, put stress on your fat burning metabolism and burn more stored fat during your workout?

While fasted cardio, boot camps and weight training is more physically challenging and may not give you the best performance results, the stress you are putting on your fat burning metabolism is actually training it to be more efficient, making it easier to rely on fat stores at a less strenuous pace like when you’re at work or running errands.  Fasted training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, something we all lose to some degree with age.

Fasted workouts are easiest to accomplish in the mornings when we can get out the door right away with just a cup of coffee or tea to get us moving.  If you workout later in the day, you can still limit carb intake before your workout and eat primarily protein, fat and non starchy veggies.  Also try to put at least 2 hours between your last meal and your workout to allow blood sugars to come back to normal levels.

Intermittent fasting is another way to approach this.  You can skip breakfast, having just coffee or tea, (maybe with a little butter or coconut oil in it) and workout just before your lunch, with your first meal coming right after your midday workout.  This may be tough the first few times you do it but as you become more adapted to burning fat, it will get a bit easier.

If you find you need some guidance with planning a low carb diet, check out my Food Comes First Diet Plan which includes a food list and a week’s worth of meal suggestions.  You can find it here: Food Comes First Diet.

Coconut Oil Called Unhealthy By The AHA? My Opposing View.

By | Cholesterol, Diet, Fat Burning, Insulin Resistance, Probiotic, Weight Loss | No Comments

Did you see the recent article with a statement from the AHA (American Heart Association) saying that coconut oil isn’t healthy for us because its a saturated fat?  Apparently they’re still recommending the low fat, high carb diet that sent obesity and diabetes to epidemic levels.    Like when the ADA recommended our diet be 60-70% carbohydrate in 1994 and from 1997 to 2007, the number of people with type 2 diabetes doubled.  Hmm.

Personally, coconut oil is one of my favorite fats, and since I eat a high fat, low carb diet, that make it pretty important to me.  Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride so its easily converted to energy, as a replacement for carbs, without increasing blood sugar.  It also kills a strain of Candida bacteria which is one of the bacteria strains we don’t want a lot of in our gut.

As a saturated fat, its my “go to” for cooking eggs and veggies.  Saturated fats are stable fats and withstand high heat without smoking, or oxidizing, like unsaturated fats do.  The oxidized, unsaturated fats become free radicals causing inflammation in our bodies.  Inflammation is the beginning of all disease in our bodies so we don’t need to add anymore of that.  Yet, that’s exactly what cooking with the “recommended” unsaturated oils, like canola and corn oil, does.

Those grain based unsaturated oils, polyunsaturated, also contain a lot of omega 6 fatty acids, which are also inflammatory.  Our ratios of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids should be 1:1, but in the Western diet is generally 10:1 or 20:1, so why would we add more to our diets.  We struggle as it is to get enough omega 3’s with fish oil and flax supplements.

Dr. Perlmutter, who wrote “Grain Brain”, actually calls coconut oil “brain food” and highly recommends cooking with it.  If your concern is the effects of cholesterol and saturated fat on heart disease, allow me to recommend two books that will clear this up for you.  The first is “The Cure For Heart Disease” by Dwight Lundell M.D. and Todd R. Nordstrom and the second is “The Great Cholesterol Myth” by Jonny Bowden PhD and Stephen Sinatra, M.D.

In my opinion, the information gap lies in diets being observed containing high fat.  In a typical Western diet, full of starch, sugar, fast food, etc. then you have fat combined with high blood sugar and insulin which certainly causes fat storage and other health issues.  You have similar issues with a high carb, low fat diet.  But a low carb, high fat diet in which the carb source is primarily non starchy vegetables  and blood sugar and insulin are kept at low levels, fat is the primary fuel source.  In this case, less fat is stored and more fat is burned. There is also much less inflammation created with a low carb diet than a high carb diet.  The variable causing the problems isn’t fat.  The problems are a result of an excess of sugar and starch.

If you’re looking for a diet to help you reduce sugar and starch and include more vegetables for controlling weight and balancing your biome, please consider my Food Comes First Diet.  It includes a food list and a week’s worth of meal suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks.  You can find it here: Food Comes First Diet Plan.

Why Is My Dietary Advice So Different From That Of The Mainstream Health Authorities?

By | Cholesterol, Diet, Fat Burning, Insulin Resistance, Insulin Sensitivity, Weight Loss | No Comments

Why is my dietary advice so different from the mainstream health authorities?  That’s a great question.  Why aren’t they paying attention to what the more progressive MD’s and PhD’s are saying and showing in their research?

In 1994, the American Diabetes Association ( I called them the American Dietetics Association in the video, Whoops) recommended a diet of 60-70% carbohydrates, a classic low fat diet.  From 1997 to 2007 the number of diabetics in the US doubled!!  Great advice.  Lets tell people to eat more of what elevates blood sugar and creates insulin resistance.

Obviously I coach a low carb, high fat diet to keep blood sugar low and maintain or improve insulin sensitivity.  The fear of saturated fat and cholesterol for obesity, diabetes and heart disease is based on bad science from 50 years ago.  Dietary fat in the presence of high amounts of  sugar and starch in the diet is harmful but when you lower sugar and starch, and eat primarily vegetables for carbs, fat becomes your fuel source and doesn’t get locked up in fat stores by insulin resistance.

Since their research on fat was done with people eating a typical western diet full of bread, pasta, sugar, fast food, etc then, yes, fat was not  allowed to be burned because of elevated insulin levels.  The presence of sugar and starches also causes glycation of proteins and fats, creating AGE’s which cause inflammation in our bodies.  The AGE’s and the inflammation they cause are responsible for the increased occurrence of our lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, auto immune disorders, etc.

When we lower the carb intake and replace sugars and starches with vegetables and fat for fuel, inflammation is reduced, as well as the risk and occurrence of obesity and the other lifestyle diseases.

For more detailed information about what is really causing our epidemic of lifestyle diseases, I recommend the books “The Great Cholesterol Myth” by Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra, “The Cure For Heart Disease” by Dwight Lundell and Todd R. Nordstrom and “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter.

If you’re looking for a healthy, low carb eating plan, my Food Comes First Diet comes with a detailed food list and a weeks worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.  You can find it at this link: Food Comes First Diet Plan.

Do You Know How To Check Your Blood Sugar?

By | Insulin Resistance, Insulin Sensitivity | No Comments

Unless you’re diabetic, you probably haven’t taken your blood sugar with a glucose meter. Taking your blood sugar, or having your doctor do it, could help you determine if you have some insulin resistance. If you’re carrying more than 30lbs of excess fat and having trouble getting the weight to come off with a healthy diet and exercise, then you MAY have some insulin resistance.

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