I picked this up the other day thanks to my friend Amy at the secret seed society. Dr Lustig goes into great detail about the relationship between the American (now global) diet and the obesity pandemic focusing on how our hormones govern fat storage. He recounts through numerous case studies and clients the factors that are contributing to global weight gain. It’s an informative read particularly if you’re new to the subject.
I agree with his argument and believe it, my one critiscism is that he downplays the role of personal responsibility in weight gain and loss. He sees it from a very medical standpoint. It is all about hormones and the environment.
In my experience there is a huge psychological element too and this is tricky to quantify. I believe that very few people are incapable of weight loss due to hormonal factors. They may be incapable of sticking to a rigid exercise and nutritional program but that comes down to personal responsibility, planning and preparation. Three P’s! What is clear, is that when the rot of metabolic disease sets in, it can be difficult to stop.
Fat Chance serves as an incentive for all of us to clean up our diets wherever possible. We’re much more aware of what’s bad for us now but there is an abundance of processed foods on offer that make it very difficult to eat healthily all the time. For example try finding anything healthy to eat in a standard newsagent. You have to look hard!
Here are Dr Lustigs 4 summary findings which I wholeheartedly agree with:
1. Get the insulin down: Eat fibre, reduce sugar, exercise.
Insulin is the key hormone involve in fat storage from a high sugar diet. More insulin released =More fat stored
2. Get the ghrelin down: Eat breakfast with Protein, stop nighttime bingeing and sleep more.
Ghrelin is the hunger hormone and the more you have the more you want to eat. A sensible approach to eating helps regulate it.
3. Get the PYY up: Eat appropriate portions, wait 20 minutes and for seconds eat fibre.
Peptide YY is released by your intestine and tells you that you’re full. Unfortunately, you need to wait for the food to get to your intestine before it is released. wolf your food down and pay the price. Fibre helps good travel through your system more speedily
4. Get the cortisol down: Exercise
Cortisol is the stress hormone and too much of it causes us to store visceral fat ( th bad kind inane around your organs). It’s hard to counteract outside stresses on a daily basis (work, family, traffic etc) but exercise is the best tool to help counteract it.
Ps. I try to adhere to a 90% rule. As long as i’m eating well 90% of the time it’s all good. Nobody is perfect all the time!