The Truth About Your Weight

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So you've tried all the low-fat diets, you live on low-fat ready meals, and you have a cupboard full of fat-free foods. So why is it that you just can't seem to lose any weight?!

Don't despair! The truth is that for most people their excess weight isn't actually from eating too much fat, it's from eating too much carbohydrate. Although a high fat diet will cause you to gain weight, the real culprits are bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets and alcohol.

Carbohydrate & Blood Sugar

All carbohydrate is broken down into sugar, which is also known as glucose. Whether it's apples, oranges or vegetables, pasta, bread or alcohol, all carbohydrate ends up being released into your blood in the form of blood sugar. As blood sugar levels rise a hormone called insulin is released which transports the sugar to the muscles and organs to be used as fuel. Now here's the important bit... If blood sugar levels rise too high, insulin mops up all the excess blood sugar and converts it into that wobbly stuff that's been ruining your confidence for the last decade.

When it comes to carbohydrate and fat storage there's some pretty tough science, but let's not go complicating things... here's the carbohydrate metabolism equation in a nutshell:

carbohydrate ---> blood sugar ---> fuel for the muscles/organs

excess blood sugar ---> bingo wings / love handles / pot belly

The more sugary the carbohydrate, like sweets or alcohol, the more it floods the blood with sugar and the greater the chance of it being stored as fat... usually in the most unflattering place possible. Even the less sugary carbohydrates, such as rice or pasta, will be stored as fat if you eat too much in one go and flood your blood with sugar.

The chances of the carbohydrate you eat turning to fat depends on if it is high 'glycaemic index' or high 'glycaemic load'.

The faster the carbohydrate breaks down into sugar the higher it is on the 'glycaemic index' (GI). The slower the carbohydrate breaks down into sugar the lower it is on the glycaemic index. As you might have guessed, all the foods you love, adore and worship are pretty much at the top of the GI list... think sweets, biscuits and alcohol. All the foods that you need to be pinned down to eat are at the bottom of the GI list... think beans, pulses and oats.

But it's not just about GI. The larger the portion of carbohydrate you eat in one go, the higher it's 'glycaemic load'. For example, some foods that are low GI might actually be eaten in large quantities, such as wholemeal bread or pasta. Even though it is low GI, if you eat a great big load of it on a saturday night, it will still flood your blood with enough sugar to reverse any fat loss you achieved in the week.

The end result...

If you eat high GI and high GL carbohydrates when you are already full then you'll be flooding your blood with sugar and all the excess will get stored as fat. That low-fat skinny muffin you had with your cereal for breakfast... turned to fat. That low-fat yogurt you had after your sandwich for lunch... turned to fat. That glass of wine with your evening meal... turned to fat. Even that low-fat cereal you saw on the telly and thought it was ok to eat as a late night snack because the woman on the advert looked so skinny... turned to fat!


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