Please let me make the following disclaimers:
- You should always consult with your healthcare professional before trying and diet change.
- Six Ingredients or Less is not necessarily about weight loss or dieting.
However, weight loss and dieting is something that I know about, have personally gone through and am going through now. One of my goals is to provide healthy recipes that you wouldn’t guess are actually good for you while using just Six Ingredients or Less. I want to get you in and out of the kitchen fast, but in a healthy way.
If you want to start losing weight today without a lot of information, here’s the condensed version:
DON’T EAT THE PROCESSED STUFF AND NO SUGAR!
Now that’s not a hard and fast rule, but for now, it’s is easy to follow.
I’m not fond of the word “diet.” Diet implies caloric restriction, and that’s not always the best thing to focus on. I think “eating plan” ore “eating style” are more appropriate terms, but they’re a bit cumbersome, so I suppose I’ll stick with “diet.”
So on with the diet! (Nope. still don’t like the word. *sigh*)
Here’s what we’re doing: the goal of eating this way is not to count calories, or even restrict them. The goal is to keep your blood sugar down, but not in the very restrictive way doctors used to recommend.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I couldn’t even lose weight while eating 1,000-1,200 calories per day when I was eating high glycemic food (food that spikes your blood sugar). Now I know why. It’s because of glucose. When you eat something your stomach and intestines break the food down into glucose. Our cells need glucose for energy, but for the cells to utilize glucose they also need insulin. Your pancreas releases insulin in response to glucose.
Unfortunately, the body can become resistant to using the insulin. There are a number of possible causes for this, from years of raised blood sugar to disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
When you start to become resistant to insulin, your pancreas secretes more insulin to try and keep your glucose under control and eventually gets tired and gives up. This leads into diabetes.
Now, for many of us that doesn’t happen (although today’s skyrocketing rates of diabetes even in children are alarming), but here’s the clincher: high levels of insulin cause us to store fat. That’s what we want to avoid right?
There are some basic facts you need to know, if you don’t already:
Processed foods are bad for us.
There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Just because a fat is solid doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy (hint: butter is a healthy one!)
Our food sources today are highly void of nutrients and full of chemicals – this means you, but stay hungry.
Soy is NOT good for you (please don’t stone me).
Agave isn’t all that great (see mercola.com for more about agave).
Almost all artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Some actually can cause weight gain.
The Paleo diet or raw food type diet might be good if you are already pretty healthy. If you’re not, however, your body needs cooked foods.
I’ve come to understand that, for many of us, we gain and hold onto weight due to our body’s insulin response to glucose. In short, when you eat anything that turns to sugar in your system your body will produce insulin to make sure your blood sugar does not get too high.
After many years (or sooner for those with certain syndromes) of eating the “Standard American Diet” your body learns to produce more and more insulin to keep your blood sugar down. Eventually, your pancreas cannot keep up and your blood sugar will climb. That eventually leads to Type 2 diabetes, which is preventable and reversible.
In the meantime, as long as that blood sugar is up and insulin is pumping, your body will gain or hold onto weight. This is why I couldn’t lose weight on a thousand calorie a diet that was only candy bars. My blood sugar was too high and so was my insulin.
Here’s how it works:
You eat something. Your stomach and intestines break the food down into glucose. Your cells need glucose for energy, but for the cells to be able to use glucose they also need insulin. So, the pancreas secretes insulin in the response to glucose.
Your body, however, can become resistant to using the insulin under certain circumstances, especially if you have excess fat. So the glucose stays in the blood, which spurs the pancreas to secrete more insulin. Eventually the pancreas gets tired – very tired – and gives up. That’s when pre-diabetes becomes diabetes. What a bummer.
Keeping glucose sugar levels balanced also helps promote weight loss. Having low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) will trigger binge eating, which causes the rebound effect of high blood sugar or glucose. The body rapidly stores this high blood sugar as fat, leading to weight gain.