Fat Burning Simplifed
Fat burning simplified!
When you eat a big meal—which is loaded with simple carbohydrates, i.e. pasta, white rice, bread, potatoes—it sends your blood sugar soaring. The body immediately releases a hormone (insulin) whose job it is to move the sugar out of the bloodstream where—if it were to stay elevated it would do serious damage.
Insulin escorts sugar into the cells. When the muscle cells don’t need it, it goes into the fat cells. No wonder insulin is also known as the “fat-storing hormone.”
Insulin does its work with the help of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which is the “fat-storing enzyme.” LPL takes triglycerides from the bloodstream, divides them into smaller parts (called fatty acids), and then promptly helps store these fatty acids in your fat cells.
If insulin remains in the bloodstream, it effectively locks the doors to the fat cells. They won’t open up and you won’t burn fat) until insulin levels come back down. Of course, the more you continue to eat that same high refined-carb diet, the less your insulin levels go down.
How do you burn fat?
Insulin has a sister hormone, and its name is glucagon and it’s a critical component of your fat-burning biochemistry.
When you need more energy and food isn’t available, glucagon is secreted. Its purpose is the exact opposite of insulin’s. Glucagon goes into the cells and causes fat to be released. And it does so with the help of a fat-burning enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL).
Much like glucagon is the “opposite” of insulin, HSL is the “opposite” of LPL, the fat-storing enzyme we spoke of earlier. HSL breaks down triglycerides (the form of fat stored in your cells) into fatty acids and glycerol, so as they travel around the bloodstream they can be burned for energy or excreted. This glucagon-HSL axis is what I call the “fat-burning switch.”
Working backwards, we can see the obvious: Fat burning (and weight loss) won’t take place unless the fat-burning switch (glucagon/ HSL) is turned on. The fat-burning switch is in the “off” position as long as insulin levels are high. Insulin levels are high whenever blood sugar is high, and blood sugar is typically high in response to high-refined carbohydrate meals.
Hence the solution to the problem of how to burn fat is pretty simple. Keep blood sugar in a nice, moderate range where it won’t trigger excess insulin. By keeping blood sugar (and insulin) down, you allow glucagon/HSL—the fat-burning switch—to do its magic.
If you want to trigger your fat-burning switch, you have to learn to eat in a way that won’t trigger excess insulin. Fortunately, that isn’t that hard to do. Follow a natural foods plant based diet and make my sweet vegetable tea to help curb sugar cravings, it really is that simple.
The macrobiotic diet is the food of the future.
Take some time out to watch these videos and share with your family and friends.
Five chapters of educational material on health, weight loss and 200 delicious recipes are in my book ‘Macrobiotics for all Seasons’ available on my website www.marlenewatsontara.com
In good health,