We all look for that magical pill -- the right detox tea, or perfect exercise -- the thing that will accelerate us to our weight loss goals. We want to get rid of our belly fat, trim up inches around our waist and drop weight without changing our lives. However, we never identify the actual issue: "What is the cause of our weight gain?"
Too often, we read short articles, social media posts, watch television shows and commercials and listen to fitness experts who claim they have the answer to our weight loss woes in one particular product. Every year there's a new product that claims to trim, shred or tone our bodies up!
Typically, these products do not yield the desired results we search for but only add to the bottom line of those distributing the product. With all of the information produced and readily available to us, it's no wonder were confused, perplexed even! There's too much thrown at us with not enough wisdom or time to decipher it all. The simple truth is that we can achieve weight loss by doing one thing: reducing or eliminating insulin spikes!
What is insulin and how does it affect our weight?
Insulin is a hormone produced by our pancreas that allows our body to utilize sugar (glucose), to shuttle our macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbs) to be transformed as energy sources in our body. The amount of insulin released in our bodies depends on the amount of energy in our food.
The glycemic index (GI) -- a representation of the energy in most of our foods -- is a good reference that can assist you in determining how much energy is in the food you're eating. For example, baked white potatoes have a glycemic index score of 82, which is considered extremely high and will release a larger quantity of insulin in your body.
Generally speaking, anything above a score of 55 on the GI index is considered high and should be avoided if you want to lose weight.
Why avoid high energy foods?
Whenever you consume high energy foods like baked potatoes or a bagel, your body instantly begins to release insulin. The increased insulin released causes more fat to be stored in your body. Your body only needs so much insulin to do its daily functions.
An increase of insulin is necessary when participating in more vigorous activities such as a marathon, intense weight lifting sessions or swimming long distances. The extra insulin will be stored in your gut, thighs, back, hips or chest as fat.
To reduce your body fat and to have the body that you desire, you should reduce or eliminate your daily insulin spikes. Again, this can be accomplished by avoiding high energy foods and replacing them with low energy high nutrient foods.
Foods to avoid completely
Now that we know what the problem is and what's causing weight on your body, we can begin eliminating foods from our diet that cause insulin spikes. These are going to be your "bad" or simple and complex carbs (starches) such as any candy, cereals, bread (wheat, white, multigrain, pumpkin seed, vitamin infused, ALL BREAD!), pastas, potatoes (white, red, sweet), corn, dried fruit, alcohol, juices (this includes fruit juices), and milk.
Foods to consume in UNLIMITED Quantities
Meat. Yes, eat as much meat as you like on a daily basis, which includes but is not limited to: beef, chicken, fish, pork, lamb, venison, goat, turkey, duck and more. Vegetables such as carrots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, kale, zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, green beans, artichokes, garlic, arugula, turnips and more can also be consumed.
Foods to consume in moderation (1-2 cups a day)
Slow carbohydrates such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans, refried beans, lima beans, pinto beans and more. Fruits like berries: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries. Also, your good fats (1-2 tablespoons on oils and butter and 1-1/2 cup on nuts): almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, almond butter, cashew butter, avocado, hummus, olive oil.
In summary, weight loss can be a difficult obstacle to achieve with so much hype around different brands and products on the market. When you look at what actually causes weight gain you will see most often (unless you have other medical conditions like thyroid or hormonal issues) it's caused by too many insulin spikes.
As covered earlier, insulin in surplus is directed to our fat cells, which enables us to add more weight. If you can limit your insulin spikes by substituting your typical bagel and orange juice breakfast with something like an egg and spinach omelet, then you're on your way to the body you've always wanted. The key: reduce or limit your daily insulin spikes. You can do it!
About the Author
Warren Wilkins is the owner of BAB FITNESS SOLUTIONS LLC, a corporate fitness company in Texas that offers all fitness classes to corporations. He's also the owner of Body's By Dubs personal training, he's been training over 10 years and is a certified weight loss specialist. To learn more visit: Babfitsolutions.com Bodysbydubs.com