The comprehensive Weight Loss Guide

  • 1 Jan 2015
  • Reading time 13 mins
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Every year the average person gains 3.35lbs – that’s over 2 stone or 15kgs in a decade. Every year there are another fifty diets claiming to help you lose it rapidly, but what is the best way to burn fat and keep it off? My criteria is threefold: proven weight loss, high rate of compliance (it’s doable) and long-term maintenance of that weight loss. Here I’d like to explore what works, not only in terms of the food to eat, but when to eat it, what works in terms of exercise and also supplements including fibre.

The calorie conundrum

The old idea is that it was just about eating less calories. More and more studies show that eating a low glycemic load (GL) diet, designed to keep blood sugar level even, causes more weight loss on the same calories than a conventional low-fat, low calorie diet. There are two ways of eating low GL. One is by having very little carbs. Since you have to eat something that means lots of protein and/or fat instead. The other is to eat less carbs (and consequently a bit more protein) but choose the right kind of slow-release low GL/GI carbs – whole rather than refined. Both work. A low GL diet is also more effective for treating and preventing Type 2 diabetes.

But calories do count and one of the extra advantages of eating a low GL diet is that it reduces hunger – and if you’re not hungry you eat less. This is because sugar makes your blood sugar go up, which leads to weight gain, then down, which leads to carb cravings. Somewhere along this rocky road insulin levels rise, this is the hormone that is released when we eat carbs and stores them away as fat for a rainy day. The more ‘insulin resistant’ we become, the more we have to produce to control blood sugar.

Is Insulin control the key to weight loss?

High insulin is thought to be a consequence of diabetes and obesity, but animal studies suggest it might be the other way around with high insulin driving obesity.
Animals with the same diet but high or low insulin levels don’t end up the same weight. High insulin animals gain much more weight when given a high fat, calorie diet. [1]

There are a lot of reasons to think that controlling your insulin level is a vital key, not only to weight loss but also weight maintenance. In past issues we’ve explored the ground-breaking research that shows that reducing insulin switches on anti-ageing genes and ‘skinny’ genes, an effect that is annihilated by giving experimental animals a tiny bit of sugar.

You may recall that animals (and humans) fed very low calories are obviously ......

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