Like I said sugar is toxic in the blood so insulin is a pretty handy little hormone to have around. Think about a person with diabetes. Yet another horrible disease that can happen to us if we carry around too much weight. The reason diabetics have such bad health problems (blindness, circulation problems, stroke, heart disease, etc.) is because of the damage sugar does to them because they don't have enough insulin released to keep the sugar from hurting their organs and blood vessels.
When you eat something with too much of sugar in it, your blood sugar level spikes. The body then freaks out and releases too much insulin. So it takes too much sugar back out causing low blood sugar levels. So now, you are starving! you want more sugar! so your body craves it. Now, when I say sugar I mean carbs because we all know that bread, pasta, crackers, potatoes, etc all turn to sugar once it's broken down.
So on the one hand insulin saved your butt. It kept the sugar from hurting your body. But on the other hand it keeps you from using up your fat stores and helped you store just a little more too. Thank you, oh mighty Insulin.
There are many different low carb diets around. Some limit the carbs more than others. On average they all seem to agree that 30-40 carbs a day will keep you from releasing very much insulin. So now your body can burn the fat that you eat for energy instead of storing it. If you need more energy (exercise, anyone) then you will dip into those stubborn fat stores releasing the contents into your bloodstream to be used for energy.
The food we eat is broken into only three categories. Protein, Fat, and Carbs. Now, I'm not saying eating low carb (low insulin) is the only way to lose weight. It's not. You could also lose weight by eating low fat. But mind you, if you do that, prepare yourself to be hungry. There is no way around it. Think of insulin as the glue that carries the fat to the cell to be stored. If there is no insulin then the fat you just ate can not be glued to it and stored. Instead of being stored, it just goes on through the system as waste. That's Low Carb. Now, if you are eating a low fat diet. That means you are eating high carb. So tons of insulin (glue) is being released but very low fat is being eaten. Lots of glue but no fat to be glued. Either one will work. On one plan you will be very hungry because of all the blood sugar spikes and crashes. On the other you will be very satisfied the majority of the time. There are sooo many programs out there these days that have you counting calories and watching your fat. The people are usually very hungry on these programs like Weight Watchers. Unless they are eating a ton of veggies to fill up (it can be done). Many of them succeed by doing it this way. They have meetings and a big support system so sometimes it works. As for me, i'm not that strong. If I have major hunger pangs all day long, i'm miserable! and i'm pissed off. I'm no one to be trifled with.
One of the reasons a low carb diet works is because protein and fat satisfy your hunger. When you eat a steak (protein), you don't keep going back for more and more steak. That's it, you are full and you stay full for quite some time. I don't have to call my Weight Watcher buddy to talk me out of going to get another one. I can't say the same for ice cream, chips, and cookies.
As for me, I don't have a great amount of will power. Like I said before, I know the power of a cookie. What I've got to realize is that I can still have treats like that. It may not be a super convenient cookie I grabbed off the shelf somewhere in a desperate sugar rage. But there are tons of recipes for low carb goodies that i can make at home. There's even Ice Cream! I'm telling you. I have no excuse not to do this unless pure laziness will do. I'll share everything with you along the way too.
Anyhoo...that is just a quick little post to explain why I chose to lose the weight doing low carb instead of low fat/low calorie. I do plan on adding exercise along the way at some point as well. If my foot doesn't heal soon, i'll be looking at surgery for my plantar fasciitis. :( I'm hoping that getting some weight off will ease the stress on my fat lil Flinstone feet.
Until my next rant...