Sugar is the enemy of weight loss for most people. That is a given on this webpage, but what makes that true is due to a complex set of factors well detailed by Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories, among others. Further, starchy carbohydrates are sugar in the body, and artificial sweeteners keep the brain on high alert for food coming as promised by the sweet taste, hence cravings that frequently result in binges
There is much yet to be learned about how our evolution designed our nutrition requirements, and much just being discovered about how the processes of hunger, cravings, and the kind of eating the results in obesity. The old calories in-calories-out as a simplistic understanding of weight gain or loss is being disputed right and left, so that as time goes on we can expect a fuller and more accurate understanding of what leads so many of us to gain weight and/or have trouble losing weight.
In 1994 the hormone leptin was discovered, but in a very surprising place, the fat cells. Prior to this discovery, it was generally believed that the fat cells stored, but didn’t create. Then it turned out the leptin is in fact the Master Hormone, directing insulin and ghrelin, and others, since it tells the brain that we do or do not need to eat.
After years of eating too much sugar, starch, and artificial sweeteners, many of us develop not just insulin resistance, but the concomitant of leptin resistance, so that it is no accident many of us feel like we have no reliable hunger or satiety signals. Until the leptin and insulin get re-sensitized, we will continue this struggle.
Leptin has been getting a lot of attention over at marksdailyapple.com, a blog emphasizing a primal, or more natural, way of eating, that reflects the way most people for most of our human history would have eaten. Ergo: meat, vegetables, fruit, no highly processed or manufactured food; food you could expect to find on a farm in the 1700s, though with grains that are now considered undesirable for many people.
I have been experimenting with the leptin protocol as designed by Dr. Jack Kruse, which borrows heavily from the work of Byron Richards, author of the Mastering Leptin. The object is to spend 6-8 weeks resetting leptin. Here is the protocol: 50-70g of protein within 30minutes of waking; three meals spaced 4-5 hours apart; NO snacking; less than 25-50g of carbohydrate daily; last meal within 4 hours of bedtime. It is important to not eat outside the times set for that interferes with the leptin signaling to the brain. Most of the people on the threads report a significant decrease in hunger, no or few cravings, weight loss, improved sleep, greater energy and alertness. I am experiencing all these as well.
Below are some sites you might want to examine to learn more about how leptin is related to our compulsive desire for sweets and carbs. You can expect that I will report on how my eight weeks develops.
Mastering Leptin, Byron Richards webpage: http://www.wellnessresources.com/weight/articles/what_is_leptin/
Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker: http://www.chronicneurotoxins.com/learnmore/obesityresearch.cfm
Learning the ropes, Sugarbaby