Why do we get fat and lose our beach bodies?
To understand it, we need to know how different foods affect us, why we overeat, and how the human body works.
When you are thirsty and drink water, how much do you need? You don’t know, and you also don’t care, because your body tells you through a variety of biochemical signals to stop when you’ve had enough. How does the human body know what to do? The concept is called homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the process where everything necessary for human function, without it, you will get sick and die, is controlled with a feedback loop. Kind of like a brake and gas pedal of a car. One makes the car move, and the other makes it stop. Without one of them, the car doesn’t work correctly.
If something is not essential to the body, there is no feedback control. Water is needed for nutrition and hydration and is tightly controlled. On the other hand, alcohol is not controlled at all. We don’t drink alcohol for nourishment, we drink it for pleasure.
Therefore, when we consume alcohol, excess is possible, there is no stopping point. If we ignore excess over time because of pleasure, we lose control of the relationship and become an alcoholic, and we know it causes harm. We have to make a conscious decision about how much alcohol to drink, which is not necessary with water.
Apply this concept to obesity to understand why we get fat.
It is impossible to get fat from food. What is food? It’s a substance we have to consume to not get sick and die, it’s essential for human life. It contains nutrients like vitamins, minerals and includes fat and protein, which again contains vital fatty and amino acids. When it comes to food, the human body has a very tight feedback control with stretch receptors in the stomach as well as hormonal processes which are primarily triggered by fat.
When you eat a massive piece of steak, you have no idea how much you are going to eat. It doesn’t matter because just like with water, your body will tell you when you’ve had enough and to stop. But why can you still eat dessert after that? Or sit on your couch with a bag of chips in front of the TV without stopping? Because there is no feedback loop for carbs. Are we eating the dessert or chips for its nutritional value? Hell no, we are not! Carbs are not biological essential to humans. The reason is that the liver is very efficient to manufacture glucose from proteins and fat for the glucose your body needs to operate. Glucose does not need to come through your mouth.
Because carbs are not essential, there is no feedback loop, and therefore we can eat way more carbs than is healthy for us. As with alcohol, if we eat carbs in excess repetitively, harm happens. We get fat and sick. We become overweight because of the chronic excess consumption of carbs. That is why people who eat carbs have to count calories and apply portion control, they eat food that is not essential, and there is no feedback to tell them when to stop.
If you don’t eat carbohydrates, calories and portion control becomes irrelevant. You return to a biological way of eating; your body will control naturally how much you eat by stopping you when you are full so you don’t overeat.
When you understand that carbs fall in the same category as alcohol, you can design a better, healthier way for yourself to eat and get that beach body back.