The Surprising Truth About Calories

It seems that mainstream medicine has just discovered you can get fat without eating more. And you don’t have to eat less to lose weight.1

I was as surprised by this revelation as they were – although not quite in the same way.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a very prestigious medical publication, has admitted that weight gain is really about the kind of calories you eat, and how the body’s insulin responds.

I’m sure this news came as a huge shock to the medical establishment. But if you’re a regular reader of mine, or a patient at my wellness clinic, the truth about calories and insulin is old news.

What surprised me was that the JAMA would essentially admit that 100 or so years of mainstream advice on obesity and weight-gain has been completely wrong.

I’ve been telling my patients for years that we should be looking at our insulin response to food and not the amount of calories we consume.

Now, it seems, JAMA and the rest of the mainstream medical establishment are beginning to come around.

The JAMA article said:  “States of increased insulin action … predictably cause weight gain, whereas decreased insulin action results in weight loss.”

In other words, when you eat foods that cause a flood of insulin, you gain weight. When you eat foods that don’t produce an insulin response, you lose weight.

I thought they were finally getting it… until a few sentences later.

That’s when the authors contradicted themselves and decided to simply reinforce old mainstream view.

They added: “Ultimately, weight loss requires consuming fewer calories…”

Go figure!

Too bad they chose to ignore the truth. Especially since they clearly have evidence of it right there in their own article.

The article refers to a study in which animals fed high-glycemic food developed impaired insulin. Their fat tissue also became more ready to store fat.

The researchers didn’t want the animals to get too fat, though. So they reduced the amount of food the animals got.

And here’s the big point … the animals didn’t lose fat by eating fewer calories. They gained fat. A LOT of fat. In fact, they gained 70% more fat than the animals fed low-glycemic food.

Gaining 70% more fat while eating fewer calories is so anti-mainstream, you would think it would make very big news.

But no one ever takes the ball and runs with these kinds of truths. So it could be years before the “medical establishment” passes this important information onto patients.

In the meantime, I’ll keep telling my patients just how important low-glycemic eating is. Eating foods low on the glycemic index keeps you from what I call Diet Induced Endocrine Dysfunction.

A high-glycemic diet causes your hunger hormones to go haywire. As you get heavier, your body changes. Insulin doesn’t work very well, and fat cells become receptive to more fat storage.

That means you can eat fewer total calories but gain fat if your food is high-glycemic.

What’s more, if you develop Diet Induced Endocrine Dysfunction and gain fat, the traditional calorie-restriction diets will make things even worse. It reduces how much energy you can get from food, how much you can burn, andit makes you hungrier.

This can be a serious problem, because it’s a vicious cycle: Gain more, eat more.

That’s why today I’m going to give you a very powerful tool that can help you avoid this endocrine dysfunction. It will help you stop fat gain and lose fat the right way.

I teach my patients at my wellness clinic to eat foods that don’t spike their blood sugar.

Also, you want to let your blood sugar come back down after eating, so your insulin doesn’t stay elevated for too long.

This means going a little beyond the Glycemic Index, and eating foods with a low Glycemic Load (GL). The GL is simply a number you get when you multiply a food’s Glycemic Index (GI) rating by the total amount of carbohydrate in each serving you eat.

That makes it much more practical for your everyday life, because the GL tells you how fattening a food is. It’s called the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Chart, and it’s a fresh way to look at everyday foods.

Click on the link below, and take a look. I consider foods with a Glycemic Load under 10 as good choices. They are a green light. Foods that fall between 10 and 20 on the GL scale are more like a yellow light – not bad, but proceed with caution.

Foods above 20 are a red light. They will spike insulin fast, and not only make you gain weight but will keep you from dropping weight.

Eat the “red light” foods sparingly and try to eat protein instead. Protein has a GL of zero.

And some foods that have a high glycemic index may surprise you by having quite a low glycemic load. Like the sweet potato. It’s 54 on the glycemic index, which is not too different than a muffin.

But it only has a glycemic load of 12.4. And that’s where it gets interesting. Because if you only used the glycemic index, you’d probably think you needed to stay away from sweet potatoes.

But with the Glycemic Load chart, you’ll be able to see at a glance that a blueberry muffin and a sweet potato may be near each other on the glycemic index, but that a sweet potato is almost three times less fattening because it doesn’t spike your insulin as much. For the complete Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Chart, click here.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD

1. Ludwig D, Friedman M. “Increasing Adiposity: Consequence or Cause of Overeating?” JAMA. 2014;(311)21: 2167-2168