Days 15-21: Thoughts On “My 600 Pound Life”

Mind & Body

This one is real simple. Not much has changed with me. I feel the same as I did during Days 7-14.

  1. I get lightheaded if I stand up fast, but if I drink more water and sea salt water, it usually helps with that.
  2. I learned not to over exert myself (all at one time hehe). Sometimes it’s hard to avoid lifting, carrying, or moving things that are heavy. It’s part of life, but for me, once my muscles begin feeling fatigued, I take a break until I recover.
  3. My mind is still alert as can be, and I can still have a full days worth of energy on 4 hours of sleep!

Contents:

  1. My Thoughts on “My 600 lb Life”
    1. Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan
  2. Is “Eat 1200 Calories a Day” Bad Advice?
  3. Biggest Loser Contestants: Slow Metabolism
  4. Can a slow metabolism be fixed?
  5. What is insulin?
  6. What is the best way to lower insulin?
  7. Snacks before a standardized test
  8. The Obesity Epidemic is a New Thing
  9. Conclusion

This is all I can say about my body and mind for this week!

My Thoughts on “My 600 lb Life”

This week, my aunt, grandmother and I watched two episodes of the show titled, “My 600 lb Life.” It broke my heart to see people who were trying really hard to follow the guidelines given them, but sometimes, if they did not accomplish the goal the physician had in place for them, they were criticized and put down for failing, or for not having enough self-control.

Nobody likes being told that they are a failure. There has to be another way to inspire people towards change without having to put them down. Perhaps there was something wrong with the diet these men and women were put on.

Dr. Nowzaradan’s Diet Plan

Dr. Nowzaradan (a.k.a. Dr. Now) a bariatric surgeon, was the doctor for this show. The men and women who were placed in his care had to lose a certain amount of weight in order to be approved for bariatric surgery.

Before I continue, I’d like to say that I am not insulting Dr. Now. He genuinely wants to help his patients. I simply do not agree with his tactic.

Nevertheless, Dr. Now put his patients on a diet plan with the following guidelines:

  1. Only 1200 calories a day
  2. Food has to be low carb & low fat
  3. High Protein

His advice was similar to the advice given to “The Biggest Loser” contestants. They were all limited to 1200-1500 calories a day. The difference between the two is “The Biggest Loser” plan had the contestants getting most of their calories from carbohydrates.

Is “Eat 1200 Calories a Day” Bad Advice?

There was a study that followed up on 14 of “The Biggest Loser” contestants (6 men and 8 women), 6 years after the competition. The objective of this study was to

... measure long-term changes in resting metabolic rate (RMR) and body composition in participants of ‘The Biggest Loser’ competition.

(Fothergill et. al, 2016, para. 1).

Side Note: Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of energy (or calories) one’s body burns when at rest.

Biggest Loser Contestants: Slow Metabolism

Although the contestants had lost a significant amount of weight, most had gained a lot of it back. What is interesting is, the RMR of all of the contestants, even the ones who kept off most of the weight, was higher prior to the competition. More specifically, after the competition, their RMR decreased by 400 – 600 calories and remained that way for the following 6 years. They also found that the contestants who lost the most weight had “…the greatest slowing of RMR at that time” (Fothergill et. al, 2016, para. 30).

That is a huge decrease in RMR! That means that their bodies were no longer burning the same amount of calories they were burning before the show. Put in another way, their RMR (their metabolism) became slower. Hence the weight gain.

Can A Slow Metabolism Be Fixed?

Short answer: Yes.

How? By Lowering Insulin 😀

Dr. Jason Fung, in his article titled, How to Fix a Broken Metabolism, says:

“There are two compartments here. The body will get energy from food, or stored food (fat). So the answer is to unlock the door which is preventing us from accessing…fat stores. It is the high insulin levels that is keeping all the energy locked away in fat. Insulin is blocking the door so that we can’t get to that basement freezer. Once we understand that, the solution is simple. We need to lower insulin. The key is to release all the pent-up energy stored in the body fat. The crucial junction in weight gain/loss is not the calories, it’s the insulin because that is what opens up the door to release the fat for burning.

What is Insulin?

For some reason, growing up, I always thought insulin was a bad thing because the diabetics in my family would have to take insulin shots every day. I never thought to look into the role insulin plays in our bodies.

To sum it up, insulin’s primary job is to keep our blood glucose levels balanced. Insulin is a hormone that is in charge of unlocking the doors of our cells to allow glucose in.

Glucose (sugar) serves as the energy source to our cells. However, our cells have a limit. Once that limit is reached, insulin locks the doors of our cells, and the excess glucose is left in our blood stream. When this happens, our pancreas secretes more insulin in order to balance our blood glucose levels.

What happens to the excess sugar if it is not used right way? It gets stored as fat.

Extra fat = Stored energy!

What is the best way to lower insulin?

Dr. Fung continues to say,

The quickest, most efficient way to lower insulin? FASTING. Ketogenic diets will work, too. But remember that insulin has many inputs and is not simply carbohydrates. Cortisol (stress hormone), protein, fructose, insulin resistance, fibre, vinegar and countless other things play a role in determining insulin levels.”

Fasting lowers insulin simply because one is not eating. Keto lowers insulin because the foods one would consume on a ketogenic diet do not spike insulin.

Snacks Before A Standardized Test

Plato once said:

“I fast for greater physical and mental efficacy.”

In grade school, my teachers encouraged us to eat a snack before a standardized test in order to be more alert for testing. They encouraged us to eat breakfast, but if we did not eat at home, they had backup snacks for us. What were the backup snacks? Granola bars, Nature Valley Oats and Honey bars, or crackers. Put another way, the snacks my teachers had on hand had a lot of sugar.

The Obesity Epidemic is a New Thing

But Plato tells us that he fasts for “mental efficacy,” and mental efficacy is definitely needed for a test. You know what is even more ironic? The majority of people back in Plato’s time were not obese or diabetic! Obesity has become more common within the last 100 years. Our ancient predecessors must have been doing something right.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2016:

…more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 650 million adults were obese…The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.

Conclusion

Despite those crazy stats, I continue to be fascinated with the human body, and am aware that this “obesity epidemic” can be fixed. I’ve never met a person who does not want to be healthy. I don’t think people purposefully try to sabotage their bodies.

Nevertheless, our bodies are amazingly efficient, and I am personally experiencing that truth on an entirely different level with this fast.

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