Weight and nutrition
By adjusting your diet, reducing your weight, how do you do that? The internet is full of stories about this. What is OK and what is not? What works and what doesn’t?
First of all you need to have a little insight into how your body works and where it gets its energy from. Only then do you understand what you are doing, you understand why many remedies that you find on the internet do not work and you also understand how you can best manage to reduce and keep your body weight down. It is indeed possible to get and keep your weight down!
There are three groups of nutrients that serve as an energy source for your body: the carbohydrates, the fats and the proteins. If our body is offered more than one, it will always prefer to burn carbohydrates.
The burning of carbohydrates, fat storage, “hypo” (sugar hunger)
All carbohydrates, not just sugar but also farina, are digested into one of the three basic molecules: glucose, fructose or galactose. The combustion itself is fast and requires little effort. When carbohydrates are consumed, the pancreas will release insulin to lower blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the uptake of glucose by the muscle cell and the liver cell. These muscle cells can immediately burn the glucose and convert it into muscle energy or heat or store it in the form of glycogen.The problem is that glucose can only be stored to a very limited extent in the form of glycogen. What is too much can only be converted into fat. The storage of fat mainly takes place at the level of the abdomen and gives an increase of centimeters of the waist together with an increase in BMI (Body Mass Index). The famous sugar belly is the result.After the meal your blood sugar level falls too low due to the insulin present. This gives the well-known “hypo” or sugar hunger: you will grab sugar again to resolve this quickly. The vicious circle is born, the famous addictive effect of “sugar” (all carbohydrates because all carbohydrates digest into mono sugars).
Diabetes type 2
A diet rich in carbohydrates for a long time can lead to type 2 diabetes. A pancreas that has to produce too much insulin for too long and which is embedded in too much belly fat gets into trouble. Cells that come into contact with too much insulin will also become less sensitive to that insulin: they become insulin resistant. The result is that the glucose level remains abnormally high in the blood. That is harmful for many body tissues. Small blood vessels throughout your body break down. Kidney problems, vision problems and increased cholesterol are some of the consequences. You can therefore regard a sugar belly as a sign that your body is not doing well.
Only when there are insufficient carbohydrates in your diet, and this is 20 to 30, maximum 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, does your metabolism switch back to fat burning.Fat burning is a very normal condition. It allows you to have time between meals. In the past people did not have a filled fridge at hand, let alone a supermarket around the corner. So getting energy is where you previously stored it away: in the fat tissue. That is exactly what somebody who wants to get rid of his or her “swim bands” looks for. If you weigh 10 kilograms too heavy, there are 40 packets of butter waiting to be burned away. Every morning, either you can get up with it and carry it along all day or you can decide to use it up. The choice is yours!
The ketogenic diet (keto diet)
Your body forgets what it has not used for a while. Our western diet is full of carbohydrates. For years we have been functioning almost exclusively by burning carbohydrates. Switching to fat burning does not initially work so well. We get a “hypo”, we feel bad, we have a headache, we have little concentration and we feel bad. Know that this is only temporary and can be partially overcome.Once you have mastered the technique, you get a lot in return: control over your body weight and a sugar belly that disappears. You also notice a change in your taste, you suddenly taste new flavors in your food that you did not notice before. This makes eating vegetables a different “taste story”. No more “hypos”. Having no more time for lunch is not critical anymore. You can continue to keep your concentration while your colleague in a meeting has long lost the thread because of a “hypo”.After about four to eight weeks in the keto diet, you notice that, once you have eaten carbohydrates, you can switch back to fat burning faster and without the transition symptoms.
The keto diet and health
Not only obese people can be helped with a keto diet. Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics can get their disease in remission in this way or can see their need for medication diminish. Too high blood pressure gets better. People who suffer from edema, primary lymph edema or postoperative edema are less affected by it.There are, however, people with medical conditions who better not burn fat or who may only do this under medical supervision and best not on their own. You might also have to adjust your medication. Come to my consultation before you start the keto diet. You will receive a lot of tips from me and I will help you starting with a handy nutrition table and give you advice on where to find delicious recipes (*). It is also best to have an extra blood test to check whether everything is going as it should and whether your diet is further balanced.People with anorexia in the history are an absolute contraindication to starting a keto diet. Being underweight might even more harmful than being overweight. If there are not enough carbohydrates and not enough fats available, then our body switches to its own protein burning. This is harmful, a kind of survival mode, which, if not corrected, will end badly!(*) Counting how many carbohydrates you consume per day becomes easy in this way.
The group of carbohydrates, the group of fats, the group of proteins
The group of carbohydrates includes all molecules that are composed of one or more of the following three carbon compounds: glucose, fructose or galactose.
- They consist of one molecule in itself: glucose, fructose or galactose.
- Or they consist of a compound of two molecules (the disaccharides or sugars): glucose + glucose = maltose; glucose + galactose = lactose (milk sugar); glucose + fructose = sucrose (fruit sugar).
- Or they consist of an even larger molecule, a polysaccharide such as farina or glycogen.
- Fibers are large polysaccharides that cannot be digested due to their structure. They are important in the diet but are not counted when we “count calories”, precisely because we cannot get energy from it.
The group of fats are the building blocks for our body and fuel for energy supply.
- Unsaturated (mono- or poly-unsaturated) fats, some of which are essential fatty acids (our bodies cannot make them themselves, they must be extracted from our diet).
- Saturated fats.
- Trans fats. These occur naturally very little in the diet but are an extremely harmful by-product of heating fats. Heating unsaturated fats gives more trans fats than heating saturated fats (these are more stable). That is why it is best to replace your fries fat very regularly and why preparing your own food is better than buying ready-made industrial food in the supermarket. Trans fats are not mentioned on the food labels!
The group of proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of our body. They can also serve as fuel, but this is at the expense of your muscles!
- The non-essential amino acids.
- The essential amino acids that we need to get from our diet.