That’s an excellent question and a very fair question. We have already said that it’s not normal for a human to gain weight except for pregnancy and illness. That is all true. Some people want to compare us to hibernators who gain weight for the winter and lose it in the summer. The problem with that analogy is the hibernating animal does not get chronic illness accompanying weight gain. And the hibernator gains regardless of whether its diet is restricted in a laboratory or not. And the weight comes off without any changes in diet as well.
The answer requires expanding the view of what weight gain is. Weight gain is but a symptom of metabolic syndrome. By crossing the metabolic threshold of 70 pounds of sugar per year, you are susceptible to ALL symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Your internal milieu is now disturbed regardless of whether you have gained weight or not. Your descendants are now at risk to being more sensitive to insulin and its effects because you have crossed the threshold. Many of you are coming from two or three generations of obesity and you have inherited bodies that are exquisitely sensitive to insulin. That’s your reality. Many skinny parents give birth to overweight children.
That doesn’t guarantee that you will have obesity, but if you look in families, you find many similarities. You find that they fatten similarly. They have similar trouble spots. They either all fatten in the belly or in the back. The women are similar. The guys age similarly. This is all genetics. Eating poorly will highlight the genetics of your family. Only by eating differently than the rest of your family can you hope to get a different result and bypass the illnesses that are existing in your family. This is nothing new.
Metabolic Syndrome is a slow advance of illness. When you were little, you ate cakes and candy with abandon. You never gained weight so everyone smiled at you. At some point, around 25 or so, you began to gain weight. The things that you formerly ate with impunity are now making you fat and you have to restrict them. What happened? Growth hormone slowed and your metabolism slowed along with it. The weight gain along with the other symptoms have already begun their advance. It’s not because you went to the couch and stopped exercising. You stopped exercising because you were getting sick. You had no energy It was subtle. Your poor diet finally took its toll. It didn’t just start. It began a long time ago. You just were not aware of it. When you were a child, you went out and played. You played all day. At some point, you no longer felt like playing.
So now, to reverse metabolic syndrome, you have to scale back the slow advance. You can start with your blood sugar. The instability was the first sign that you were in trouble. You didn’t notice it but it was happening. By the time you went in for that fasting blood sugar test, the insulin was already out of control. So when you begin ZC, the primary goal is stabilizing blood sugar. When is blood sugar unstable? Well, for starters, when you’re hungry! Whenever you are hungry, insulin has risen and blood sugar has fallen. You eat to bring blood sugar back up. It goes up too far. You secrete more insulin, the blood sugar goes back down. It goes too far. The cycle begins again.
When you eat meat, your blood sugar doesn’t go so far up and so far down. It begins to stabilize. As it does, your health improves. As your insulin levels fall and your hunger comes more regularly, you are healing from the inside out. Your cells are no longer being damaged and mitosis is happening and you’re reproducing healthy, red blood cells, full of oxygen. Your endurance improves. Your sleep improves. In fact, you’re pretty tired in the early going. You can check your blood sugar like a diabetic if you’re so inclined. Check it before and after meals and over time you will notice that the numbers come closer together. Eventually the number will be rock solid regardless of how much meat you eat.
If you’re paying attention, you notice all sorts of little things. Your hair and your nails begin to grow. You sprout hairs on your body that never had hair. Your libido returns. What used to be limp is now erect. Your eyesight is no worse. Your skin is clearing. Your teeth are whitening. Your face, hands and legs are thinner. Yes, you still have places where there was more fat than others, but overall, your fat tissue is shrinking even if the number on the scale is going slow. Above all of that, you feel better than you have in years. Even though you no longer experience the sugar highs, you have this deep and limitless well of energy that allows you to work in your yard all day or walk and explore your world. You take the stairs all of a sudden. That joint pain has somehow vanished. It’s been weeks since your back and hips hurt. You didn’t even notice. You actually feel like doing stuff.
After six months, you take blood work and you see that your HDL has risen and your triglycerides have plummeted. Your LDL is high and your doctor is a little concerned, but a further test shows that your particles are the large and fluffy kind which is protective against heart disease.
Heart disease is one of the major symptoms of metabolic syndrome. After six months, you have pretty concrete evidence that you are reversing heart disease — reversing metabolic syndrome. Your numbers are stellar! You are healing from the inside out. You’re not losing all the weight you want? Okay, but are you gaining weight? No? Well, why is that? If you’re eating too much protein, then you should be gaining, yes? But no, people want to claim that you’re not losing because you eat too much protein. But they have no explanation as to why you’re not gaining. By their logic, you should continue to gain weight the more protein you eat. Why do we not address that side of it? The body wants stability. Obesity is malnutrition the majority of the time. The body is finally getting the metabolic fuel it needs but we think that we need to cut it off by cutting back.
When populations return to their ancestral diet, the majority of the population experiences a dramatic makeover. You’ll recall that not everyone got fat in the first place. Some went straight to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, dementia, etc. Only the lucky ones got merely fat. Everyone has taken strides to reverse metabolic syndrome. Some are easily seen and some are not. Some are completely reversed and some are not.
But if you told me that I’m not getting any worse and I only face the potential for getting better with every day that I adhere to good health and nutrition, then sign me up!
In closing, don’t base your entire health picture merely on how much you weigh. In the thread from last night, we find someone whose weight regulation fails when she’s pregnant. Regardless of how much she eats, she gains weight. Once the pregnancy is over, she has trouble losing it. If a doctor in such a situation is only focusing on her diet, that should be malpractice. Weight regulation is the province of the hormones, not just the diet — unless the diet negatively affects the hormones. Carbohydrate drives insulin (a hormone) and insulin drives weight gain. But other hormones can drive weight gain as well, such as growth and sex hormones.
If you’re not losing, you still have to eat properly and try to focus on what else may be wrong. There is a story that I read in, Gary Taubes,”Good Calories Bad Calories”, about the alcoholic who lost his keys and he’s found near a light post on a dark street. Someone comes up on the drunk and asks him what he’s doing. He says he’s looking for his keys. Why are you looking here? Because that is where the light is shining.
Much of modern medicine is about looking where the light is shining and not in the dark where the keys actually are. Your scale is the street light. Hormones are the dark. People aren’t looking there. They are focusing solely on how much we eat. So many processes in our bodies are controlled by something other than what they would appear to be. Dietary salt only raises blood pressure a small amount regardless of how much salt. Eliminating salt barely lowers blood pressure. Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Not eating fat doesn’t automatically make you skinny. Eating eggs barely affects your body cholesterol. Eliminating eggs does not significantly lower cholesterol. Because the body can convert protein to glucose doesn’t mean that it just does for no reason. Eliminating protein doesn’t stop the body from eating protein. If you choose not to eat protein, your body will eat YOUR protein. There is no such thing as a fast.
I’ll say it again. There is no such thing as a fast. Your body is always eating. With Zero Carb, we give it something to eat other than ourselves and we get healthy as a result. We get all the benefits of fasting without any of the bad side effects like hunger.
So how do you know if you’re healing if you’re not losing? Look in the dark, not merely where the light is shining.
There are only 2 Zero Carb Groups that have the experience, science and knowledge of people who have been eating this way for 2-10+ years.
You can join ZIOH (Zeroing in on Health) here. (public group)
or ZCH (Zero Carb Health) here. (private group)