Most of us struggling with weight loss have this general belief that the reason for our obesity is overeating. Since we are consuming calories all the time, these get stored in our bodies and fat and we get fat in the process. However, latest research indicates that it is not the amount of calories or overeating that leads to obesity. Rather we are always hungry because we are eating the wrong types of calories.
We are eating too many of these wrong calories with foods with high glycemic index. The foods like refined sugars, carbohydrates, refined grains and all similar processed carbohydrates are the culprit. In his recent book “Always Hungry”, obesity expert Dr. Ludwig argues that it is not the overeating per se which is making us fat. Rather the process of obesity itself forces us to overeat.
Almost a century of research now supports that we are always hungry because we cut back on calories and this leads to hunger cravings and slower metabolism which only makes the situation worse. We can not withstand these hunger cravings in the long run, give up on weight loss and get even fatter than when we started to cut back on calories.
He further argues that the reason why we feel always hungry is that there are not enough calories in our bloodstream. The low calorie and carbohydrate rich diet we have been eating for almost half a century stores calories in our fat cells and our bloodstream is left with less calories. The brain does not get access to enough calories and it sends always hungry signals to ensure that our metabolism remains high.
Responding to brain’s signals of hunger, we overeat and feel better for some time till the calories remain in our bloodstream and once they also go for storage in fat cells, we are again feeling hungry. This leads us to a never ending cycles of weight gain and overeating.
We must understand that the real reason we always feel hungry is not that there are not enough calories in our body. It is just that these calories are getting stored as fat cells and we are left with shortage of calories in our bloodstream. And in such a situation, even if we cut back on calories, it will produce adverse results.
What is the Solution for Always Hungry Problem
Dr. Ludwig, in his recent article on NYT, advises that the best solution to come out of always hungry syndrome is decrease our intake of processed carbohydrates and focus on diet with right balance of fat and protein. A high fat diet is the ideal solution to put your metabolism on the right track. Fat cells get calmed down, insulin levels are lowered and the body comes out of the hunger cravings and overeating cycle. Dr. Ludwig advises the following two phased diet program for coming over always hungry situation and for weight loss:
In the first phase, you need to give up all processed carbohydrates, added sugars and all other grain products for first two weeks. The types of carbohydrates allowed in the first phase are beans, fruits and non-starchy vegetables. After the first two weeks, the whole kernel grains are added to the diet along with non-white potatoes and small amounts of added sugars. This can be continued till you achieve your target weight, which might be possible in a few weeks, and in cases of significant weight problems, it can take many months.