Is it possible to boost metabolism, get healthy & lose weight by eating more sugar?

6 Reasons To Ditch Your Low Carb Diet: Nutrition Experts Weigh In

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Is a low carb diet the right path to healthy weight loss?

First things first. I want you to recall a healthy meal you ate recently. Think about the types of carbohydrates you included.

Can you see it clearly? Good.

You may have tossed a mixed green salad, cooked up some quinoa, or made various veggies in the steamer or fry pan (definitely a few of the carbohydrates I used to devour as my daily source of energy). My clients journal about these carbs and they are the ones that I consistently see on most kitchen tables.

It took me some years to realize that a vegetable based carbohydrate focus is a low carb (low glycemic/sugar) approach. I guess I was too caught up in having shredded muscles and a lean body.

The phrase low carb has definitely turned into a trendy lifestyle and catchy saying. I used it for my blog title didn’t I?

Since my mid twenties, I have followed a low carb style of eating. Being an avid gym rat for years, I’ve been frightened and scared shitless of the carbs that are too high in sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose. (Read about my scared shitless carb journey in Part 1 and Part 2 on Ezine Articles)

I think you would agree that for a cluster of years you’ve been told to limit the amounts of carbohydrates that are higher in sugar.

What about the fact that we keeping hearing that many of us must eat more greens and high fiber foods?

Most above ground vegetables are not easy on the gut, and do not supply us with cellular energy on a daily basis. It’s a bummer that we keep getting told the opposite, and warned of hazardous health dangers if we don’t succumb to growing a garden full of kale.

Be careful you don’t cause an insulin spike! You are eating high glycemic carbs?…holy heck you are doomed for disease!

I’ve noticed this anti-sugar low carb mindset within many health conversations I’ve been apart of. Hell, I was one of the sugar bashing junkies for a long time.

I feel like I have finally seen the natural sugar-coated light!

The mighty leafy green low carb gods may strike me down for saying this, but

My carb choices these days are quite opposite of kale, broccoli, and most above ground vegetables. Gadzooks!

A few years ago I made a decision to begin understanding physiology and food on a deeper level. I was tired of looking fit and healthy on the outside, while feeling like crap on the inside. I was very frustrated experiencing numerous symptoms when everything I was doing was “supposedly” beyond healthy.

My nutritional low carb revamp stemmed from a past instructor of mine, and other passionate health practitioners, who study food and its effects on the body on a unique physiological level.

I also chose to start enjoying food a bit more than I was. Food is divine, pleasurable, and delivers social connection. I often feel that we get stuck in the harsh cycle of weight loss, a craving to be lean, compulsive guilt, and ludicrous restriction.

We have been told that going low carb will provide us with incredible body composition, freedom from cravings, and happiness.

Many people who I have talked to and coached are painstakingly and monotonously munching on celery, spinach, and many other hard to digest low carb choices (most above ground veggies) According to what they share with me, their food delight meter is murky and dull.

Many of the monotonously munching individuals (including myself in the past) have been confronted with some form of weight gain, hormonal havoc, sugar cravings, social somber, and diet despair.

What does this mean exactly?

This means that these people are:

  • Missing out on balanced blood sugar
  • Lowering their metabolic rate
  • Encouraging high adrenaline levels
  • Setting the stage for interrupted sleep
  • Disrupting the immune and digestive system
  • Provoking the hormonal system
  • Creating cravings that are tough to resist
  • Sacrificing long term health for short term weight loss
  • Using weak and less efficient fuel for their daily energy
  • Lacking the delicious social aspect that intertwines food and life

I’m not suggesting you fill your cupboards with pop tarts and lucky charms.

Start softening your sugar bashing mindset a wee bit, and begin exploring and incorporating metabolically active carbohydrates.

Metabolically active carbohydrates include melons, dates, kiwis, pineapple, cherries, apples, pears, peaches, papaya, raisins, blackberries, sweet potatoes and yams, beets, turnips, carrots, regular potatoes, pumpkin, squash, honey and certain fruit juices such as organic pulp free orange juice. (think fruits and root vegetables)

Are you consuming these types of carbohydrates daily?

These types of carbohydrates pack a special punch because they contain a specific sugar known as sucrose. Even though you may have heard harsh things about sucrose (which is fructose + glucose), this specific type of natural digestible sugar is what fuels your cells, boosts your metabolism, reduces cravings, elevates your energy, and does not make you store fat like you have been led to believe.

Dr. Ray Peat PhD is one of the unique researchers out there who has spent time understanding and debunking the effects of what many refer to as digestible sugars (sucrose). A quote by Peat that will always stick with me is, “Fructose inhibits the stimulation of insulin by glucose. This means that eating ordinary sugar, sucrose (a disaccharide, consisting of glucose and fructose), in place of starch, will reduce the tendency to store fat.”

The carbs suggested above provide you with usable whole food form of Vitamins A, E, C, K, and B, and also supply your body with powerful minerals such as Potassium, Copper, and Magnesium.

Many people are extremely deficient in these specific Vitamins and Minerals. These nutrients are beyond special. When you don’t receive these nutrients on a consistent basis you may encounter confusing weight complications, thyroid and adrenal struggles (hormonal chaos), sleep issues, food cravings, and low energy.

Replenishing your deficiencies with these specific nutrients is your optimal choice for sustained weight loss, lasting energy, enhanced athletic performance, and hormonal balance.

To be a bit more straightforward, this is what takes place…

  • Skin, teeth, and hair are nourished
  • Thyroid and adrenals become reliable (hormonal balance)
  • Energy is elevated
  • Sleep improves
  • Inflammation is reduced
  • Adrenaline and stress start to diminish
  • Detoxification is enhanced
  • Bloating dwindles
  • Blood sugar is regulated
  • Cravings are reduced
  • Metabolism is boosted delivering healthy weight loss
  • A big ass giddy smile surfaces

I recently had the opportunity to interview a few nutritional experts. I have followed their work for some time, and feel that they are amazing alternative health researchers who passionately write about the body, food physiology, and the big sugar controversy.

The three top nutritional experts that I interviewed were:

Here are 6 things to consider why a low carb focus is not serving you…

  1. Josh Rubin shared, “People typically choose a low carb route because they feel that a major benefit is weight loss. They start feeling better because they are running on adrenaline and catabolic hormones. This continues for the next 4-6 months. The long term complications that the person hasn’t experienced yet include PMS struggles, sleep issues, low libido, and weight gain. Since the body has been starved from fundamental carbohydrates, these individuals begin experiencing the buildup from the short term low carb nutritional sacrifice.”
  2. One of my number one health complaints was that I consistently experienced ice-cold hands and chilly feet. Not incorporating the right amounts and types of carbohydrates will increase your adrenaline levels and keep them elevated, taking blood and warmth away from the body’s extremeties. Josh mentioned “Many people base their current health state from a number on the scale. A better way to measure health is to monitor our body temperature and pulse. Our body temperature should be between 98.0 and 98.6. Our pulse should be humming along at 80-85 beats per minute at rest. Using the right ratios and types of metabolically active carbohydrates will assist your internal warmth and pulse over time. It’s a simple and effective way for someone to tune in and see if their body is producing energy and moving towards homeostasis, or if they are stuck in an inflamed state.”
  3. Antonio Valladares and I spoke about his journey into ditching a low carb lifestyle. He let me know that “Initially I used an evolutionary template to make decisions about food, but it was incomplete. The more I studied anthropology and evolution, the more I saw the value of carbs (including sugar) and how it’s integral to human evolution. I looked at energy metabolism and stress systems in greater detail. I began experimenting with adding more carbs/sugar to my diet. This resulted in improved sleep quality, better stress management, and improved gut health. My health has never been better.” Maintaining social enjoyment with food, friends, and family plays a large role in our mental and emotional health. With that being said, Antonio let me know that “Alongside the reasons I mention above, another key part of health that’s often overlooked is enjoyment. If you want to go out to eat with friends or family, but you have strict dietary rules you follow, there can be a strong interference with food, pleasure, and relationships. I noticed these rules weren’t improving my health and for others around me. It was creating anxiety. Incorporating enjoyable foods more regularly in my life began to improve both my physical health, my level of satisfaction with food, and enhanced the social aspects as well. Food enjoyment is an important part of all human cultures around the world. We have a puritanical approach to diet here, we obsess over aesthetics and dismiss the importance of culture or social events.”
  4. Knowing what is working and what isn’t working is a common struggle for clients and people that I have spoken with. Antonio mentioned a few things regarding knowing if our body is moving towards or away from homeostasis. “It’s individualized, but you tend to see low energy as the first symptom of a low carb diet. Some people get ‘diagnosed’ as having adrenal fatigue or metabolic damage. I wouldn’t use the term “damage” as that implies serious medical problems. I’d say a sluggish or a stressed metabolism. That can happen from a constant caloric deficit or not eating enough of the right types of carbohydrates. Metabolic adaptations can cause unpleasant symptoms. The body is attempting to adjust and maintain balance and this brings consequences; often in the form of low energy, disrupted sleep, weight gain, and problems with reproductive health.”
  5.  I used to follow the typical high protein and fat diet like Matt Stone. It’s easy to get hooked on a low carb lifestyle. Matt mentioned that “I still to this day can flat out say that with 100% confidence that it was the best six months of my life in terms of how I felt. We get very infatuated with the low carb dietary highs that I refer to as the 3-6 month “catecholamine honeymoon.” This hormonal avalanche is very common when a new form of stress is introduced to the bodyJust like Matt’s six month catecholamine high, I remember feeling so gosh darn energetic and happy I felt like I was going to shit a rainbow. Matt reminded me that “A major danger when you feel great and lose weight via low carb, is the possibility of developing hyperchondria–no matter what bad signs start creeping in, you remain in denial and still believe that you’re perfectly healthy and eating a “perfect diet,” whatever that is. If everyone tried out low carb, didn’t lose an ounce and felt crappy right away, it wouldn’t be that dangerous. But for those like me who seemingly morph into super humans overnight, it can be a fatal attraction.”
  6. Matt was über kind to share his metabolism report card with me. With that being said, let’s switch up #6 and dive into his handy reference guide regarding how your body should feel and function, and what to look for.
    • “Your waking oral/rectal/vaginal/ear/forehead temperature should be at least 98 degrees F/36.7 C everyday.”
    • “Your hands and feet should typically feel warm at normal room temperature.”
    • “You should have fast-growing hair (head and body) and fingernails, with good shine to the hair and harness to the nails.”
    • “You should have at least one (hopefully more) easy and large bowel movements per day that do not require straining or the use of laxatives, magnesium, or other bowel-moving crutches. Digestive troubles such as IBS, stomach bloating after meals, excessive gas, and heartburn should be minimal or nonexistent.”
    • You should urinate roughly once every four hours during the day, never at night, with no strong urges. The color should be yellow, never pale or clear.”
    • “You should be able to sleep through the night–a solid 8 hours or more with no wake ups.”
    • “If you are a pre-menopausal woman you should have timely menstrual cycles with normal flow and very few, if any, symptoms of PMS, cramping, bloating, and other common complications.”
    • If you are a male, you should have full erections and a good sex drive. Females should also feel pretty frisky and have good vaginal lubrication with strong sexual urges, particularly around the time of ovulation.”

Matt mentioned that “There are dozens more, but you’ll drive yourself nuts trying to notice every tiny thing about your body. The main thing is it’s best to be very even keel and honest, and monitor changes in your biofeedback very objectively–free of irrational thoughts like low carb is the best diet ever or this has to be the answer because cavemen ate like this, and so on.”

Start using his simple checklist as an easy tool towards evaluating your wellness and daily physical functioning.

Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the obsessive cycle of taking your temperature and pulse constantly. Once upon waking, and two other times after meals will suffice. Health and wellness should be something you look forward to, not something you despise.

It’s not necessary to sprint towards your kitchen and toss all of your organic greens and broccoli. Make small incremental changes as the weeks go on. Incorporate a new fruit or root vegetable each week over a month’s time. (cook up new proteins and explore different healthy fats as well)

Start reading and researching low carb ways of living, but educate yourself beyond what the mainstream magazines keep telling you. Dive into some of the written work by the three passionate foodies I interviewed for this blog. They have plenty of free You Tube videos, Podcasts, affordable books, and excellent nutritional programs.

Go slow with your learning curve. Soak it up a bit at a time.

Be patient with bodily changes and regulating your metabolism. Many people have spent years eating low carb, digging themselves into a nutritional rut. It takes times to patch the holes back up.

Remind yourself that true health isn’t about weight loss, restricting your most loved foods, or being the leanest person on the block.

All of this information may be a brand new way of thinking for you. New information is exciting, refreshing, and brings you new healthy possibilities.

Just like the low carb light became brighter for me a couple years ago, it will become more vivid for you. I have a feeling that the low carb leafy green gods will appreciate that you’re taking a stand for your health.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/artists/188140953?view_mode=1

 

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Is it possible to boost your metabolism, get healthy & lose weight by eating more sugar?
  • Even though I, disobey conventional nutrition advice, I help clients accelerate their metabolism, get healthy and get lean.   (Hint: eat more sugar, not less!)
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Comments

  1. Hi Damian. I totally agree. It’s all about the long run. But man, in the short run, low-carb sure sounds and looks pretty awesome so that’s the problem.

    • Hey Constantin, fully agreed. It is very tempting…above and beyond! I think that is why most people get pretty hooked on the low carb and ketosis type approach. They lean out and get thin. My body type is possibly one of the lucky few that stays lean even with higher amounts of carbohydrates. For me, I personally reached a tipping point in my health. I got sick and tired of feeling like crap. Bloating, cold hands and feet, waking up at night with adrenaline surges, low energy, gas, etc. When I SLOWLY began to modify ALL my macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats), my metabolism healed and has now become ten time stronger than before. To me, it’s all about nourishing the body with digestible and metabolically boosting food.

  2. Thanks, for this article. 3-4 years ago, my wife and I were able to solve several major health issues (I’m 62, a musician – I play guitar and sing for a living and was able to get rid of arthritis in my hands, as well as a 35 year battle with hemorrhoids – now, completely gone, thanks to modifying my gluten intake – my wife, 56, teaches piano, avoided several medical community recommended ‘female surgeries’, by changing her diet, and also defeated a life-threatening bout with skin cancer, by the same means) which were supposed to be ‘inevitable aspects of aging’. Thanks to the food movements that challenged the perception that the ‘standard American Diet’ (based upon the government supported food pyramid) was an accurate guideline for healthy living (vegan ism, low-carb, paleo, and all of the various ways of eating that, for most people, have some immediate benefit that is visible/measurable – ie: weight loss, reduction of inflammatory symptoms, etc.), we both noticed that very few of these ways of eating/life-styles could be sustained for more than 6 months without noticing deficiencies in other areas of our lives – temperament, sleep, general feeling of wellness changing (not always for the better), but, especially, added stress from having to adhere to what was supposed to be a ‘balanced approach to eating’ that turned out to NOT be as balanced as we had hoped. The pendulum seems to be ‘swinging back the other way’, toward a more forgiving approach to nutrition wherein we are encouraged to evaluate what works for each of us – on an individual basis – basing our decisions upon how we feel, how we assess how we ‘look’ (how we want to appear, physically, based upon how healthy we feel/are), by how we ‘test’ (medically, but without obsessive adherence to monitoring) and, then, are compared to realistic expectations of what being healthy ‘is’ for each of us. I’m encouraged to see the trend of focus – regarding nutrition – guiding us in the direction of common sense, well-rounded, eating, that takes into account the individual – not a group of people lumped into specific needs categories. Granted, there is some commonality among the species, in general, and, self-evaluation is not always easy to accomplish when our personality ‘quirks’ interfere with our decisions – deciding what we WANT, based upon what we desire, as opposed to choosing what we NEED, based upon truthful/impartial observation – but, I think that that we’re now ‘heading in a better direction’. This article brings us a step closer. Thanks!!! I’m looking forward to getting back to ‘living my life’ (and truly enjoying certain aspects of eating), rather than being consumed/distracted by trying to adhere to a stress-inducing set of parameters that remove the joy from life by constantly monitoring every facet of my well-being to insure that I’m…being well (don’t know if I expressed that correctly, but, you probably get the idea). : )

    Throughout history, people have enjoyed sweet-tasting foods as PART of their eating. I believe that the sensory experience (of sweetness) is natural to us, and therefore (this is my opinion, not supported by science, or nutrition), inherent/natural/in some cases unavoidable, in the overall experience in life/eating. As long as the moderate consumption of sweet tasting food (naturally sweetened) remains in balance with other whole foods, the benefit of the feeling that we experience when we eat something that we enjoy (that results in a beneficial endorphin rush) trumps the stress brought on when having to deny the body of the experience. True, for a while, the discipline to resist over-indulgence helps to build character and self-esteem, and, if you do manage to find the right food combinations that satisfy all of your nutritional needs, you may not ‘need’ pizza, or ice-cream, but, what if you’re denying the body of something else that it needs more (whether it’s the actual sugar/carbs, or, just the benefit of the feeling of pleasure – again, as long as it is moderated)? I’m simplifying things (and generalizing) to a degree that does not apply to every individual, but I believe that each person has a certain glucose level that is as unique to him/her as their finger print is, and, if, someday – when it is made affordable – a simple blood test is able to determine just how much of each available nutritional element will be required to maintain a relative healthy state for each of us, also indicating how much – and which type – of sugar/glucose we need to live out our lives enjoying the many facets our living has to offer, we may be able to approach an overall, societal wellness. In the meantime, we will all strive to learn more and pay attention to, and honor ourselves (and our God) and how we are contributing to the world around us. Stepping off of my soapbox now. Good article!!

    • Hello Roy!
      Not much I want to write in response to what you shared. I fully enjoyed reading your journey, especially when you discussed the actions of the pendulum. I think we have similar stories in that sense, and I feel that many people do eventually hit certain barriers (symptoms) that are more than just confusing.

      Your response to my article was so simple yet powerful. This truly made my day!

      Would like to say thanks for reading my stuff and for writing what you did.

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