Part two of a three part series.
It's not tha pants that make your bum look big...it's your bum! 2/3
It's not those pants that make your bum look big, it's all the hidden sugars that you consume throughout the day. Why 99% fat-free is your biggest nightmare.
Good Cop, Bad Cop, did you know there are two types of carbs?
Although fats and proteins feature too, glucose is the main currency of the human body. Glucose to the human body is like petrol to a car. The most efficient source of glucose is carbohydrate, as it requires the least amount of work by the body to convert it into glucose. Just as there are different grades of petrol for your car – 91 which simply enables your car engine to run, and 96, which is actually good for the engine - there are 2 types of carbohydrate as well. Carbohydrate can be either ‘simple’ such as foods made from refined white flour – cakes, biscuits, bread, or ‘complex’ like wholegrains, potatoes and porridge.
So that's why I crave sugar!
In order for carbohydrates to be converted into fuel that our bodies can use, the molecule chains must be short enough to go through the wall of the stomach, or small intestine and get absorbed into the bloodstream. The simpler a carbohydrate is, the more quickly it can be broken down into glucose (the simplest sugar) and released into your bloodstream from the digestive tract, and the more quickly you can access the energy. Instinctively we are drawn to foods that we can access glucose from easily, hence the constant lure of refined, sugary goodies (or baddies).
Love handles, cankles and falloobadooms.
Once the brain registers glucose in your bloodstream, it tells the pancreas to release a hormone called insulin. This acts like a key to unlock the doors to the cells in your body enabling glucose to enter. Once inside the cells, glucose is converted through a hideously complicated process into energy that powers your body. Your body doesn't make all of the glucose into energy at the same time, as always, the human body is prudent and pops some in the bank, or rather the liver and muscles to save for a rainy day. If you have eaten more than what you need, ie a big old packet of chocolate biscuits, then about 400 calories worth of glucose will be stored in your liver and then muscles to provide a cache of glucose should you go for periods of more than 12 hours without eating. Any surplus after this will be stored as love handles, cankles and the portion of the female anatomy that is correctly identified as falloobadooms. (If you need to ask what these are, then they probably don’t concern you anyway!).
I'm telling you, Kathleen's books are great - Potatoes Not Prozac!
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That crazy roller coaster.
The brain is probably the most sensitive organ in the body. The difference between being calm or over-reactive, content or depressed, energized or fatigued depends largely upon what is put in your mouth. The body’s goal is to maintain the perfect level of glucose in the bloodstream, neither too high, or too low, and when you binge on simple carbohydrates, the blood stream is flooded with glucose, sending your body into a state of emergency. Insulin is released from the pancreas to clear the bloodstream of glucose but under such emergency circumstances the body over-reacts, the bottom drops out of your blood glucose level. You swing to the other extreme, and suddenly you may feel like you’ve been hit-by-a-truck tired, shaky and irritable, with irrational outbursts of anger, or feel weepy, indecisive and forgetful.
Instinctively you start looking for something to raise your blood glucose level, quickly! You might reach for a cup of coffee with sugar in it and a Danish pastry, your blood glucose level sky-rockets, sending your body back into a full scale alert once more…
What are the consequences of these wild fluctuations in your blood glucose levels? Your moods, like your blood sugar will roller coaster high and low all day long. You may feel focused and alert for 30 minutes after eating, but then an hour later you wander into rooms wondering what on earth you went in there for. Or your children have a meltdown and instead of dealing with it calmly and quietly, you feel the anger rising and before you know it you are shouting at them and acting like a child yourself (okay, myself).
Are you brave enough to do this one simple thing?
What do you think your own blood glucose levels would look like if you plotted them through the day? For the really brave, I suggest keeping a Food and Moods Journal. Write down at what time you eat, what you eat, and how you are feeling – tired, calm, shaky, focused etc. Keep this going for a couple of weeks as we work our way through what to put in your shopping trolley, and what to put back.
Adrenal Fatigue - tired, grumpy, don't want sex, overweight, crave sugar, depressed, crappy memory?
Each time your blood sugar level spikes quickly, and your body raises the alarm, your adrenal glands (two bean shaped organs that sit above the kidneys) are instructed to release adrenalin, the hormone that gives you a quick hit of energy and primes your body ready for danger. Adrenalin gets your heart pumping and also tells your pancreas to release insulin so that the body can clear the high sugar level in the bloodstream. Your adrenal glands are built to deal with emergencies, but not emergencies that become daily occurrences. If you are going to ply your body with a large hit of sugar, a bowl of icecream, a coffee, a softdrink, a piece of cake or a handful of chocolate biscuits on a daily if not hourly basis then pretty soon your adrenal glands are going to become fatigued and they will respond more and more slowly. After years of such eating the end result is damaged adrenal glands, and the symptoms below will feel uncomfortably familiar:
- constant fatigue
- trouble getting out of bed
- sugar and/or salt cravings
- increased effort to do everyday tasks
- decreased sex drive
- decreased ability to handle stress
- lightheadedness when standing up
- increased susceptibility to colds, flus and infections, poor wound healing
- poor memory
- increased difficulty with PMS or menopause