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The skinny on weight loss, part II

by Dr. Bruce J. Grandstaff
| December 15, 2010 8:00 PM

In my editorial "The Skinny on Weight Loss, Part I,"I discussed some of the difficulties associated with weight loss including the enzyme regulation of fat storage and fat loss from the adipocytes (fat cells).

I mentioned that our physiology favors weight gain not weight loss and that 95 percent of people who successfully lose weight will gain it all back.

What we actually lose is fat and lean tissue such as muscle, organ tissue and hormones. But what we gain back is 100 percent fat (which is unhealthy). Consuming a minimum of half a gram of protein per pound of our lean muscle weight per day can spare your lean tissues, making weight loss efforts more safe and successful.

However, as I mentioned in my previous editorial, excess insulin and the mere act of losing weight causes the enzyme system that stores fat to ramp up, essentially causing more fat storage.

Let's now turn our attention to burning blood sugar and glycogen (stored blood sugar in the liver and muscles) so that it doesn't get stored as fat.

After eating, insulin lowers the resulting blood sugar by causing it to go to the muscle cells for burning as fuel to run our bodies. Once in the cell, it must hook up with the compound L-carnitine to actually cross the membrane surrounding the mitochondria within the cell where it is oxidized (or burned).

This transport system is called the "carnitine shuttle." Too much insulin inhibits the carnitine shuttle and the blood sugar, unable to cross into the mitochondria, will then go to the fat cell for storage as fat. Again, the enzyme system that regulates fat storage is "ramped up" by excess insulin, and excess insulin discourages fat burning.

While most health experts are telling us the problem is obesity and the solution is "eat less fat," the problem in fact is a dysfunctional pancreas which is producing too much insulin.

An excess of insulin rapidly drops your blood sugar levels causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which makes us want to eat. Can you see the vicious cycle here? Also, dietary fat is metabolically inert (doesn't affect insulin levels).

Eating a low fat, high carb diet actually increases insulin levels, eventually causing a dysfunctional pancreas.

Insulin is a powerful hormone which in excess causes havoc in our bodies. It causes the kidneys to store sodium, leading to fluid retention and high blood pressure. It causes our bodies to increase "bad" cholesterol and decrease our good cholesterol (HDL's).

It also leads to insulin resistance (type II diabetes). This has been dubbed The Deadly Quartet, Metabolic Syndrome, or "Syndrome X."

So, the four manifestations are central obesity (abdominal girths of 35 inches or greater for females and 40 inches or greater for males), high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and Type II (insulin resistant) Diabetes. It only takes two of the four to be diagnosed.

If our efforts to lose weight don't cause the dysfunctional pancreas to "reset," our efforts to keep the weight off (and maintain any health benefits gained) are doomed to failure. Can I get an "amen" from those of you who have been there, done that?

Let me now say that no diet is a vaccine against weight gain; however, the Ideal Protein Diet/Treatment is designed to "reset" the dysfunctional pancreas allowing safe and rapid weight loss.

The average weight loss for women is 3-5 pounds per week and for men 5-7 pounds per week. By resetting the pancreas, your metabolism will now favor keeping the weight off. Whatever eating habits that created your weight problems will eventually cause them again, so some habits must change.

Our clinic's Ideal Protein classes address these issues. This is why the Ideal Protein diet/treatment is called "the last diet you will ever need."

Dr. Grandstaff can be reached at (208) 772-6015 for more information on the Ideal Protein weight loss/treatment. Come on Coeur d' Alene and Sandpoint, let's lose weight and get healthy together.

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