Saturday, December 10, 2011

BREAKFAST ISN'T AS IMPORTANT AS WE THOUGHT

The diet industry has continued to neglect the value of hunger. Unfortunately, this has continued dysfunctional eating by focusing on rules and boundaries that have very little to do with feedback from the body. A perfect example is using caloric expenditure to determine how much a person should eat.

Science describes that our body is fueled by stored substrates (fat, muscle, glycogen, blood/cellular glucose), which is regulated hormonally. Using calories to quantify daily food intake, assumes the food you eat is immediately digested into these molecular forms, which are converted into human fuel and used the same day you eat it. If you eat strait sugar, this is accurate. But if you eat anything complex, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Using calories to determine how much you should eat also neglects to include that your body already has stored fuel that has completed the digestive process and is ready to be used. Food is complex and must be digested and distributed among the four fueling substrates before it can be used. So there are hormones that eating stimulates that regulate the release of fuel from already stored substrates, while food is digesting. This is a cycle that ensures the body is fueled adequately, even though the food you are eating is no where close to being in a molecular substrate.

What regulates the hormones that control this fuel release? The answer is complex and requires a finite balance between other hormones, expenditure rate, oxygen, and hormonal stimulants, such as food. All food stimulates your fat to release hormones and how much hormones you get is relative to how many fat cells you have, the size of your fat cells, and the potency of the food you ate. An easy way for you to understand if you have enough of these hormones is through hunger.

If you’re not hungry, you don’t need to stimulate more of these hormones. Leptin is the hormone your fat creates that also removes the physical irritation and urgency to eat. So if you’re not hungry, your blood leptin levels are elevated, and you do not need to eat, otherwise you’ll release more leptin, which not only has over-fueling ramifications, but can cause a host of hormonal imbalances elsewhere in the endocrine system.

When made aware of the hormonal regulation of hunger and the link to fueling mechanisms, it makes sense why people who have more fat experience less hunger. They have more fat cells that create more leptin, which releases more fuel from fat, so they need weaker stimulus− less often, and they also have less need to “restock” fuel from food. The more fat you have, the less food you need! (Refer to why skinny b*tches eat more and don’t get fat.)

Here is a prime example of how messed up the diet industry is. When you wake up in the morning, are you legitimately hungry for breakfast? Probably not. The more fat you have, the less likely you are to experience hunger after you wake in the morning.

How many of you have been demanded to eat breakfast, even though you have very little hunger? I was taught at the university level that breakfast starts your metabolism.  It was described by the “thermic effect of food” which would start the calorie-burning process. That was in the year 2000.

At that point science wasn’t readily available to explain that by eating breakfast all of your fat cells would be stimulated to create the hormone leptin, which would as a reaction, release fuel into your body. If you’re not hungry and your leptin levels are already elevated (which indicates that your body is already adequately fueled by your fat) do you need to stimulate more? No! Chances are those calories you burned through the thermic effect of food didn't come close to the over fueling  from fat that causes a host of problems.

If you’re not hungry you already have enough leptin, you’re already receiving fuel from your fat and by eating anyways, you’ll be causing an over production of leptin and an over-fueling situation. In short, wait until you are hungry to eat breakfast.

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5 comments:

  1. How does that fit with Dr. Jake with the Leptin Reset protocol? He advises doing a plan that includes a 50g protein breakfast and then eating subsequently smaller meals (big breakfast, small lunch, smallest dinner) and ending up resetting Leptin resistance that way. I admit to having a hard time eating 50g of protein at one time within 30 minutes in the morning, but honestly, then all day I wasn't hungry and found it much easier to stay on the P3/P4 program the rest of the time.

    I am currently on hcg on my 6th round, having lost now over 100 pounds and I appreciate your work.

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  2. That is a great question. I'm not an expert at Dr. Jakes protocol so he would be best to look at my hypothesis and form an opinion from there. I do know that each body is unique, relative to how much fat they have, and there expenditure. If you have more fat you're more likely to have huge increases in leptin after you wake. The more fat you have, the more leptin you get and because of how hormones change as you wake, you may get a stimulus of leptin without needing to eat. When and how much food you have should be be relative to hunger, and hunger can be influenced by how much sleep you got and other factors. The best gage in my view, is to use hunger, and just do what your body says. Hunger is a valuable indication of where you leptin levels are, and by eating without hunger you may produce more and have too much (which is not a good thing. Too much leptin is associated to most of the preventable physical ailments in America. I may be the only person in the universe who doesn't define breakfast by timing it immediatly after you wake. Instead, breakfast is when your body says you are hungry. At that point, eat only enough for hunger to subside. So to honestly answer your question, I'm not sure. If you wanted to merge the two conceps stick with the food option he suggests but time consumption by hunger. And quantity, measured by when your hunger subsides. That would make the diet personalized to your body. I'd love to talk with Dr. Jake. I would love to learn more! There's still so much we don't fully understand about the human body, but the discovery of leptin has spead up the learning curve. It's about time!!!

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  3. Thanks for your reply. For me, the longer I hold out to eat, the later I end up staying up at night, which completely throws off my sleep cycle and then perpetuates not enough sleep. I am trying to turn it around. Eating apparently wakes me up at night. So I am trying a new approach and at least eat "something" to start the ball rolling in the morning. I'm hoping to turn my clock around.

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  4. Eating later, especially sugar or starch, will absolutely wake you up in the middle of the night. The relationship between leptin and the hypothalamic circadian pace-maker and sleep wake cycles are directly linked. WHen Insulin takes a dive, so will leptin, and that may be what wakes you up. The other part to using hunger is making sure the amount you eat never goes beyond when hunger is removed. So you'd never be full either. This is where, if you'd eaten too much (especiallly starch) a problem may have occured. Either way, consistancy is exermemtly important so the body will acclimate. I'd love to hear how this goes for you. Congrats on your success!

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