how diet regulates hormones, which regulate weight

  • burn belly fat

    Today,  a correspondent wrote this to me:  “Got any tips to burn belly fat? (diet-based)” Here is my understanding, which may be imprecise, but I think you will find it quite logical. I assert that is also  much more accurate than most of the common presumptions bout diet and metabolism (which may lead to temporary weight loss, but then followed by a metabolic reaction to build up fat again- because those strategies work AGAINST the boy’s hormonal system which regulates things like metabolism and storage of fat). For those that want to know more of the science than is presented here, note that I mention two specific leading researchers in this reply.

    Here is my simple answer to how to use diet to burn belly fat (and keep it off): stop eating carbs (or at least cut WAY back). That may be a surprising answer. Here is the rather simple explanation.


    I do understand that there are exactly two primary substances that human bodies use for fuel: fat and carbohydrates. If you provide no carbohydrates through diet, then what else can the body do except for burn fat? Do you get the utter simplicity of that?

    Actually, by the way, there can be a very inefficient conversion of protein in to fuel in extreme situations, but when fat is available to burn (and no carbs are available), then typically the fat will be used, not conversion of protein in to glucose/glycogen. This is SUPER simple, but it is not a LUCRATIVE answer to just say “to burn fat, stop eating carbs.” That does not sell pills or tickets to $2000 weight loss retreats.


    As more background, note first that cows tend to be rather fat, right? Is it from high fat diets? Cows eat live grass (by preference) and can also survive off of hay (dried grasses) or even seeds (on feed lots). Just guess for me: which cow will be skinnier- one that eats only carbs in large quantities or one that eats only carbs in moderate amounts? Either way, cows will make fat out of carb-based diets. How much fat they will make out of the carb-based diet depends on how many carbs they eat, right?

    Above is a video of Boyd Eaton, MD, who has been eating a diet very high in fat for several decades (and low in carbs). His is rather lean and fit, right? He talks about not only the benefits to his physical health, but also for his mental health (which is quite related to his biochemistry, right?) and for his overall quality of life.

    Eating lots of carbs causes a biochemical stress to the body. It causes the release of insulin  and then of adrenalin (“the fight-or-flight hormone”), which causes the famous “sugar high.” High carb diets increase irritability and anxiety and impairs concentration (AKA “ADHD”). Diets high in wheat (or any other grain high in gluten) can be especially detrimental, resulting in symptoms now labeled “celiac disease,” which basically means “a body’s natural reaction to excessive amounts of gluten.”

    In my case, one halloween night, I ate ALL of the candy that I had gathered that evening. I experienced severe abdominal pains, severe headaches, and then “my body vomited” to protect my body from toxic levels of sugar (as in seizure and death). By the way, that was the first and last time (only time) that I ate all of my halloween candy in a single night!

    Let’s consider a bit more about fat. Fat is the most efficient fuel of all human cells (and all other animals). So, fat is generally “given priority” by the body– but not priority to burn. The body gives fat priority by conserving it WHENEVER it possibly can.

    Burning of fat is prevented by a hormone called insulin. It is the hormone that signals to conserve fat (and actually to MAKE fat as well) which would be seen in high levels in a bear before winter hibernation. The bear’s body stops burning fat to conserve it. The signal for that conservation of the high priority fuel (fat) is insulin. What dietary factor produces the release of insulin? Carbohydrates. When the diet of the bear changes in fall, that signals the release of insulin, which signals to the body “conserve fat because it is too high a priority to burn right now.” Insulin is a mechanism to prevent starvation during the winter.

    Many modern people eat diets very high in low quality carbs (processed grains). The natural result of following the FDA‘s very successful dietary propaganda campaign which stretches over many decades is clearly the huge rise in rates of obesity, diabetes (which is just a toxic excess of sugars AKA carbohydrates), and a long list of “incurable” ailments including cancers and Coronary Heart Disease.

    So, the more carbs you eat, the more that you signal to your body to prevent starvation by conserving fat (and making fat). Consider again that cows are fat, but not because of a diet high in fats. Obviously the fat on cows does not come from eating grasses high in fat. The grass is made in to fat (or fatty acids / lipid chains) by bacteria within the digestive tract of the cows. The amount of fat on wild bison and bears and deers and so on varies through the seasons… based on their seasonal diets.

  • In summary, the less carbs that you eat, the more that your body will burn fat. Consider that if fat is the only fuel available to the body, then obviously it must burn fat, right?

  •  Many people are almost constantly hungry because they eat so much carbs that their access to burning fat is blocked by insulin and they experience “sugar crashes” (hypoglycemic crashes or even seizures). This is not because they have no fat, but because they have been flooding their blood stream with insulin, which prevents the metabolism (burning) of fat.
     So, since the stored fat is blocked by insulin, the best way to transition from a carb-based diet may be to eat no carbs and at least small amounts of high-quality fat (cold-processed coconut, olive oil, and especially raw animal fats). Note that excessive heating of fats will sterilize them, as in cause them to have no nutritional value.
    When eating fat, since that fat is not stored yet, it can be distributed through the blood and used “outside” of the insulin mechanism to suppress burning of stored fat. Eventually, the body will “down-regulate” from “insulin resistance” and can begin to burn stored fat very quickly. In that case, fat can be cut from the diet temporarily to increase burning of stored fat until the body signals a craving for rich fat foods.
    What craving? You probably have it now if you eat a high-carb diet. The “nearly-constant hunger” that high-carb eaters experience is a craving for fat (for fuel, for energy). They have lots of fat in their body, but it’s metabolism is blocked by the insulin released in response to their high-carb diet.
  •  I am just a student in this area. A Recognized expert in this field would be Ron Rosedale MD. He has published a lot of research on how diet governs hormones, which govern everything else.
  • Here is a related video (which I did not watch):

    Related question: “do I need to exercise to be thin?” In answer to this question, here is a picture of a newborn. You tell me: is this infant so thin because of too much exercise? Exercise adds STRESS to the body. In moderation, this can actually be very healthy. However, the modern fads of body-building and weight-lifting are quite foreign to some of the healthiest people on the planet. Notice that the men in the picture just below are quite mature (at least middle-aged).

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