Sugar is a Big, Fat Slob

March 29, 2006

Many diet and metabolic experts proclaim that the law of thermodynamics (well there's two) reign supreme. That is to say, if you eat something and it doesn't get used as fuel, it will get stored as fat.

"Not so fast rabbit!"

Like anything else in our wonderful lives, it's not quite that simple.

There are several studies that show subjects who ate 1800 calories on an Atkins-type diet plan lost the same amount of weight as subjects who ate 1500 calories on a food pyramid diet plan.

How is this possible if it's just math and if the law of thermodynamics reign supreme? 

Enter 'Futile cycling.'

The process is quite complicated - and a little boring so I'll cut to the chase.

In short, fat and protein have many jobs to do. They are the bicycle messengers if you will of the macro-nutrients. They've got lots to do, and many places to go. They're serious and single minded.

Sugar is a big, fat slob. It does one thing and one thing only - get used as fuel or sit around in your fat cell watching re-runs of M.A.S.H.

When you eat fat and protein, you fuel yourself with nutrients that repair cells, build muscle or resist the loss of it, clean house, etc. Busy little bees they are.

When you primarily eat sugar, the sugar sits around (not for long) waiting for you to summit Everest.

In fact, you have GOT to nearly starve yourself in order to lose body fat eating lots of carbs (sugar) since sugar is either waiting to be used up as energy or will be stored as fat.

In the presence of a lot of sugar in the diet (food pyramid) you had better eat low fat because this is the easiest way to store unused fat and protein as fuel.

You eat sugar (complex or simple your body doesn't give a hoot) which raises insulin levels, which opens the fat cell doors, which shoves in the excess calories from fat and SLAM! The prison cell gets locked tight.

(Quick quiz: What's the key to open those fat cells back up? How do we plan a rescue mission and release our good friend Fat? )

Given the food, or rather, the Sugar Pyramid, a low fat diet is prudent if you want to keep trim. But in the process of staying svelte, you starve your body of cell rebuilding, muscle enhancing fat and protein.

This process does not happen as easily or as readily when insulin levels are kept very low by adopting a diet rich in fats and proteins and minimal in veggies and fruits.

Fat cells are far less permeable when sugar in the diet is at a minimum. Fat cells resist storage and more readily release fat as energy when eating little to no sugar.

When eating fat meat to your hearts content (mind the punniness), excess fat and protein cycle around looking for things to do and when all is done, the excess does not necessarily get stored as fat.

Wither doth it go?

It goeth into the winds - burned up running around the muscle and cell components looking for more things to do (remember, when insulin levels are low, the fat cell says "Not Welcome!" and the excess is converted into heat energy and dissipated.

Bye bye, F&P. thanks for being so diligent!

Futile cycling baby. It's a beautiful thing.

All this running around however, costs. And where does the funding come from for such worthy endeavors? Who or what is the primary underwriter for such an expensive business plan?

Do I really have to tell you? Oh, OK: