This is the Reason you are not Losing Weight even Though you are “Eating Clean”
Here is why so many people still struggle to lose weight and it has nothing to do with calories
Fitness column by Matt Kay
Eating clean seems to be the current ‘diet of choice’ and for good reason. The principles behind this approach make complete sense. Here is a quick FITISM definition of eating clean or as we refer to it; eating legal.
“Eating legal is about eating real foods – those foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, making them as close to their natural form as possible.”
More recently, and more than ever, we get people walking into our gyms with clean eating issues. Issues around why they can’t lose weight even though they’re eating ‘clean.’
After investigation, it is clear why many of these people are still battling the bulge. Unfortunately, like most simple concepts in life, the eating clean principles are being manipulated and misconstrued.
Here is the problem and what to do about it:
‘Natural sugar is still sugar.’ Eating foods free from refined sugars is very ‘on trend’ at present. Every health food seems to be touting the ‘no refined sugars’ message. So before dissecting the issues with this message let me set the scene by explaining a few things about sugar.
Raw sugar is the residue left behind after sugarcane has been through a process to remove molasses. For a sugar to be considered refined it has to go through a further process. This involves softening and dissolving until the components separate to yield white sugar more commonly known as table sugar. Raw sugar contains fibre and mould making it marginally better for you, but it is still sugar! The most natural forms of sugar are found in fruits and vegetables but do not make the mistake most ‘clean eaters’ make and think dried fruit contains the same qualities as undried fruit. The sugars in dried fruits are intensified and only marginally better for you than refined sugar.
So what is my point? Every sugar whether it is refined, unrefined or natural will elevate your insulin levels. It is virtually impossible to drop body fat and build lean muscle tissue in the presence of insulin. Insulin is not just associated with fat gain, it directly causes it. A study conducted by Diabetes Care (Henry RR, 16:23-31) took 14 subjects and increased their daily levels of insulin but reduced their calorie consumption. The study found that even though the subjects reduced their calorific intake by almost 300 calories per day they continued to put on significant amounts of weight. This study showed that it is not the calories causing weight gain, it is insulin.
So next time you find yourself tucking into your second helping of clean raw cheese cake, ‘with no refined sugars’, understand that is directly influencing fat gain and not supporting fat loss. Declare that day a cheat day!
There is no question that eating a cake with no refined sugars is better than the £2 triple chocolate peanut butter with marshmallows on top cake from your local supermarket, but it is still a cheat. If you eat clean, cheat clean.
The basics are the still basics and nothing beats the basics. Consume 90 per cent of your daily foods from meats, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and drink lots of water throughout the day and you will never go wrong. Having said that I completely understand that life is just not that easy.
In my next RIDDLE article I will explore the reasons why we do not follow the basics. When we know that doing the basics will help us achieve the body of our dreams why aren’t we doing the basics? It makes no sense on the surface, but when you dig deep you realise there is another force driving the choices you make. In this next article I will flip and reverse the basics to help you understand where to start. Only then can you get the basics working for you in your world. Look out for my next article ‘Billionaires With Six Packs’ in the new year.