Have you got a muffin top/love handles due to COVID?
There is only so much exercise you can do. Seriously. Even fitness professionals can gain weight under these germ fighting restrictions. It is the stress.
While studying for an online Exam- ( Studying = Stress when you are used to highlighting a Book) I reviewed the function of the liver in metabolism.
The liver makes the energy available for your brain.
The 15% of of the carbs you eat runs your brain.
The liver converts and stores carbs as glycogen.
OK so far so good.
BUT what about the other 85% of the energy you ate in the form of a good meal or a bad snack?
Tracking the other 85%
With all this change and upheaval , Stress is a bigger factor in 21st century Human Metabolism than Artificial Intelligence. I had completely forgotten about the role of Cortisol – another chemical that acts on the body because of fight or flight pathways. Too much stress = more cortisol production. Too much cortisol – and hello muffin-top/waist level spare tire. It gets worse.
You get some science to fight this
Here is the brutal scientific truth :
In the liver, high cortisol levels increase gluconeogenesis and decrease glycogen synthesis (1)
What does that mean in plain English?
Your body under stress actually makes sugar available by making more sugar from Anything you ate and unfortunately its very good at it.
Even in the fastest metabolisms , not much energy is required to take those expensive amino acids from that steak you ate and turn them into sugar. Call it a survival mechanism but its making your jeans fit tighter. Drop the Sweatpants !!! You have a fashion decision to make and you must Increase Glycogen Synthesis NOW. Well not quite. You need to use up the sugar aka the glycogen NOW but meantime the liver is technically pumping out more….
The reason you have your muffin top/spare tire is this:
the very helpful cortisol is doing 2 things at once in your liver. Its called Turnover: that is why you can make energy and decrease energy synthesis at the same time
Unfortunately you have no control over the ratio of used to not used .
When the body cannot use energy immediately IT STORES ENERGY
Store energy not too far away from where it lives Target =YOUR MIDDLE
There is a clever way to fix this
Another study item from that online test- Resistant Starch (2)
Starch and starch degradation products that escape from digestion in the small intestine of healthy individuals. Resistant Starch.
If you can pass along carbohydrates in the form of starches and not extract sugar (glucose) from them or store any sugar (glycogen) it follows that you should have an advantage in the weight loss wars. You just created a resistant food product. Indigestible.
Will not produce calories, sugar, glycogen, or glucose as a result.
This reasoning was the basis of Olestra (tm) a food additive in the 1990’s. Olestra(tm) was not popular.
Americans were wary of foods designed in such a way to bypass the system and they were not crazy about how the products made them feel. Cramping because you cannot break down a food is not a great way to lose weight.
Olestra (tm) was a food additive that is not naturally harvested like Olive oil Obviously it was invented in a lab. Resistant starch is invented on your stove. The secret of a resistant food product or starch is to add a mono saturated (simple) food oil/cook it/ and then ice it up.
You read that correctly. Ice it. Without getting too much into chemistry you are altering the ingredients. This happens in your body but to make sure you stop carbs from jumping onto you the chemistry/magic of cooking will be the controlling tool.
Making Starch resistant in @ 10 minutes
What if you can get your body to process food that you actually like and you could skip any side effects? You do not need a pill to accomplish this. But you do need to spend about 10 minutes a day cooking your starches like rice oatmeal beans and corn a certain way.
Then you have to promise not to eat your cooked foods they same day you prepped them. ICE the carbs Overnight....
The goal is to break down the starches inherent in pasta, rice, beans etc. so they cannot be easily picked up and turned into sugar that you cannot use fast enough...
cook your foods with @ ¼ teaspoon of powdered cinnamon
add a dash (1/8 of a teaspoon to 1 /4 teaspoon olive oil to corn, legumes like kidney beans, oatmeal, rice, pasta.
put that food you just cooked with cinnamon and oil into the freezer ICE IT
measure out a cupped palm portion (2 palms for men) (one cupped palm serving size for women) and Reheat, then eat.
The rationale behind steps 1-4
Cinnamon powdered - preferably organic non -stick form
Often you get a muffin top/ love handles started because of genetics. If you have diabetics in your family, know that weight gain especially around the waist happens quickly and it does not take much for that fat/weight gain to change your blood sugar levels. Regardless of your gender, a waist that is ½ of your height in inches is a pre-diabetic waist!! This is why portion size is so important….
Cinnamon in foods has been shown to slow down the pre- diabetic chemical state called insulin resistance. You are being spared knowing about the complex action of the hormone Insulin. Just remember that insulin removes sugar from the bloodstream after you digested food. If you are insulin resistant the sugar stays in the bloodstream and acts like sludge when it meets cholesterol and clogs your circulatory system. That is why a good checkup measures sugar (glucose) and Cholesterol lipid levels. To head-off problems Cinnamon used sensibly may give you an edge.
Check with web MD https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1002/cassia-cinnamon to ascertain if there are any interactions with up to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon a day. The cassia form of cinnamon often seen in sticks actually causes problems because of the concentration of active cinnamon chemicals. Its tree bark!
Simple oils monosaturated
A simple monosaturated oil means there are less bonds to make or break when you are digesting it. If you are cooking with a simple oil like olive oil the cooking will Saturate or make more bonds . Then your body has to expend energy to break an oily food up into little pieces again. Same for oily fish. You have to expend energy to get energy.
Eat fat to lose fat
The process is called beta oxidation metabolism (3) https://biologydictionary.net/beta-oxidation/
and supplies a lot of energy if you are engaged in a pleasant low impact activity like walking.
Repeating a pleasant low impact activity almost daily will best facilitate waistline fat loss. At the end of this article the image there is the science (3) - you may have seen this before -https://biologydictionary.net/beta-oxidation/ ...
several Nobel Prizes have been granted due to the discovery of how food becomes energy
Ice is nice
Here is the real magic. Chemically by cooling your spiced up starch oil mix(pasta- beans rice- corn- etc.) you bind up the carbs and make them less available to breakdown and storage around your body, specifically your gut . Result - Resistant Starch
Portion size. If you binge on resistant starch you can still gain weight.
Try to restrict that plate of pasta to a serving that fits your palm.
Why? Your hands are proportional to your body. Without having to resort to calorie counting let a simple handful or two based on gender determine what you ultimately cook.
Keeping it simple- palm sized carbs servings should be limited to 2 meals a day. If you based all your eating by the hand visual method, and added some walking, based on almost daily adherence ,you should be in the improvement zone about a month from now.
You may need a calendar to keep you honest. A calendar full of walks or exercise sessions is a good start. Checking off days where you stuck to eating proportionally will also help. Finally, drinking a lot more water and a lot less alcohol will nudge your metabolism into a more efficient process and the weight should be gone by this time next year, COVID or not.
In the liver, high cortisol levels increase gluconeoenesis and decrease glycogen synthesis
Kuo T, McQueen A, Chen TC, Wang JC. Regulation of Glucose Homeostasis by Glucocorticoids. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015;872:99-126
Resistant Starch Fitness: The Complete Guide - Edition 9.0 glossary pg. 753
Resistant starch is another type of starch that isn’t fully broken down and absorbed, but rather turned into short-chain fatty acids by intestinal bacteria. This may lead to some unique health benefits.
Resistant Starch: Fitness: The Complete Guide – Edition 9.0 pg 551
Starch and starch degradation products that escape from digestion in the small intestine of healthy individuals.
We might see some benefits from as little as 6-12 grams/day of resistant starch, but closer to 20 grams/day might be ideal. This is easy to get if you eat plenty of whole plant foods (e.g. unprocessed grains, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, and beans/legumes). More than 40 grams/day, however, may cause digestive problems.