Episode 3: It's the food!
In this episode, "It's the Food!" we learn about what the food itself does to our bodies. Too high insulin can result in very high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to a cascade of metabolic problems. Besides insulin, other hunger hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin get out of whack, further thwarting your weight loss efforts. This episode shares with you my personal story, what I learned and what I want to teach you about now. Your actionable coaching advice will get you started on learning to be aware of your hunger signals and what to do with that incoming information. I share with you a hunger scale (download) to use to get you started. Another bonus guide I am giving you here is the Good-Better-Best Method (download) so that you can start to make some good decisions right now.
In the next episode we will explore WHY power vs. WILL power.
1:12. My personal story
5:16. It's important to learn what food does in your body
13:50. What mistakes do we make?
15:30. The cost of making the mistakes
16:43. This week's ACTIONABLE COACHING advice
19:44. Special Offer
21:51. Episode 4, coming up
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Book
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Course
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Episode #: 3 It’s the food!
You’re Listening to the Roadmap to Diet Success Podcast, Episode # 3, It’s the food!
"Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Breaking Free From Diet Prison, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl!
Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or services, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!
1:12. MY PERSONAL STORY
I am going to start out here by saying that although I am a Keto coach, I don’t think Keto is for everyone. However, I do want to share my story with you here about the turning point for me where my whole mindset and food choices changed, and I finally got off the diet roller coaster. I guide my clients to find what foods work best in their bodies, but for me it was cutting my carbs very low.
Here's the story: Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes changed my life. For the first time I realized it wasn't me. I wasn't being lazy, uncommitted or stupid. IT WAS THE FOOD. IT WAS THE HORMONES. IT WAS NOT ENTIRELY MY FAULT! I listened to the book on CD maybe 10 or more times, going over and over the very scientific parts about insulin and hormones, until I could understand every bit of it. One passage meant more to me than any other:
"So long as we believe that people get fat because they overeat, because they take in more calories than they expend, we're putting the ultimate blame on a mental state, a weakness of character, and we're leaving human biology out of the equation entirely. . . Do these authors wish to range obesity as a 'behavior problem' among psychiatric instead of metabolic diseases?"
Now, for the first time, I understood that the fruit salads, root vegetables and banana breads made with dates and honey were keeping me fat. The more I tried to be "good" by eating all those real foods instead of candy bars, the deeper I fell into obesity and metabolic disease. Fatty liver, pre-diabetes and sheer exhaustion are not moral diseases, they are metabolic diseases. I am not lazy or stupid. I am metabolically damaged by the foods I thought were good for me. Of course, no diet recommends eating the entire banana bread or fruit bowl, and so I do not blame those diets entirely, whose intentions were good by recommending and supporting whole and good foods. My mind was blown, and it was a start for me, to realize that in my case, the food itself fueled endless hunger and cravings, a fact that ultimately helped me to change habits and my mindset.
What follows in this podcast is the information that I learned and that I want to share with you. I had many health factors that made following Keto the right path for me. For your needs, it might be that you keep all the foods, but cut back on some and eat a little more of others. My intention with this episode is to share with you what I have learned, and now teach. Once you have this information, you can make some informed decisions about which roads you would like to travel.
Just like a real road trip, it’s best to have some idea of your destination and, with gas prices being the way they are, you might like to take the best route with as few twists and turns and detours as possible. However, to continue the metaphor, twists and turns and detours can be fun and lead to adventure, but really, don’t you already know what potato chips, ice cream and chocolate layer cake taste like?
I’m not going to give you the entire Google satellite view of this (boy I am loving the road trip metaphor!) but I will show you the main attractions.
5:16. It’s important to learn what food does in your body
· There are two types of hunger. True physical hunger is one of them. The other hunger is driven by what is in your head. There are definitely mechanics that trigger this head hunger. These could be habits or feelings such as anxiety, loneliness and anger.
· Sometimes wrangling with your hunger can often just be wrangling with the head hunger such as “It’s lunchtime so I’m hungry for lunch.”
· It could be heart hunger such as “I’m lonely and food always makes me feel better.”
· It could be habit hunger such as “I always pick up and eat a croissant when I pass this bakery.”
· In later episodes (and in my blogs on my website at miriamhatoum.com) I will talk about Emotional Hunger and Head Hunger.
· But for today’s episode I want to talk about the mechanics of physical hunger.
· The main mistake that people make when they are following most diet plans is to believe that all calories are created equal. Remember that 100-calorie snack pack that I talked about in an earlier episode? 100 calories of junk is still 100 calories of junk. It is not even a matter of the quality of the food. An organic marshmallow is still a marshmallow. An organic fruit bowl the size of your head is still a fruit bowl the size of your head!
· What do a snack pack, a marshmallow and a bowl of fruit have in common? They are all carbohydrates. No, I am not demonizing carbohydrates – even all vegetables are carbohydrates! But why is it important to know this? It is important to know this because carbohydrates raise your insulin.
· When I said before that Keto is not for everyone but is for some of us, I was referring to the fact that many of us are insulin resistant. What this means is that your body does not hear the signal that insulin is trying to send your cells to open up and let the sugar and energy in. This is what happens when you have type 2 diabetes and there is too much sugar in your blood. Type 1 diabetes is a separate metabolic disorder which can also be helped by lowering insulin, but it is not what I am referring to here.
· Okay, let me back up. Insulin is a hormone, and it is considered by some, to be the master hormone. A hormone is a signaling molecule that is transported to organs to regulate both physiology and behavior. In the case of insulin, not only does it regulate blood sugar, but it also is responsible for fat storage, and plays a part in many metabolic disorders such as hardening of the arteries, hypertension and PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome). As a matter of fact, Alzheimer’s disease is now referred to as type 3 diabetes.
· Research is currently investigating insulin’s role in building muscle following sickness or injury, regulating the uptake of amino acids, DNA replication, and enhancing memory and earning capabilities.
· It’s important to know why, if you are someone who doesn’t process carbohydrates very well, that you are plagued with hunger and fatigue.
o Even if you have just eaten you could be fatigued and sluggish. This is because your insulin is not getting glucose into your cells to be used as energy. You are tired all the time. You are also hungry all the time because not only are your cells not getting the energy they need, but your satiety hormones (ghrelin and leptin) are also out of whack.
o This was one of the lightbulbs that turned on for me when I listened to Gary Taubes. I realized that I was on the hamster wheel because I was always hungry and fatigued, and this put my cravings and urges into high gear.
o I want to digress here because I want to go back to those 100-calorie snack bags. On my last round of Weight Watchers, I remember – as if it was yesterday – leaving work and wanting to chew my face off. I had eaten the correct number of points – using a Lean Cuisine, two or three snack bags, and probably a bag of baby carrots (which are very high in carbohydrates). I just about cried before I could carry on and face my commute home. I know now that I was feeding my body an overload of carbohydrates that my body could not process, and I was driving up my insulin to the point where I was starving even though I had just eaten before leaving work.
o I am going to leave insulin here but will talk more about it in later episodes because it is so important, and I will also explain at a later date why it is called the fat storage hormone. That is a piece of information you would want to have as well.
But on to other hormones:
· There is very much a hormonal biological basis for when you feel true hunger. Ghrelin and leptin, known as the “hunger hormones” along with insulin play important roles in hunger regulation. These two hormones, in particular, help regulate insulin and are very prominent in successful weight loss.
· First let’s talk about Ghrelin
o Ghrelin is considered your "hunger hormone" and is produced in the stomach to signal hunger.
o When you eat a meal, ghrelin normally will decrease so that you are no longer hungry until it builds up again for the next meal.
o When you are insulin resistant, ghrelin decreases only slightly.
o Because of this, the hypothalamus – which is a portion of your brain – doesn’t receive as strong of a signal to stop eating, and when you do, you are never quite satisfied and always have a certain level of hunger.
o Leptin, on the other hand, is considered your "fullness hormone" and is secreted from your fat cells in the adipose tissue. Your adipose tissue is your fat tissue.
o Leptin also communicates with your hypothalamus but in this case, sends a fullness signal.
o As with ghrelin, insulin resistance dulls this communication so that not only are you hungry because of the unbalanced ghrelin production and communication, but now the imbalance of leptin's production and communication will make it so you never feel satisfied.
o Dramatically lowering your carbohydrate consumption will heal your insulin resistance and thus get your ghrelin and leptin hormones functioning correctly. This reduces hunger and helps with sustainable weight loss.
· There are dozens of other hormones that can play a role in hunger. The more unregulated these are the less you will be satisfied.
· The bottom line with all of them, though, is that you must keep your insulin low. The best way to do this is to learn about carbohydrates and how you can lower them a bit in your eating plan, even if you don’t want to eat low carb.
13:50 We make the mistake of not understanding what the food itself does to our body and our hormones.
o This is because… who knew?
o I am not saying here that everyone’s weight problem is insulin resistance, not at all. And that is why this podcast talks about everything from mindset to habits, and also includes the tale about 100-calorie snack packs..
o It is important to start by pointing out the possibility of an overweight person having insulin resistance and to help you understand that a lot of your weight issues might come from the food itself.
15:30 The cost of making the mistakes
o The costliest mistake of not understanding the communication between your body and the food you are eating, is thinking it is YOU who is at fault.
o I am not saying we can’t do some work to clean up our feelings, thoughts and actions, and that is a lot of what Roadmap to Diet Success is about.
o However, the joke about “You can’t eat just one” is a truism for a reason. You really CAN’T eat just one, whether that is a chip or a cookie. The food itself drives that behavior, not any shortcoming or fault you think you have.
· The good news is that although this is all going on behind the scenes with how your body is digesting and using the food you eat, you can still override this with self-regulation using the Hunger Scale which you will hear about in in Episode 6, which is available for download now.
16:43. HERE IS YOUR ACTIONABLE COACHING ADVICE FOR THIS WEEK:
o In this week’s action item, I will get you started on the process that you need so that you will get on the road of easily learning how to recognize your hunger signals. This process is to become aware of how various foods, and quantities of foods, make you feel.
o Honestly, once you build the awareness that I am asking for, you will be free from diet prison because you will use your body’s signals to tell you when you are full – not measure cups, a kitchen scale or an App.
o This week I want you to pay attention – even just one day – to what you are eating. My goal with Roadmap to Diet Success is to have it be that ultimately you do no tracking. No need to track quantities but just take a moment to jot down what you eat in a day and then pay attention to what is going on in your body. You can mark down time and quantity if you want, but a skeleton list will be just as good. I want you to think about these questions – better yet, write your answers:
§ Do you want more immediately?
§ Do you start thinking about that food or other food soon after eating even though you are not hungry?
§ Are you sleepy after eating?
§ All of a sudden do you have cravings to eat a certain food?
§ Do you have an urge to eat – anything – just to eat?
§ Are you hungry for your next meal sooner than you normally would be?
o An example would be if you have toast, cereal and fruit for breakfast. Are you needing a mid-morning snack? Are you sleepy around 11AM? All of a sudden, are you craving a certain food for lunch even though yours is already planned and packed for the day?
o If you want to do a second day, have a breakfast without the carbohydrates which are the cereal, toast and fruit. Instead have eggs scrambled in butter, a couple of slices of bacon if you want, and half of an avocado or olives on the side. See if you have the same experience as you did the day before.
o This action step – especially if you compare and contrast the two days – is our starting point heading toward diet success.
o We will unpack this as Roadmap to Diet Success goes into further detail about the whys for urges, cravings, fatigue, hunger and the like. For now, just do this week’s action step.
o Awareness is the first step to making changes.
19:44. Special Offers
1. Do you want to learn how to make the next best choice without dieting? Be sure to get the bonus guide that I am offering with this episode, the Good-Better-Best Method. The link is available in the show notes, or you can go directly to miriamhatoum.com/GBB.
In this free guide I give you several suggestions as well as a worksheet so you can start to think about what choices you can make that will free you from the diet prison of weighing, measuring and tracking your food. Awareness is the first step in our journey, and that is where you start with this guide.
2. And, I want to ask you: How would it feel to hear your name featured on my podcast and shared with my community? When you leave a 5-star review, you’ll get the chance to be featured on air as our next listener of the week! Just scroll down in your Apple app, tap the 5 stars and leave a sentence or two letting me know how this show has impacted your life or how you expect it to. Your review helps others find the show, and I would be so grateful to receive these reviews, especially because I am just starting out. Positive reviews by my listeners are so important.
By the way!! If you’ve ever got a question you’d like to ask me or share a topic idea that you would like to have me cover on a future episode, don’t be a stranger! I hang out on Instagram @Roadmap to Diet Success, or you can contact me through my Facebook page, Breaking Free From Diet Prison, which I would love you to Like and Join. I always look forward to hearing from listeners like you. You can also email me at email@example.com.
21:51: Next episode coming up: Episode 4
Coming up in the next episode is all about your WHYs for doing this. It’s not enough to just list what you think are your reasons for wanting to lose weight or follow a specific food plan. Understanding how to construct and develop your WHYs is so important to set the stage for everything else you do from here on. It’s not willpower, it’s WHY power.
So go share this show with your friends, let them know what’s coming up in the next episode, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison with my Roadmap to Diet Success.
Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time.