Eating carbohydrates makes you store fat in your belly. Eating protein makes you store muscle. Most people with good metabolism know this. But a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that when you overeat on a low-protein diet, you store bad fat around your organs including the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. But if you eat a diet high in protein, it adds muscle and increases your resting metabolism and muscle mass. Since muscle burns seven times more calories than fat, that’s a good thing.
In the study, researchers admitted 25 volunteers to a hospital for 12 weeks. They controlled everything they ate and did. But they made everyone eat in excess of about 1,000 calories a day. The only difference was where the calories came from: protein or carbohydrates.
The low-protein group (5% protein) lost 1.5 pounds of muscle, and gained 7.5 pounds of fat. The high-protein group (25% protein) gained 6.3 pounds of metabolically active muscle. They also gained fat because they were being fed heavily. But even though they gained more total weight, they were less fat than the low-protein group.
This has important implications for our thinking about calories.
In a world where for the first time in history more people are overweight (2.1 billion) than underweight, this has important implications. And the world is getting bigger – in the next 30 years, the prevalence of obesity will double.
Here is the take home. Carbohydrates quickly absorbed from most of the US and increasingly global diet – sugar, high fructose corn syrup and white flour – become very effectively fat in the belly. And that leads to obesity, diabetes, or what I call Diabesidad
Another recent study found that free fructose in high fructose corn syrup (not in fruit) led to dramatic increases in belly fat, inflammation, blood pressure, blood sugar and even pre-diabetes in adolescents .
Carbohydrates and protein triggers produce very different chemical messages in the body, regardless of calories. Carbohydrates establish the fat, while the protein establishes the muscle.
This protein study adds to a whole series of research that shows that protein-rich diets (25%) do all kinds of things that fight obesity to your body and brain:
–Proteins make you feel fuller than an equivalent amount of carbohydrate calories.
This leads to greater weight loss in humans than “free life” compared to those who were fed extra calories.
–Prevents weight gain after losing weight.
–It speeds up your metabolism and strengthens your muscle so it burns more calories throughout the day and even while you sleep.
Reducing belly fat and producing muscle is quite simple. And it’s not just about the calories you consume. This is where those calories come from.
TIPS TO SPEED UP YOUR METABOLISM AND ELIMINATE BELLY FAT
1.Skip the sugar – in all its forms. Calories especially liquid from any source (soda, juice, alcohol), all of which store belly fat. Keep high fructose corn syrup out of a diet.
2.Eliminates flour – Wheat flour, above all, is like sugar. Did you know that 2 slices of whole wheat bread increase your blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of table sugar?
3.Start the day with non-starchy protein or sugar. Try whole eggs with omega-3, a protein shake, nut butter! Skip the bagels, muffins and donuts.
4.Eat protein with each meal – Try nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pecans, seeds such as squash, chia, beans, chicken or fish.
Somehow we are still deceived by the idea that all calories are the same. They are not. Hopefully, soon the practice of nutrition and medicine, and our government nutrition advice will catch up with science. Then maybe we can stop in the tsunami of obesity, diabetes and chronic diseases.