Life is not fair. Some people can get away with eating anything they want without gaining an ounce while the rest of us just look at a pint of ice cream, and begin to expand ’round the middle. All bodies are not created equal, and anyone who tells you otherwise belongs to that lucky first group of people. They don’t understand, because they live a different reality. It’s not their fault. But here’s the good news. It’s also not your fault.
What is the difference between the lucky svelte people and the unlucky doughy people? There may be many factors, of course, but the one that stands head and shoulders above all the others can essentially be boiled down to carbohydrate sensitivity. How your body processes sugars and starches is what determines whether you build fat easily or burn fat easily. Carbohydrate-sensitive people have exaggerated responses to sugars and starches that set the stage for increased appetite, carbohydrate cravings, and very efficient fat storage.
The role of insulin
These reactions are orchestrated by insulin. When you eat carbohydrates, especially refined/high glycemic index carbohydrates, such as sugar, flour, fruit juice, or white potatoes, your blood sugar begins to rise. Then insulin rushes into your bloodstream to bring it back down again. How does it bring it down? Where does all that extra sugar go? First it sends it off to any cells that might need it. Then, insulin tells your body to stop burning fat, and start burning sugar. So, even if you have plenty of extra body fat that you could be burning for energy, sweets and starches get first priority and they will be burned instead. There is no question that blood sugar spikes leading to insulin spikes are the pathway to obesity. It is impossible to burn body fat if your insulin levels are running too high.
Considering the long-term
Carbohydrate sensitivity tends to worsen over the years, as the body’s system for handling sweets and starches gradually wears out. Type 2 diabetes is essentially the final stage of this process—it is your body’s way of telling you that it simply cannot process carbohydrate anymore. If you already have diabetes, the fat lady has sung. But never fear. There are simple things you can do to stop and even reverse this downward spiral of metabolic madness.
First of all, it would be helpful to know whether or not you are on this path already—how do you know if you are at risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and all of the other chronic health problems that come along with carbohydrate sensitivity?
Take the quiz to see where you are on the spectrum of carbohydrate sensitivity, and then follow the links for advice about how you can change your diet to change the course of your future.