The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Insulin Resistant Hotties!!

Is this seriously the outcome of eating too much and sitting on your ass all day? I mean if all you had to do was eat a little less and walk around a bit more don't you think it would be alot easier to lose weight?? You hear it all the time in the media, " choose the low-fat option" or " 30 min of moderate exercise could burn up to -insert bullshit number here- calories, that's 1 pound of fat loss a week!" Blame it on the fat and laziness all you want but it's just not the case. If fat was making us fat and was the major player in disease how do you explain the traditional Inuit diet consisting of 70% fat with no obesity, diabetes, heart disease or any other diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome?

If energy in/energy out was all that mattered then why would someone like Robb Wolf suggest that without a proper diet you will not see changes in body composition from exercise. You will get fitter, but you will not see any change in body composition. He's not just throwing this out there either, he sees it in clients all the time.

Obesity is caused by excessive fat accumulation, agreed? What must be present to promote fat accumulation? Insulin! Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that lowers blood sugar and promotes fat accumulation in the adipose tissue. Without insulin you will not store fat long term! Carbohydrates are the main culprit in the secretion of insulin. Interesting how the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic can be traced back to the increase in sugar consumption?

The problem with eating a diet high in carbohydrates (especially refined) is the impact it has on insulin levels, and the impact insulin has on the mobilization/accumulation of fatty acids in and out of the adipose tissue as fuel. When insulin levels are elevated-either chronically or after a meal-we accumulate fat in our fat tissue. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from our fat tissue and use it as fuel.

The real trouble comes when trying to lose weight with insulin levels that are chronically elevated, a condition called hyperinsulinemia. Chronic hyperinsulinemia (elevated insulin in between meals, not just from a meal rich in carbs) causes the body to believe it has been fed. We believe we have just been fed glucose with the presence of insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin constantly primes the cells to burn glucose, and only glucose will satisfy that demand. Because of this "primed" state our cells are in for glucose as fuel, it is glucose we crave. In this state even if we eat protein or fat the hyperinsulinemia will work to store those nutrients as fat, and won't let them out. So have fun burning fat when you don't have access to it.

We eat because we are obese, we aren't obese because we eat. Whether insulin levels are chronically elevated or elevated from a meal high in carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cookies, cereal), promoting accumulation of fat is blocking an available metabolic fuel by storing it instead of using it. In between meals cells should predominantly run off fatty acids but high levels of insulin won't allow this. Blocking of this metabolic fuel from the cells causes us to expend less energy (sedentary behaviour) and increases our appetite to compensate. This is also a critical factor in women who have fertility issues. It's not the obesity causing it, its the lack of metabolic fuels to not only support cells in her body but in reproduction. The first thing they put her on? Glucophage, an insulin regulator.

The solution to all of this would seem to be a diet that regulates insulin in itself (low-carb). Problem is the public health recommendations are the total opposite. Most nutritionists recommend a diet that includes 120 to 130 grams of carbohydrates at minimum, because this is the amount of glucose the brain and central nervous system use to operate. The truth is the brain does not require this. Without carbohydrates in the diet the brain and central nervous system will run on ketone bodies; converted from dietary fat and from fatty acids released from the fat tissue; on glycerol, from the breakdown of triglycerides into free fatty acids; and on glucose, converted from protein in the diet. If carbohydrates were essential for life our existence would have been over along time ago.


Sean B-H said...

Damn good post Ben. probably best one yet.

Although, lets not forget about good carbs such as vege's and fruit. Avoiding ofcourse, high starch potatoes, beans etc.

I am looking forward to Robb's nutrition seminar. I think I will begin my major reading after his cert. It will give me a good knowledge base to tackle some of those more complicated articles and regurgitate them in a way people can understand.

Ben Wheeler said...

Fruits and veggies are great! It is more the refined carbs, especially in the massive portions people consume them that is the problem. I'm going to do a post of PWO nutrition in the near future to talk about when to use starchy foods to your advantage. When you get the chance to start digging in to some of this stuff ive got alot of stuff you can read, starting with Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Dani Aldred said...

Nasty Girls, Right? See, they understand CrossFit!

Excellent post Ben. Sean and I just got some reading material for the cert. Essential and Metabolic Fatty Acids Analysis and Course Materials. I may do a post on some of this information in the near future. You can read them if you like. I also signed up for the CF Endurance Cert in Oakville the weekend of May 30th if anyone would like to join me. If not I'll bring back some good knowledge to the garage.

Ben Wheeler said...

Thanks Dani!

Sean already knows how pyschotic I am about this stuff so he already sent me the reading material for the cert!! lol It looks like some really awesome stuff and I'm likely to dig into the fatty acid material (as ive already read Robbs PM stuff) in the next few days. I'd love to go to the Endurance cert in Oakville, it will all depend on cash flow!You two need to get your butts into the garage asap!

Dani Aldred said...

Right on. I want to do a WOD today ... I know it is a rest day but I am doing 4 days a week for the next couple of weeks to get back into the groove so I want to do one today and take tomorrow off. I'll be by around 5 or 6 tonight.

Merritt said...

Great post Ben, love it. I'm looking forward to learning more and more from you as well as Sean and Dani when they get back from their trip. Keep up the good work!

P.S. That pic is amazing. I mean, really, why am I busting my ass to be fit when I could do nothing and look that hot in a bikini this summer? hmm...