Weight Loss

Solving The Obesity Crisis

As Dr George Bray, who has been researching obesity since 1950s, says “Obesity isn’t rocket science, it’s much more complicated!” 

Take a human from 50,000 years ago and one from the 1950s and they won’t look much different. Until then we were generally emaciated looking creatures running around this planet. In the last 70 years our bodies have dramatically changed beyond recognition; this has never happened to humans on this scale before.

We are quick to assume that being overweight is because we eat too much and not don’t do enough exercise, but that is a huge indictment on modern day human beings who in the last 60 years have created the internet, mobile phones, aeroplanes and life-saving medicines and to name a few. This suggests that we haven’t all been lazying around eating cake – something else is going on here. We’ve spent 50 years trying to tackle obesity by encouraging people to eat less and move more. It hasn’t worked.


So What Is The Solution?

It lies in the control of insulin. When we eat carbohydrates our blood glucose levels rise and our pancreas instructed to produce insulin to shuttle the glucose out of the blood, as too much blood glucose is toxic. If we keep eating carbohydrates and stimulating this insulin response then eventually we can become ‘insulin resistant’ which means that this function of insulin does to work anymore and blood glucose continues to rise. The good news is that insulin resistance can be reversed by simply eating a low carbohydrate diet. Simple but not so easy in this Western world of carb rich diets. 

Also, important to note that insulin production has another function and that is to switch off fat burning; insulin stops the body mobilising fat cells into ketones to be used for energy. Which means that as long as you are eating carbohydrates, your body will not be able to burn fat as it will always chose glucose over ketones.

The way that I work with my ‘weight loss’ clients is not to focus on cutting calories, but to focus on eating the right foods. Weight gain is just a side-effect of an underlying issue which is poor metabolic health. Get the body to start burning ketones for fuel, instead of glucose, and watch the cravings die down, energy levels go up and as a natural side effect body fat reduces.


Measuring Results With Tanita Scales

In my clinic I have some Tanita scales. I am not a fan of people weighing themselves on normal scales as I think total body is not a very good measure of overall health. 

The Tanita scales health assessment measures your subcutaneous and visceral fat, bone & muscle mass, your metabolic health by rate and age. Using this data helps me to formulate a personalised plan for improving & optimising your health long-term.


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Antibiotics and intensive farming

In the 1950s we introduced antibiotics to livestock and also began intensive farming with the use of pesticides, insecticides and fertilisers. With the advent of the fridge and freezer and women going to work, the food industry was under pressure to create food with a shelf-live so they dried it, added salt and sugar, and put it on our supermarket shelves, which are unrecognisable from our local grocery store 70 years ago. At the same time the obesity epidemic began, starting in America and sweeping through Europe and into Asia.

Antibiotics not only stops infection from spreading through livestock, it also fattens animals up quicker, an added bonus for our intensive animal farmers. If antibiotics make animals fatten up quickly, then why not humans too and this may be one, amongst many, of the reasons for the obesity epidemic. Scientists proved this in 1953 with a trial of antibiotics on US Navy recruits to try and reduce spread of infections. They incidentally discovered that the recruits also gained weight and they saw this by-product as a good thing in terms of nutritional value that the antibiotics may offer, rather than an alarming indicator of things to come.

How can I become a fat burning animal?

Though it sounds simple it is actually quite challenging to achieve and that is why it is best to work with a professional to help you get there. Once fat adapted you can add back in healthy carbohydrates, but this is very individual, and Andrea helps guide you through the process of cyclical carbohydrate feasting.

Toxins and the liver

Antibiotics together with our chemical laden, carbohydrate rich, processed foods has resulted in a build-up of toxins in our body. Our liver is responsible for eliminating toxins from our body, but if the liver becomes overloaded and cannot process all the toxins sent its way, it puts them into our fat cells for safe storage, away from our vital organs. At this point it is important to note that pesticides are not water soluble otherwise they would be washed away in water, instead they are fat soluble so when ingested they come to rest in our fat cells. But here’s the thing, the liver will not burn a toxic fat cell, because if it does it will release the toxins back into the body. In fact, the liver will choose to burn muscle and bone for energy, before it will burn a toxic fat cell. So, no matter how much exercise you do, until you detoxify your body, the fat in your fat cells will not be used for energy and you will not lose your body fat.