Friday, January 24, 2014

Harder the Second Time Around?

We all get older every day.  Sadly, with aging, all systems deteriorate.  Some slower, some faster, but all get a little older and a little less functional every day.  If you achieve success on a low-carb diet and find yourself 70 pounds lighter, you’ll also find your self five or six months older.  If you regain that lost weight, then decide to start another low-carb diet to re-lose it, you will probably be a couple of years older than you were when you tried your first low-carb diet.  Just as it’s a little more difficult to pick up tennis at age 46 than it is at age 44, it’s a little more difficult to get everything moving with a low-carb diet when you’re a couple of years older.
Built-in survival mechanisms
Although most dietary recommendations are fairly simplistic, our bodies are unimaginably complex.  Not only do we have a complicated metabolism centered around and directed by the liver, we have multiple neurological and endocrinological feedback pathways between the liver-directed metabolic system and the central nervous system.  And we have gut hormones that get into the act sending signals of fullness or lack thereof.  It is an intricate system designed to allow us to survive on all kinds of food and to keep us alive as long as possible in the face of famine.  I like to think of this entire interconnected system as having its own memory.  It will allow you to fool it once or maybe twice, but then it gets wise.
I feel lucky when I read this.  It took me from 1996 until 2007 or so to figure this game out in a way that satisfied me.  In all that time, I must have nuked my body with huge sugar bombs at LEAST weekly, probably much more often than that. But right now, I can more or less effortlessly keep my body fat in the healthy range by eating the foods I like, and the foods I used to think I couldn't live without, I just don't like them as much.  
The takeaway?  There's probably a limit.  There's no bad time to stop nuking yourself with carbs, but there may be a limit for being able to regenerate and be as lean and well as you could have been had you stopped poisoning yourself with sugar ten years ago.

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