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Now that you have eaten more than you need, your thrifty genes will turn these extra calories into fat and lock them in your fat cells. Thrifty genes make it easy for you to accumulate fat. Once the fat is stored, the same thrifty genes make it hard for you to use it up.
Your body has blood glucose for instant energy along with three types of reserve energy: glycogen stored in the liver and muscles to provide glucose, fat in fat tissues to provide fatty acids, and protein in muscles to provide amino acids.
In an emergency, blood glucose is used first as it gives an instant energy boost. Once the blood glucose level falls below 60mg/dl, the body turns to glycogen. Only when glycogen reserves are used up will the body dip into your fat reserves for more energy. This happens only after at least 12 hours of fasting overnight or after two hours of intense aerobic exercise like marathon. running.
Finally, when prolonged starvation depletes your fat reserves, your body will start using muscle protein to stay alive. By then, you will already be close to dying.
To stay lean and healthy, we have to overcome the instinctive responses of your thrifty genes. Take the following steps:
Lower your fructose intake. Be aware of your sweet cravings. Avoid foods that are excessively sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Avoid also excessive amounts of sweet fruits. Instead, eat fruits with a low glycemic index (GI), or opt for fruits that have a mild, sweet taste.
This will prevent leptin resistance;
Lower your glucose intake. Follow a low GI diet to lower your blood glucose and glycogen store. Keep just enough blood glucose for emergency use.
Maintaining these two steps will prevent insulin and leptin resistance and you will become more sensitive to fullness and satiety signals. In addition, you should:
Eat only when you feel hungry and stop when you feel just full;
Listen to your satiety signal and stop eating once you feel satisfied;
Eat nutrient-rich foods to avoid cravings due to nutritional deficiency.
This content is adapted, with permission, from Book 1 of 2 : The Wonders of Nutrition by Dr Ang Poon Liat. MBBS, M.MED (PAED), MRCP (UK PAED), FAMS, MD.