If you’re dieting and exercising
in order to create a calorie deficit, but aren’t seeing the weight loss results that
you want, this video is for you. Hey there, carb dodgers. I’m Dr. Dan Maggs. I’m so glad
you’ve landed on my channel. I make videos every week about how to achieve
long-term, sustainable weight loss through low carb, real food nutrition. New videos
are out every Tuesday. Be sure to subscribe to my channel, and hit the bell to get notified
whenever I release a new video. We’ve been told that losing weight is pretty
easy. All you have to do is burn more calories than you’re consuming. Sounds easy, right?
And sure enough it works, at first. The problem is, for the vast majority of people who try
this method of losing weight, is that they gain it all back again in just a few months.
Now, I made this mistake many times throughout my 20s, and by the time I arrived in my early
30s, I was officially a beast, but what I’m about to teach you in this video, the mindset
shift that this video is all about, is what finally helped me to achieve long-term, sustainable
weight loss. In fact, I lost 50 pounds in just over six months back in 2016, and I’ve
kept it off ever since. I want to start by talking about this idea
of energy balance. It’s this idea that we are somehow in balance in terms of the calories
we consume, and the calories that we burn. Somebody who’s maintaining a normal weight
would be consuming pretty much exactly the right amount of calories for the amount of
exercise they’re doing, and someone who’s gaining weight is consuming more calories
than they’re burning. It seems pretty reasonable on the face of
it, and it’s a nice, simple message that leads us nicely onto a conclusion about how we should
go about losing weight, just simply burn more calories than you’re consuming, or put another
way, eat less, move more. For so many of us, this method has failed
to produce long-term consistent results with weight loss, and the reason this fails time
after time is no mystery to scientists. Here’s the problem; when you start to calorie restrict
your body, your body doesn’t know that you’re on a diet. It doesn’t know that you’re trying
to lose weight. It may as well be thinking that you’ve been stranded on a desert island.
The good news is that being stranded on a desert island, well, you’ve got ways of dealing
with that. You see, your ancestors were all survivors. You are the end result of a long,
completely unbroken chain of survivors. Looking at this from the other way, it’s bad news,
because you are genetically hard wired to resist weight loss, to resist exactly what
you’re trying to do, which is lose weight via calorie restricting.
Yes, you’ll lose weight for a few weeks, you’ll lose fat, and you’ll unfortunately also lose
valuable lean muscle mass. Your body begins to fight back. You’ll conserve energy, you
might start to feel cold. Your metabolic rate will drop. You become more lethargic. It’s
actually going to get physically harder for you to go to the gym. Your rate of fat burning
is going to reduce, because you’re going to need to conserve it in order to survive.
The scales, which were previously nicely moving on a day-to-day basis, are going to start
to slow down, and they may even stop. It’s not unheard of for people who are doing exactly
the same amount of exercise, and eating exactly the same amount of stuff, to actually start
gaining weight, and that’s because your whole body is conserving energy, and you’ll start
to become more hungry. Your brain tells you, and it’s a survival
mechanism, that your brain tells you to completely focus all your energy on finding food. You’re
going to become preoccupied with food, eventually. It’s all people start to think about. It’ll
be your main focus from your every waking moment, and that’s just your survival instincts
kicking in. For many people, this is where the diet ends.
It may be one month down the line, it may be six months down the line, but usually once
you’ve come off your diet, you’re going to start that process of gaining weight back
again, and most people, they gain more weight than they ever lost.
You blame yourself for failing at your diet again. You say you didn’t have enough willpower
to push through. After all, losing weight’s easy, you just have to maintain a calorie
deficit over a prolonged period of time, but you resolve that you will do better next time,
that you’ll have more willpower, so you start your diet again next time, but exactly the
same thing is going to happen again next time. Unfortunately, the cycle will just continue.
Now you know differently. You know that by simply restricting calories either by dieting,
or by exercise, or by doing both, you’re going to be just activating these ancestral, hard
wired survival mechanisms, and back again in a few months’ time, you’ll be back in the
same position. Unfortunately, this whole idea of calories
in, calories out is an oversimplification. Albert Einstein said about, “Everything should
be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Thinking about weight loss, and weight gain,
and energy balance, purely in terms of calories in and calories out, is an oversimplification
of a more complicated problem, but there is another way of thinking about human weight
gain and weight loss that is more in tune with how our bodies actually work.
We need to talk about hormones. Simply put, hormones are part of the messaging system
of how our body communicates with itself. They are chemicals that are sent as a message
from one place in the body to another. You’ve no doubt come across a number of different
hormones. For example, the thyroid hormone produced in the neck works all over our body,
and really controls the speed of our metabolism. Testosterone and estrogen, the sex hormones,
melatonin, the hormone that helps us get to sleep every night, and of course insulin,
the hormone that’s produced in the pancreas that helps control our blood glucose levels,
and it’s insulin that I want to focus on today. Let’s start by thinking about this. What happens
when we give people insulin, which we do as doctors all the time? We give it to diabetic
patients. Ask any doctor what the main side effect of putting someone on insulin is. It’s
weight gain. Ask any patient who’s ever been put on insulin what the main side effect they
experienced is, and I’m pretty sure most of them will tell you, “Weight gain.” If I started
you on insulin, I’m pretty sure you would gain weight.
So why is that? Well, insulin is the hormone that tells our body to store glucose from
the blood as fat. We can think about insulin as a storage hormone. Let’s think about the
opposite of actually giving someone insulin. Let’s think about what happens when we take
insulin away. That sounds a bit crazy, but it’s what happens in Type 1 Diabetes. You
get a sudden catastrophic failure of the pancreas to produce insulin, and that causes crazy,
catastrophic symptoms for the body. Blood glucose goes sky high, you start to
get really, really thirsty all of a sudden. You start to need to pee more all of a sudden,
and you can slip into a coma. It’s a really, really bad situation. One of the other things
is weight loss. Just look at this historical photograph of this young girl who’s just been
diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She hasn’t yet been started on insulin treatment.
Fast forward four months later. The image on the right is her four months after treatment
with insulin, which back at the time when this picture was taken, was a new treatment.
I think this picture really clearly shows the effect of a lack of insulin, on the left,
weight loss, as well as what happens when we give insulin to the body, weight gain.
There are many examples that make this point. You can have tumors of the pancreas, which
secrete excessive amounts of insulin, and that causes people to gain weight. Basically,
any drug that we give which stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin causes weight
gain, and if a Type 1 diabetic who can’t produce insulin themselves under-doses themselves
with insulin, so they’re getting low levels of insulin for their needs, they’ll lose weight.
Understanding that insulin is at the heart of weight gain in our bodies is absolutely
critical to understanding how we can actually lose weight for the long-term. See, high insulin
levels promote weight gain, and low insulin levels allow our bodies to access our own
fat, which is a huge energy source for our body.
Knowing what you’ve just learned, I’d like you to just ask yourself, “Where do calories
come into this?” In summary, the key point I want you to take away from this is that
managing our insulin levels is far more important when we’re thinking about weight loss than
managing our calorie levels. While calorie restricting may be effective in the short-term,
it rarely produces long-term results. Understanding this and switching focus from
cutting calories to cutting insulin levels, was the key difference that helped me to make
the shift from yo-yo dieting throughout my 20s, to actually losing a significant amount
of weight, and keeping it off for the longer term back in 2016. I’m confident that understanding
this is going to help you too. In next week’s video, I’m going to share with
you the five key things that I suggest to keep insulin levels low, which will naturally
help you lose weight in a sustainable manner for the long-term, and keep the weight off.
If you’re watching this in the future, and I’ve already released that video, then it’s
going to be shared up here. I’m going to put a link to it down below, and there’s going
to be a link to it at the end of the video as well.
Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button down below. Hit the bell if you want to get
notified when I release new videos, and hopefully I’ll see you next week.