Our Paleolithic Ancestors Didn’t Have Weight Problems
The Ice Age peoples who hunted and gathered food, like people today who buy their food in supermarkets, experienced elevations in their blood acid levels. Then, as now, enzymes converted the acid overload into fat molecules (fatty acids). But the conversion of acid into fat didn’t cause obesity until people stopped eating the foods that nature provided and began growing their own. In hunting and foraging cultures, the rise in blood acid levels was triggered by fear and anxiety not by the wrong foods. Blood hyperacidity was advantageous to survival because it accelerated energy production.
Enlarged Fat Cells Cause Health Problems
Long thought to be nothing more than storage units for fatty acids, fat cells have been found recently by medical researchers to be extremely complex, acting in concert like independent life forms.² They try to heal the “injuries” they perceive the body has sustained but take actions that have the opposite effect.
This happens because as fat cells multiply and become enlarged, their judgment becomes skewed, causing them to view their own multiplication and swelling as a response to a life-threatening injury. One of the “therapeutic” chemicals the fat cells trigger causes an increase of blood flow to the site where the fat cells perceive an injury to be located. The immune cells, taking their cue from the fat cells, also respond as though the body had sustained an injury, by inducing the production of macrophages, which augment the inflammatory condition caused by the fat cells. Because in reality there are no injuries, the inflammation induced by the fat cells and macrophage cells doesn’t go away. It becomes chronic. As long as the fat cells are too numerous and inflated out of proportion, the tissues remain inflamed and begin breaking down.
Eating Metabolically Controls Hunger and Takes Off Weight
Using gimmicks to take off pounds, such as keeping a diary of everything you eat, weighing your food, counting calories or points, joining a support group, or writing about the foods you long for to get them out of your system” seldom works for long. Food cravings reassert themselves, sometimes even more insistently because they’ve been suppressed. Reducing calories by eating less food doesn’t work either because when weight is lost, the genes interpret this to be a sign of starvation. So they alert glands in the stomach to secrete the hormone ghrelin, which increases hunger, causing the dieter to eat greater quantities of food than he or she did before going on a diet. That’s why yo-yo dieting is so prevalent.
Night Binging: The Greatest Deterrent to Losing Weight
Most people are overweight because they experience such ravenous hunger that even the most disciplined are unable to resist eating. They crave food for the same reason that alcoholics crave whiskey or wine they feel restless and tense. These symptoms occur most often at night. Many people with appetite problems can’t get to sleep unless they binge before going to bed. Some people wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep unless they raid the refrigerator first. Only mounds of junk food satisfy the appetite when hunger is so powerful that it’s impossible not to give in to it.