Many are jumping from diet to diet in pursuit of a thin and healthy body. Over the past eight years, GI (low-glycemic) and then LCHF, have been the most popular methods in Sweden. However, during the past few weeks intermittent fasting in the form of 5:2 (eat just 5-600 calories two days a week) has become hysterically popular.
The reason is likely that all three methods work. Furthermore, they work in a similar way.
The figure above is from a recent and worth-reading post by science writer Ann Fernholm:
You’ll Become Less Sweet with the 5:2 Diet (Google translated from Swedish).
Lifestyle for Weight Regulation and Health
The figure above shows how all versions of a low-carb diet (for example a low glycemic load diet, LCHF, Atkins or Paleo) will lower blood sugar and the fat storing hormone insulin. And so does intermittent fasting, such as 5:2 or 16:8. And so do exercise and adequate amounts of sleep and relaxation (by hormonal influence).
In other words, a low-carb diet, intermittent fasting, good sleep and exercise create a synergistic effect – for optimal weight and good health.
However, diet is by far the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to weight.
What about the opposite of this? A lifestyle that creates the worst conditions for maintaining a good weight and health?
This means living a lifestyle that most people in our modern society live today:
Lifestyle for Obesity and Disease
The figure above is also from Fernholm’s blog post, but I modified (improved) it a little.
What’s the best way to become fat and sick? There are four pieces of this puzzle.
- Eat a diet full of bad carbs and sugar (this includes all wheat flour foods – such as bread and pasta – which turns into glucose already in the stomach). Looking for low-fat products may facilitate weight gain (fat storing) as they often contain extra sugar/starch
- Make sure to eat at least every three hours (a sick piece of advice)
- Keep a continuously high stress level and sleep too little
- Don’t exercise
Follow the advice in the green figure to become thinner and healthier. Or choose the red ones for the opposite effect.
Which one of the green puzzle pieces is hardest for you to do?