This is Not Healthy

Like a lot of people, I resolved to change my eating habits in 2011.

Unlike a lot of people, my goal is something other than losing weight.

In the summer of 2005, I altered my meal plan to include (for the first time as an adult) leafy greens and regular helpings of other plants — green beans, corn, peas, etc. Coupling this shift with running 20-25 miles per week resulted in shedding thirty pounds.

Then I left Kansas City and my diet, once a nice balance of meat, fruits and veggies, slowly degenerated into something closer to what the typical American eats: high fructose corn syrup slathered fried in saturated fat.

My body composition changed.

My brother snapped this “before” picture January 16th, three days after he, my sister-in-law and I began following the Paleo diet.

Most would say I look pretty good.

Some might say I look too thin.

A few haven’t read this text because they’re still staring at me in my underwear.

Without a trained eye or somewhat sophisticated knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, you’re unable to tell what is going on. Having studied and taught others about the body, I know different.

I know the truth.

Processed Sugar Addiction
The dirty little secret about simple sugars, like the fructose in soda, is the chemical effect they have on the brain. The compounds affect neurotransmitters in a pattern similar to cocaine and morphine, leading to “seeking behavior” much like that of the worst crackhead.

Case in point: I frequently arrived home from work and began “binge snacking” for up to a half hour on anything sweet I could find.



Cookies covered in candy.

All this after the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I ate for lunch and high-carb cereals I’d had for breakfast, which invariably lead to…

Hormonal Chaos
The nature of sugar, particularly when refined into a more potent form, is that it causes blood insulin levels to skyrocket. This a built-in reaction to glycemic load, the amount of glucose (energy-rich carbohydrate) dumped into the body after a meal.

Our hormones, designed to work in a delicate symphony, compensate for the sudden spike in a manner not unlike twenty hyperactive five-year-olds: disorganized, at best. The resulting stress reaction creates many, many interconnected negative outcomes. What is most evident to us is the body absorbing sugar in an unintended manner, causing…

Increased Visceral Body Fat
See the slight potbelly?

Go ahead, look again. It’s subtle.

This is indicative of increased lipid storage. In men, it often shows up first around the navel, then spreads into the “love handles” before accumulating in the hips and thighs.

What’s unseen is excess fat around the viscera, the organs of the abdomen. Though some is necessary to cushion and protect the various vital parts within, this is where Dolly Madison and Little Debbie first take up residence — long before being deposited subcutaneously (just below the skin) and producing changes we notice in the mirror and at the beltline.

When this occurs, the chances somebody will develop high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and a host of other ailments dramatically increases — everything from the common cold to a severe heart attack.

Bet you didn’t see that.

The bottom line?

Appearances can be deceiving.

This is not healthy.


1 Response to “This is Not Healthy”

  1. 1 This is Healthier « MeBuilding Trackback on February 21, 2011 at 5:46 am
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