2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Why We Get Fat: It’s Official

Don’t “Ho-ho-ho” me, Santa baby, with a “Because we eat too much.” While it’s true that overeating even a healthy diet will set you in the direction of being mistaken for the Michelin woman, it’s what you’re chowing down that really counts.

Researchers have apparently answered this key question: Why does everybody seem to regain weight they’ve managed to lose? Why is our reward for assiduous deprivation–the unadulterated joy of seeing a few pounds gone–brutally snatched from us as the scale drifts back up?

Working with a total of 772 European families that included 938 adults and 827 children, researchers in Denmark took the overweight adults and placed them on a supervised, calorie-restricted diet for eight weeks until they all lost an average of 24 pounds.

Then the families were divided into five groups, each of which was placed on a different unrestricted-calorie diet, with the goal of finding out which diet type kept the weight off best.

1. A low-protein diet with a high glycemic index (GI).
2. A low-protein, low-GI diet.
3. A high-protein, low-GI diet.
4. A high-protein, high-GI diet.
5. A control group that ate a generally healthy diet with no attention paid to GI.

Any guesses who kept the weight off?

Number three worked best. The high-protein, low-glycemic meal plan produced, among both parents and children, the lowest re-gain of weight (average was just one pound).

To make this work, you need to understand the glycemic index
The glycemic index, which applies to carbohydrate-containing foods, is a measure of the ability of the carbohydrates to increase blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI (vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, for example) cause blood sugar to rise more slowly after they’re eaten and absorbed.

High-GI foods, on the other hand, trigger undesirable changes in metabolism, most annoyingly fat storage and accumulation. But it’s not all about the Little Debbies and other sugary baked goods. White bread, white rice, and refined breakfast cereals are also high-GI foods.

For best results, think in terms of the glycemic Index each and every time you’re choosing carbs. Some are just fine. Virtually all fruits and veggies, except potatoes. Grains are good, but only whole grains–nothing refined or processed. White rice is a “no,” but brown rice is thumbs-up. Anything with sugar or that arch-villain high fructose corn syrup will send your sugar soaring and your fat straight to storage.

Turn to the Glycemic Index Foundation for more information, but honestly the sensible among you will quickly see that avoiding processed foods and focusing your carb selections on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the way to go. That and including plenty of protein-rich fish, lean meats, beans, and low-fat dairy products.

Our nutritionist Marla Feingold is a real master of the low-GI diet in a program called First Line Therapy. She is my resource when treating patients who are overweight, have high cholesterol or high blood pressure (or family histories with risk issues), or any chronic symptoms that appear to be related to food and metabolism.

I’m sorry to put all this on you at the holidays, but adding five pounds or more during these winter months isn’t difficult. Nutritionists estimate it’s not only possible but easy to take in 3,000 to 5,000 calories at a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Double that if you’re visiting two families for two dinners.

Just before Christmas, I’ll give you 15 tips on staying fit and trim over the holidays. Until then…

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.

DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • Do You Have Low Testosterone?

    For 80 (!) years physicians have prescribed testosterone to men without being certain if it actually had any effect…other than raising testosterone levels. The only FDA-approved indication for testosterone is hypogonadism, in which there’s an actual disorder of the male reproductive system that results in the body not producing enough testosterone. Causes of hypogonadism include testicular damage from mumps, a genetic condition called Klinefelter syndrome, Read More

  • WholeHealth Chicago IV Therapies: Metabolic Boost (Skinny Shots)

    It’s really a bummer to add weight gain to the stressors you’ve been experiencing in this difficult year of Covid-19, police brutality, and economic crashes. You’re the victim of a perfect storm: inactivity, anxiety, disrupted sleep, and eating too many of the wrong calories. I know comfort foods are comforting, but did you really need to bake another batch of snickerdoodles? The result of all Read More

  • I Feel So Inflamed!

    Previously, I wrote about mold-related illness, yet another commonly overlooked diagnosis. It’s surprising how regularly mold issues fly under the radar of conventional physicians. When you consider how often homes and workplaces have a leaky roof, unless something smells moldy or we discover creeping black stains somewhere we often don’t think of mold. Moreover, because just 25% of us are genetically susceptible to mold allergies Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!