Strange as it sounds, Nature or the 4 seasons have a direct affect on the body’s metabolism. Autumn and Spring were periods of ‘feasting’ and Summer and Winter were periods of ‘fasting’. For millions of years Nature has seen to it that there is an abundance of Carbohydrates available in Autumn. Our bodies adapted to these periods of abundance with a cycle of rapid weight gain leading into winter. We were fattened up by nature so we could make it through winter, the period where nutritional resources were scarce due to extreme cold. This lead to natural weight loss and the body was returned to its lean state. Mother Nature then relied on spring to fatten us up again in readiness for the arid, relentless summer when it was too hot to go out and hunt for food.
What can we learn about our everyday eating habits today in comparison to that of a Hedgehog?
If we look to the Hedgehog for inspiration it spends the Autumn eating mostly overripe fruit with a high glycemic index, which leads to elevated insulin levels. The blood sugar is metabolized very rapidly, resulting in the rapid return of intense hunger. At the same time the high insulin level prevents fat breakdown and stimulates larger amount of fat to be synthesized. Once the hedgehog is heavy and fat, it falls asleep (hibernates) and its insulin levels drop significantly because it is asleep for a long time and it is able to spend the whole winter burning fat while totally inactive. Unfortunately, for us humans, there is no longer the ‘feast and famine’ cycles provided by nature’s four seasons. Carbohydrates are now available from January through to December and as a result we are much fatter and have elevated insulin levels throughout the whole year. But with the knowledge we now have, we don’t need to rely on Mother Nature to give us balance. We know that if we control the insulin levels during the day and keep them low, fat can be synthesized while we sleep at night. We do this by eating low glycemic load foods during the day which create the perfect metabolic conditions to lose weight while sleeping. This is the basis of the Metabolic Balance Eating Plan.
Low Glycemic Load Foods You Should Eat More of:
High Glycemic Load Foods You Should Eat Less of:
- Dried Fruit