Weight loss basics - for psoriasis.
Diet is 80% of weight loss. Exercise is also useful. But it's not about how many calories you eat, it's about having correct calorie signaling in your metabolism. Here are the top things that screw up calorie and hunger signaling, and lead to fat storage. Limit these for weight loss:
- Fructose/sugar - Fructose goes straight to the liver, does not suppress the stomach hunger signal (ghrelin), blocks the calorie fullness signal (leptin), and is readily converted to liver and body fat. You stay hungry while you overload with calories that get stored as fat. This can lead to fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and other related diseases.
- Alcohol - Alcohol absorbs into the blood, does not suppress the stomach hunger signal (ghrelin) and neurotoxic effects can lead to extra eating. Like fructose, alcohol has lots of calories that don't make you feel full. Some gets stored as liver and body fat.
- Glucose - Glucose/sugars/starches raise blood sugar, which raises the blood sugar signal (insulin), insulin stores some blood sugar as body fat.
- Body Fat - Adipose tissue, aka body fat, sends out hunger signaling (resistin). Having extra body fat makes you feel extra hungry, which leads to extra calorie intake and fat storage.
Just limiting fructose/sugars—and moderating alcohol and glucose—will make a huge difference. Minimal exercise, walking a few times a day, will help. Metabolic training will help more.
For advanced metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity, weight loss and inflammation can be a bit more complicated and difficult.
Table sugar is half fructose, half glucose. High fructose corn syrup is usually around 70% fructose. Malts and starches are pure glucose, like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta.
Alcohol is actually a macronutrient, which means it's a direct source of dietary calories, like fats, proteins, and carbs. Its calories per gram is in between that of fats and carbs. Alcoholic drinks also often also have carbs like sugar or malt.
Sugar-alcohols need a mention here as well. They are a macronutrient as well. Most process similar to glucose, except that they are hard to break down and can make it to the large intestines or all the way through without getting broken down and metabolized. They are often considered to be like low-glycemic carbs.
Adipose tissue irritates psoriasis. Adipose tissue is not just an energy storage area, it is an endocrine organ that secrete hormones and sending inflammatory and hunger signaling. Having excess adipose system is a disease symptom of metabolic syndrome that interferes with metabolism, and perpetuates metabolic syndrome.
So what do you eat to get correct hunger signaling and a properly working metabolism that does not lead to disease? Soluble fibre, fats, and protein. Foods that make you feel full for a long time when you eat too much. These are the weight loss foods. Here is the basics of how they work:
- Soluble fibre - Has no net calories, it creates fullness in the stomach, it absorbs water and moves slowly as a gel in the intestines where it is converted into short chain fatty acid calories that feed gut flora and intestinal cells, it slows digestion of all the other types of calories which is a stabilizing anti-inflammatory effect.
- Fats - There are lots of fats that metabolize differently, but in general, fats are the major building block of cell membranes, they are the most stable source of energy, and they cause no problems in metabolic signaling so your body knows how many calories it's dealing with.
- Protein - A small amount of protein is needed for repairing tissues and other functions, the rest is converted slowly to glucose over several hours, they act like a super-low-glycemic carb. Minor insulin increases are the only metabolic signaling change with proteins.
Soluble fibre is technically a zero calorie carb, but is not usually listed as a nutrient. I think that's a huge mistake. It's should be listed as a vital macronutrient like fats. It is very important in providing calories to the digestive/immune system. It's the most healthy thing to consume large quantities of in the diet, and it has positive effect combined in meals with all other macronutrients.
Resistant starches deserve a mention here as well for making it to the large intestines undigested, and feeding the digestive/immune system.
Fats, like water, are critical to basic cell survival. Fats make up cell membranes and allow nutrients to exchange. On a macronutrient level, they are the best and most stable source of calories. Over-consuming fats makes you feel full for a long time. Most dietary calories should come from fats. Omega-6 fats are also used in inflammatory immune signaling, are typically over-consumed, so they should be minimized. Omega-3 fats are also used in anti-inflammatory immune signaling, are typically deficient, and should be supplemented. High omega-6 levels, especially heat damaged and altered omega-6, can block omega-3 signaling and cause inflammation. Omega-7, omega-9, and most saturated fats are only used in the typical way, for cell membranes and energy.
Protein is an essential nutrient that is instrumental in tissue building and repair, especially muscle. Proteins are involved in some way in most critical body functions. It is debated how much is essential, how much provides maximum benefit, and how much starts becoming unhealthy. There is a limit to how much protein your liver and kidneys can process in a day, and beyond that levels of amino acids, ammonia, urea can start becoming toxic. 10%-35% of calories from protein is a general guideline, with the optimal amount being towards the lower end. It is the second least harmful source of calories, behind fat.
Weight gain and inflammatory combinations to be aware of.
- Fructose & Alcohol - fructose and alcohol can both store as fat vacuoles in the liver. Either of these in excess, especially both in excess, can lead to fatty liver disease, inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and several related serious diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
- Alcohol & Fat - excess alcohol can cause dietary fat to get stored as body fat, which is not typical. Low fat diet with metabolic exercise is beneficial on days with excess alcohol consumption.
- Glucose & Caffeine - caffeine speeds up your blood sugar activity, spikes, and related irritation. This combo could be useful for recovery from exhaustive exercise -- but not at any other time.
- Glucose & Milk Solids - milk solids can cause glucose carbs to go higher than 100 on the glycemic scale, which is higher than pure glucose. This is caused by the milk solid hormones and proteins. For example, cereal and milk, or carby whey powders, can spike your blood sugar and insulin higher than pure glucose, malt or sugar. Instead, combine carbs with dietary fibre and fats to slow carbs down and control blood sugar and insulin. One exception I have noticed is sugar-free pudding, it's loaded with maltodextrin and milk solids but doesn't spike blood sugar much, maybe the gelatin?