Why a “Junk Food Hangover” is a Good Sign!April 2, 2009 • By admin
For the longest time, I couldn’t understand why eating a sugary snack impacted me harder than most people. I thought there was something wrong with me. You see, when I eat during the day it needs to be light or very low-carb, otherwise I will yawn and feel groggy for hours after. How come some of my former co-workers can eat a burger and fries and feel fine and something like that would knock me out? They are full-blown junk food Rockstars, and I just can’t hang with that type of partying!
[Although I know this stuff is just plain bad for you, I love gummy candy! Gummi Bears, Swedish Fish, Gummi Worms, etc. I recommend limiting candy and pure sugar snacks, because it will take a toll on your body if you eat too much of this stuff.]
Some People Can Eat Junk Food Like a Rockstar!
Lets talk about Linda. Linda is a woman I used to work with who ate non-stop. She was a true junk food Rockstar (Hall of Fame level). We had donuts one morning for a meeting. I ate two and then took a 30 minute nap in my car for lunch, and Linda ate 4 and kept that party rolling. It didn’t phase her at all. Throughout the day, she proceeded to eat cookies from the vending machine, a HUGE bottle of apple juice, a Snapple, and a bag of pretzels…not a single yawn out of Linda! She didn’t appear phased at all!
Linda Wasn’t the Only “Junk Food Rockstar”…
I think I’ve been surrounded by these people at every place I’ve ever worked. I’ve noticed a few common traits in these mega-superstars of junk:
- They like to use the excuse of “eating every few hours to keep the metabolism high”.
- They always claim to have low blood sugar, therefore justifying the need to eat at every break possible.
- They seem to get sick quite often.
- Without fail, they are almost always overweight.
There are always exceptions to the rule and there are people who are diabetic, but the rockstars typically fit into this mold well.
So How Does One Lose the Ability to Party Like Linda?
When you begin eating healthy foods and exercise regularly, your body becomes insulin sensitive. This is a healthy and positive thing. When an insulin sensitive person eats a large amount of sugar, their pancreas efficiently shoots out a bunch of insulin to remove that sugar from the bloodstream. It is great at removing that sugar and storing it inside the fat cells and muscle cells. The downside is that the blood sugar will be low for a period of time and this is when the healthy person feels tired.
What Happens When Linda Eats Sugary Foods?
Linda is insulin resistant, which is not healthy. When she eats a bunch of carbs, her body is terrible at using insulin to store those sugars. She has sugar floating around in her blood stream for hours and it never really drops too down to a low or even a normal level. She won’t get tired like a healthy person would, because her body can’t store the sugars properly. She won’t get tired, but she will get hungry!
Why Insulin Resistant People Are Hungry All the Time
Although Linda has a lot of sugar in her bloodstream, her body is not good at getting those sugars into cells of her body to use for energy. Her cells are starving for energy, even though she has plenty of energy in her blood stream that isn’t being used. This leads to a constant craving of sugary food. No matter how many carbs she eats, she just can’t utilize this food. Therefore Linda eats non-stop and puts on a lot of weight.
How Someone Becomes a Junk Food Rockstar
Too many insulin spikes on a regular basis and the body adapts by reducing the receptors that respond to insulin on the surface of the cells. The body builds up a tolerance to insulin…the same amount does less and less. Similar to the effect alcohol has on Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones…it just takes more insulin to do the same work. Over time this can lead to more serious problems.
Avoid Junk Food Hangovers Or You Might Make the Band!
The main thing is to avoid these large spikes in insulin in the first place. It is okay every now and then, but limit it as much as possible. Over time, this does pretty terrible things to the body. The subject of insulin and blood sugar is quite a bit more complex than what I’ve outlined here, but hopefully this gives you a better idea of the big picture.
Note: One of the reasons I’m a fan of Intermittent Fasting is that it improves insulin sensitivity in the body. It is a way to retrain your body to use insulin better.
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