In the US they have a great reality show called “Alone in the Wilderness!”
10 survival experts are flown into isolation in a cold and rainy area and left without food and shelter. They have a few tools and now need to build a shelter, find food and basically survive as long as possible. The last man standing wins 500.000 us dollars.
They soon get the shelter established but finding food in the North American late autumn/winter is a real bitch. So they start to lose weight, while they hunt for roots and berries and attempt to fish. Here is the trailer from YouTube
Who’s gonna win?
It’s a relatively safe bet that the person with the highest body/mass index or excess weight, – to put it plainly, – will win.
30 kg’s. of extra body fat is a really good life insurance under such extreme circumstances. 30 kg’s was what the winner had lost after 100 days in the 2016 season in Patagonia. The light (low BMI) Alaskan girl who was his last opponent,- who had superior survival skills and a great mental attitude,- in the final, only lost 10 kg and was stopped out due to her medical condition,- her BMI had dived below 17.
The winner, who had lost 30 kg’s after 100 days, was only just approaching a healthy BMI of 25.
His “lunch pack” kept him going:
If you keep more or less out of the cold and avoid excessive effort 30 kg’s of fat will last you a hundred days where you can continue to burn 2000 Calories per day while waiting for the helicopter to fetch you.
And its great fun to watch the program, it’s a real drama.
The lunch pack kept him safe and so it has done for our ancestors and all mammals for millions and millions of years. It’s a winning strategy to have excess body fat.
Because we are still “Ice age man” our hormones and sensory system work together to induce us to put on as much weight as possible during the short summer where food is abundant.
Non Ice age (agrarian) man is only 1-200 generations in the making and post-industrial man is only 1-2 generations in the making.
This means that our system still is 99% geared towards surviving extreme hardship and not really geared to dealing with living in an environment of calorie abundance.
Nature doesn’t “trust” these radical changes yet and still adheres to the well tested strategy for our species, which includes accumulating as much body fat as possible when food is abundant.
And hence we put on weight in this never ending summer.
Unfortunately for us in our modern environment this isn’t a winning strategy.
The world is turning towards 1:3 being obese, – that’s more than 2 billion individuals worldwide.
The UN has recognized obesity as the primary threat to reaching its 2030 goals of health improvements, and the US military sees obesity as a primary threat to the nation’s security.
(And they are probably both right).
Why is our food so dangerous?
- Carbohydrates in the form of sweetened food and beverages forms addiction when it is eaten regularly due to the serotonin response in the hypothalamus to sugar.
- Ghrelin hormone is released in response to high calorie food, and drives you into a vicious circle where more high calorie food makes you more hungry inducing you to eat more of the same ( see super-size me amongst others https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOvrkkj_T-I )
- High glycaemic foods like refined sugar and starch causes rapid changes in blood sugar inducing fast variation in insulin levels and resulting hunger surges as blood sugar recedes rapidly, again inducing af vicious circle.
These are the most well-known mechanisms but there are many more.
So what should we do?
If we look at Nature there are foods that do not induce us to eat more but level out our blood sugar so we are able to operate in periods of low calorie intake.
These foods are, – you probably guessed it, – roots and berries, high in fibres (especially soluble fibres have this effect) and low in calories.
When fermented in the lower intestine the bacteria produce short chained fatty acids.
These SCFA’s cause our internal hormone factory in the mycotic membrane to produce appetite reducing and blood sugar levelling hormones like GLP-1 GLP-2 PYY and more.
On top of this the filling of the bowel and intestine a feeling of fullness is greater per calorie with these vegetarian foods. Meaning fewer calories but still not feeling too hungry.
So turning to the hungry season food sources berries vegetables and roots will leave us with stable blood sugar while we slowly go through our personal lunch pack (extra body fat) and lose some weight without the agony of starvation.
This is Nature’s own blue print for losing weight and it works.
Some of the big pharmaceuticals are using these hormones to treat type 2 diabetes and also to attain outright weight loss. GLP-1 injections is one of the fastest growing and most profitable classes of diabetes drugs at the moment, and predicted to revolutionize the treatment when the prices reach a level where these injections can be given prophylactically, – to prevent type 2 diabetes to develop.
GLP-1 hormone in injectable forms is also given to patients who need to lose weight acutely. It’s very effective and at the moment still so expensive that only patients with very good medical coverage can afford it.
But we know that a high soluble fibre intake will boost your natural production of these hormones. Thus the soluble fibre smoothie is an effective aid in this process of turning to ICE age man’s low calorie winning strategy diet.
Example of a high content soluble fibre smoothie
30 gr of potato starch (resistant starch)
5-700 ml. of water
Its relatively low calorie compared to a juice, and it contains an extraordinary high content of soluble fibres.
You will feel a difference if you drink 6-700 ml. per day.
Can we be sure that soluble fibres will induce this change in microbiome and provoke a greater natural fullness through increased GLP-1 production?
Yes we do have pretty good evidence.
Take a look at this resent article from Reuters concerning research from University of Toronto, where they looked at many studies including a total of 1400 patients.
The evidence is great enough to conclude that daily intake of soluble fibres is a really smart move if you wish to lose weight and combat high blood sugar.
But, – if you want to win “Alone in the Wilderness”, make sure you have 30 kg’s of excess body fat !