So as it turns out I suspect that some of my articles are attracting people who are interested primarily in weight loss, and I do have a lot to say about this topic, as well as it’s being a huge issue with type 2 diabetics as well.
So I want to focus more on articles like this one which will specifically address this health problem, and given that most people these days are overweight, there’s a lot of potential readers indeed, a lot of people who need straightening out about all of this actually.
The weight loss industry is a racket for sure and it starts by people being given the wrong information, and then when these strategies fail there’s all sorts of people that are ready to step up and sell them something.
Weight management is not difficult though if you know what the hell goes on with this, but is near impossible to manage if you don’t. Anyway I’ll be speaking about all this in more general terms in future articles but for now it’s all about how much you store, not calories of course, fat, and after all being fat really is about being too fat, too much fat.
So what’s the deal with AMPK specifically? Well this just isn’t some fad, the latest super supplement that claims to shed the pounds you always wanted to shed. It’s not so difficult to lose weight actually, and as we know, the challenge is to keep it off, to reset one’s metabolism so that a more healthy weight can be maintained long term.
While this is indeed a diabetes site, it’s more of a metabolic disorder site, and all metabolic disorders are connected, and in fact if you listen to people like Dr. Joseph Kraft, all people who are overweight have diabetes, we just don’t define it properly.
High blood sugar is actually just a symptom of diabetes if the disease is understood, properly I might add, as a disease of glucose homeostasis. So the body is supposed to regulate glucose levels a certain way, and this breaks down long before blood sugar even rises a bit, as the body for a time can compensate for this by raising insulin levels.
Guess what happens when insulin levels go up? You get fat. No two ways about it actually, because this is what insulin does, it stores fat, it’s what stores fat, nothing else does, and too much of it will mean that you get fat.
What does AMPK have to do with this? Well when we get fat, and when we overeat actually, AMPK levels go down. This does make managing your weight even more difficult, and there is a feedback loop here, as there often is in disorders, where the lower your AMPK levels are, the fatter you get, and the lower this puts your AMPK levels, etc.
AMPK does a lot more for us than just helping prevent and treat obesity, it is involved in a great many processes in fact and if it is low, this causes a whole host of other problems besides being overweight. The fact that AMPK does help in weight management is just a small part of the overall picture actually, a desirable side effect but not one that’s even that significant compared to some of the other benefits.
People who are overweight are at greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, or in many cases may already be on the road to that, and whatever we can do to prevent this situation from worsening is well worth considering.
The simplest way to describe the role of AMPK is that it is involved in energy metabolism and sends signals elsewhere in the body when things are amiss. Things are very much in amiss with a lot of people these days by the way, and the majority of the population now has metabolic disease, not disorder, disease, the real deal.
I don’t want to get into this too deeply in this particular post and I have other articles on this if people are interested, and they can go to the articles page and find some, and I’m going to be writing more as we go along, because AMPK is super important to both diabetics and non diabetics.
From a weight loss perspective, there are two factors, storage, the accumulation of fat, and oxidation, or burning of things like fat and glucose. Oxidation itself doesn’t reduce our weight but it takes things in their active and stored form and transforms them into metabolites which are excreted, and when enough of this stuff is excreted, when more is excreted than stored to be specific, then we lose fat.
I will tell you though that of the two, the storage part is by far the bigger issue, and by far isn’t even strong enough. This is why people can exercise their brains out and not even scratch the surface of achieving their weight loss goals. Exercising to lose weight isn’t completely useless, but pretty close to it.
Part of the problem at least is that if you have low AMPK, then it’s going to be a bigger issue to lose weight period, including by increasing your physical activity. This is because of AMPK’s very important role in metabolism, and if your metabolism is broken, working it out more isn’t going to help much, because it still will be broken, you haven’t fixed the problem, much like driving a car with a bad engine might clean out the carbon from it but won’t do much else, and you still have a crappy engine at the end of the day.
That’s all we really need to say about this for now, a healthy metabolism is one that is less likely to have weight problems, if AMPK is low your metabolism is unhealthy, if you have AMPK in sufficient amounts, it is made more healthy.
So what’s the best way to increase AMPK? Well exercise does increase it, but this only matters when you control the other side of the equation well, and people really don’t tend to. So we spoke of the storage side and if you don’t fix your insulin levels you are screwed, period, it won’t matter much. Who cares about losing 3 pounds when you are 50 or 100 pounds overweight anyway? This is pretty meaningless.
By the way that’s about the average for long term weight loss studies using exercise, although the ones that do combine diet and exercise do better, depending on the diet, and most of the benefits is indeed from the diet.
Eating too much, in excess of physiological need, decreases AMPK by the way, so if you guessed that this would be a great place to start, you are on the right track. It’s just not how much you eat, it’s what you eat, and specifically, you need to eat a diet that prevents your insulin levels from running too high.
If you think that you can skip this step, you are sadly mistaken, as all the AMPK activators in the world won’t do much if you are eating a diet that has your insulin levels so high that you have the disease of high insulin, hyperinsulinemia. How common is this disease? Well the majority of people suffer from it, and the majority of people are overweight, and this is no accident because high insulin equals excess fat storage because that’s what high insulin does.
So there are two main benefits of managing your diet properly, which by the way isn’t to go low fat, that’s the absolute worst thing you can do, and is the reason why so many people are fat these days. Fat does not make you fat. Carbohydrate makes you fat. Low fat diets cut fat and increase carbohydrate even more, and people were already consuming too much of this, and this does not end well, as we have seen.
In addition, there are certain supplements that you can take which increase AMPK, in conjunction with a more sane diet we’ll call it. Berberine and gynostemma are the two biggest ones, in addition to the presription anti diabetic drug Metformin.
This is how Metformin works actually, it raises AMPK, and Metformin not only helps people manage their diabetes, it also helps them lose weight. However the two natural supplements I’ve mentioned do all this at least as well without a prescription or a bunch of side effects.
I would say that everyone should take these things, because they are not only good for you, but just about everyone is a prime candidate for diabetes if they don’t have it already, and this stuff has been shown to help prevent it.
About half of the population in the U.S. is either diabetic or pre diabetic already, and this is the end stage of the disorder actually, and all starts many years before blood sugar rises, so the time to take this all seriously is right now. Losing a little weight is nice as well.