According to Doctors Douglas J. Lisle and Alan Goldhamer, the authors of The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health & Happiness, it isn’t how much you eat that is making you fat.
It’s what you eat.
Lisle and Goldhamer believe that if you consume a healthy plant-based diet, you will not gain weight. On a natural diet composed primarily of fresh produce, your body will be able to accurately assess the amount of calories and nutrients in the food you are eating.
You will automatically eat just the right amount of food for your body. No more, no less.
Put another way (page 65):
“In a natural setting of caloric abundance, animals will consume the correct amount of food needed for optimal function.”
Lisle and Goldhamer call this “The Law of Satiation”.
Skinny the Chimpanzee
To show just how important the Law of Satiation is to our survival, the authors give the example of Skinny, a make-believe chimpanzee who needs about 2000 calories each day to fuel his body.
But Skinny has a problem.
You see, Skinny’s bodily mechanisms of satiation do not function properly. Instead of recognizing the need for 2000 calories, Skinny’s neural system estimates that he needs only 1980 calories. As a result, Skinny consumes a deficit of 20 calories every day.
A 1% difference may not seem like much…until you look at the long-term consequences (page 66):
“Over the course of a normal lifetime – if he could survive – Skinny would consume one percent less food than he required, or about 1,000 pounds of food less than needed. This amounts to approximately400,000 too few calories, a caloric deficit that would have to be compensated by the burning of his own tissues for fuel.
This caloric deficiency translates to more than 100 pounds of body tissue, a caloric deficit that no 150-pound chimp could possibly survive.”
All animals must obey the Law of Satiation in order to sustain a healthy bodyweight and thrive in nature.
The Big Three
But how exactly does the Law of Satiation work? How is the human body able to so accurately sense when the right amount of food has been eaten?
By way of a few important bodily mechanisms, which all animals naturally possess, that make sure we do not consistently under or overeat. Lisle and Goldhamer call these the “three mechanisms of satiation” and they are (page 69):
- Stretch Sensation
- Nutrient Sensation
- The “Yowel” Circuits
Stretch Sensation simply refers to the sensation in the gut triggered by eating a certain volume of food. This literal stretching of the stomach sends the signal that enough food has been consumed.
Nutrient Sensation refers to the sensation we feel when we’ve eaten enough calories. Our gastrointestinal systems have receptors for all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat – that help us sense how many calories have been eaten.
The Yowel Circuits refers to your body’s “fat reserve monitoring system,” which has the ability to detect your body fat percentage (via sensors all over the body) and relay this number to your brain.
According to Lisle and Goldhamer, these circuits only chime in if you overeat on a regular basis (page 72):
“If this [overeating]continues, these special sensors begin to alert the brain that fat stores have become excessive and are beginning to compromise health and well-being. Their signal discourages eating. It is as if these circuits begin speaking to the hunger drive circuits, saying, “You’reOver-Weight, Eat Less!”
These circuits “yowel” to the brain’s appetite regulating centers, alerting them that the existing fat stores are excessive and that the hunger drive should be decreased.”
Defying Nature’s Laws, One Bite at a Time
You may be saying to yourself, “If the Law of Satiation really exists, then why are Americans so fat?”
Because, as Lisle and Goldhamer argue, Americans and others like them are eating entirely the wrong foods.
The fatty, fiber-less foods being consumed in abundance are too low in volume to trigger the stretch mechanism, severely lacking in nutrition to trigger the nutrient mechanism, and far too concentrated in calories to trigger the yowel circuits.
In my next article, I’ll talk more in-depth about this Westernized law-defying diet, as well as the two rules you must follow if you wish to achieve lasting weight loss.
Go raw and be fit,