Can we really over-eat? Most of the time when we hear about over-eating, it’s usually in the context of calories. Eat more calories than you burn and you gain weight. Eat less than you burn and lose weight. We know that our body stores more energy than it expends in a chronically elevated insulin environment. Our hormones pretty much regulate what we’re going to store and use. Our hormones control our energy levels.
Can we consciously over-eat?
Yes we can. It’s not as effective as to the degree of chronically elevated insulin levels, but I’m going to try and give a simple breakdown. Insulin is a direct result of carbohydrates in the diet. Insulin responds to carbohydrates. Fat, no matter how much is eaten will not raise insulin (fat storage hormone). You’ll literally throw up before you can over consume fat. Your body just won’t let you because you don’t need it. If you do happen to over-eat fat, you’ll be full for about a week. Our bodies know what they’re doing.
Protein & Over-Eating
Protein though, is a different animal. Most experts will say that 2g per pound of body weight is more than enough. Remember, the only way energy can be stored is by insulin and insulin is triggered by sugar/carbohydrates. If we over-eat protein, some of it will be broken down and converted to glucose by the body to use. This happens anyway on a low carb diet, whether we over consume protein or not. When we over consume it however, studies have shown gastrointestinal distress and in some cases, gaining back of weight.
The Likelihood of Over Consuming Protein
It’s not very likely. Most meat is full of fat. The same goes for all low carb friendly dairy. Staying away from lean protein and adding sour cream, butter, yogurt, lard, etc to your food will make over consumption of protein a non-issue. People who try to go on low carb while eating low fat will find themselves running into many issues. The only time people would intentionally gorge on protein is after working out, which at that point, it’s okay. After a hard workout, our body raises it’s protein requirement for repairing the cells that need it.
A lot of you may have heard that while in ketosis, if eat less fat, we will use more body fat for fuel, making our fat loss more extreme. That is true, but what will you eat in it’s place? Too much carbs will knock you out of ketosis and too much protein has the same effect. The only way to reduce fat is to reduce everything else. That means you’re in a semi starving state now, which is not sustainable and not healthy.