I was refereeing Juliana’s soccer game on Saturday. I noticed that she played all four quarters, but I didn’t really think anything of it. Then yesterday she told me that she was scheduled to be out in the fourth quarter, but she asked if anyone else wanted to sub out so that she could stay in. It was a hot day, and Juliana’s team was getting crushed–the outcome wasn’t in doubt. Juliana wanted more practice.
Parents of low energy kids–imagine your kid voluntarily staying in a soccer game–asking to stay in a soccer game through the fourth quarter. That’s the miracle of low carb eating.
Juliana has shed about 22 pounds from her highest weight. I suspect she will lose 30 more, so she’s still carrying around a lot of excess weight. Nonetheless, however, she can run faster than she ever has before and has a new level of stamina. She just started soccer practice for the fall American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) season. She was astonished by how much energy she had.
On a low carb eating plan, she can run hard the whole practice, and not worry about depleting her limited available energy. Why is this so?
Carbohydrates require insulin to be processed by the body. But insulin is also the fat storage hormone–it directs the body to store energy as fat. In Juliana (and other people who can’t tolerate much carbohydrate), eating more than a minimal amount of carbohydrate causes so much insulin release that most of the energy in the food she consumes gets sequestered in fat cells, rather than being available for Juliana to use on physical activity.
This explanation of fat sequestration robbing the individual of usable energy made a lot of sense when I read it in Gary Taubes‘ “Good Calories, Bad Calories.” (See: Taubes, Gary (2007-09-25). Good Calories, Bad Calories (Kindle Locations 7584-7587). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
It explained Juliana’s history of not wanting to move–I went to great lengths to keep her physically active. It wasn’t just that she loves to read (although she does), it was that she had very little energy to move because her body was storing most of it as fat.
This year is her first soccer season ever at a normal energy level. She is jazzed!