What if you had a bank account with plenty of money but because you lost your bankcard you couldn’t buy anything until next payday?
The bank would happily let you deposit … but not withdrawal.
I came up with this age-appropriate analogy to explain to my seven and nine year old why some people struggle with weight management while others don’t.
It resonated because they’re now earning their own money (hello paper route!) and love making bank deposits – and withdrawals!
They agreed that it would be super-frustrating to know they had more than enough money to buy the latest Star Wars Lego set, and yet still had to wait until the next paper day before it could be theirs.
They said, “What’s the point of saving if you can’t access the money when you need it?”
Many of us can relate to this predicament – except that the savings account is our body fat stores, the payday is our next meal, and the bankcard is our hormones.
Effortless weight management – and feeling great in general – depends on properly functioning hormones.
Insulin helps us make deposits. Glucagon helps us make withdrawals.
But here’s the kicker.
It’s impossible for glucagon to do its job when insulin is hanging around. And not many of us go very long without insulin hanging around.
How we lose our bankcards
When we eat the wrong foods, lead a sedentary lifestyle, exercise chronically or in the wrong intensity zones, stay up too late, or deal with stress poorly – we’re over-producing insulin (or cortisol) and essentially compromising glucagon’s ability to make withdrawals from our ample fat stores. Like living paycheck to paycheck, we’re living meal to meal.
When the mid-afternoon crash or late night munchies hit, the only way to feel better is to eat something … fast. Simple carbs, caffeine, and alcohol are what we normally crave in these moments. And this means more insulin. Not so great for the waistline over time, and certainly not the fuel that is going to help us find our bankcards.
In order to win the “health lottery,” we must be able to easily make both deposits and withdrawals.
Now I want to hear from you. Do you have a properly functioning bankcard, or has it gone MIA? Do you think you can find it again? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.