Let’s talk about insulin and blood sugar and how they affect weight loss. Insulin is a hormone our bodies produce to help keep our blood sugar controlled. When our blood sugar spikes over and over, insulin does not always fully do the job. Sugar can wreak havoc on our bodies. In women we see increased body fat especially around our bellies.
In nursing school we were taught, butt better than gut. Over time and as we age we become more and more insulin resistant and this eventually can lead to diabetes. Let’s change that course by changing our eating and exercise habits.
Let’s start with how we eat. We automatically think let’s cut all the carbs out, but carbs are good and not all carbs are equal. There are 2 types of carbs.
- Complex Carbs &
- Simple Carbs
Complex carbs are good carbs and we need them in our diets. Things like:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Whole Grains
Complex carbs are made up of fiber and carbohydrates that are slower to digest. This helps to keep our sugar from spiking.
- Ice Cream
Simple carbs go straight to our blood streams and drive up our blood glucose levels. Some people can feel this change in their bodies. Eye twitches and sweats are some signs that your sugar has spiked. Also when we are constantly driving our blood glucose levels up we will feel those drops. You might feel shaky between meals and tend to get hangry fast. Stabilizing your blood sugar will prevent these spikes and drops.
Eat More Protein
Another way to stabilize sugar spikes and drops is to balance your meals with protein. It is important to eat protein with every meal and snack. When I shop for food I read the labels. There are many food options these days that have protein and fiber. For example Dave’s Killer Bread (my favorite), beans, and Mission Carb Smart Tortillas all have protein and fiber. Check out this blog about fiber. There are also great options for pasta and cereal. I shoot for at least 10-20 grams of protein with every snack and meal and 5-10 grams of fiber. A good rule of thumb is to try and limit those simple sugars to special occasions.
Now let’s talk about exercise. Our bodies use carbs first for energy. When we stay active our body burns the carbs and this helps to keep our blood glucose controlled. My 88 year old grandfather has had diabetes for 20+ years but he is strong and healthy. He hasn’t had any complications from diabetes and takes no medications. Why? He walks every day and eats a balanced diet. This does not mean that you need to start a strenuous exercise program. This can be as simple as parking farther away at the store, playing with our kids, taking a daily walk around your neighborhood, and taking the stairs at work. I love Coach Amy’s blog about NEAT. Simple ways to increase your activity throughout your day. Be intentional about your movement and your body will feel better. Keeping our blood sugar stable helps us to burn stubborn belly fat and keep it off. It’s all about making wise choices throughout our whole day. Planning our meals and when we will exercise. Building these healthy habits will help us now and in the long run to prevent or decrease complications from diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.