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Do You Have a Glucose Meter?

I recommend everyone purchase their own glucose meter as part of their “wellness tracking”.

Digital health and personalized wellness is so popular now and more people are  interested in managing their own health by changing lifestyles and healthier living.

This is your “Fitbit for blood sugar”.

Since the research is showing how blood sugar levels between 105 and 120 can have inflammatory effects on the body, I recommend you know your numbers! Test your blood sugar fasting as well as directly after a meal and 2 hours after. Experiment with different foods.

I checked at Costco today about the price. The actual glucometer is about $12 and the lancets and test strips are the expensive part. I have attached a photo of mine here.

Test strips are far and away the most expensive aspect of using a blood glucose meter. Prices on test strips can range anywhere from $8 to $50 or more per box of 50. Some manufacturers with more expensive strips offer co-pay assistance programs to help drive the cost of test strips down into this range. I also recommend you ask your doctor for a prescription for test strips!

If your glucometer is simple to use, you’re more likely to test as often as you should. For most users that means a bright, easy to read screen, buttons that are easy to handle, forgiving test strips and a reasonably small blood sample.

We now know that even in healthy people, high blood sugar after meals can, over time, damage the body, even if it never causes diabetes. In short, it’s no longer just certain people who need to worry about their blood sugar; it’s pretty much everyone. It should concern you even if you’re thin and healthy, and especially if you don’t get much exercise

CLICK HERE to learn about my Sugar Buster Program.

Top Ten Reasons Why Stress is Fattening

Effects of Stress

Let’s define stress first. Most people only think of psychological stress when they hear the term “stress”. Things like family or job issues, or traffic or money worries. Yes, these can certainly be stressful. There are also less obvious stressors and what I call “hidden” stressors that have the same physiological effect on the body.

Here are my TOP TEN HIDDEN STRESSORS that can affect our weight

  1. Sleep deprivation
  2. Digestive issues
  3. Nutrient depletion
  4. Chronic pain
  5. Environmental Toxins
  6. Dieting
  7. Over-exercise
  8. Hormonal imbalance
  9. Chronic infection

Chronic stress affects disrupts the daily cortisol rhythm. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is responsible for a wide range of processes within the body including immune responses, the regulation of metabolism, and acting as an anti-inflammatory. It also plays an important role in the way in which the body responds to stress.

Cortisol levels are generally high in the morning as we wake from a prolonged period of sleep, with an increase of up to fifty percent in the twenty to thirty minutes after waking. This is known as the ‘cortisol awakening response’. Then, as the day progresses, our cortisol levels naturally begin to drop in a fairly constant and regular fashion that is termed a diurnal rhythm, ending up as low in the late evening. This allows the body to keep a regular sleeping pattern, with the cortisol level dropping for periods of sleep, then replenishing during the following morning.

When cortisol is out of balance, the body thinks it is being attacked and will conserve energy as much as possible. So stress has the following effects on the body which all contribute to weight gain.

  1. increased blood sugar
  2. increased storage of fat
  3. increased hunger
  4. increased belly fat to store as energy
  5. increased fatty acids and triglycerides in your blood
  6. increased cravings for quick energy foods (sugar)
  7. decreased immune function
  8. decreased fat burning (to conserve energy)
  9. decreased cell sensitivity to insulin so sugar stays in your blood stream
  10. decreased digestive function

So now you know why stress is fattening!

It helps to have a coach support you to set goals for reducing stress in your life. CLICK HERE to book a session with me.

The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets to Weight Loss

weightThe Obesity Code is a great book. I wanted to review the key concepts here. The subtitle is “Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss”. Jason Fung, MD does a great job explaining how weight gain and obesity are driven by hormones and only understanding the effects of insulin and insulin resistance can we achieve lasting weight loss. This is the same philosophy I use in my Sugar Buster Program.

The truth is, there are multiple overlapping pathways that lead to obesity. The common uniting theme is the hormonal imbalance of high insulin levels.

Here are 5  basic truths.

  1. All diets work in short term, but we have been ignoring the long-term problem of insulin resistance.
  2. Obesity is a hormonal disorder of fat metabolism.
  3. Insulin is the main hormone that drives weight gain.
  4. The main approach is to reduce added sugars. insulin levels.
  5. There are multiple ways to reduce insulin and we need an integrated approach.

Most “diets” attack one part of the problem at a time. The probability of success is higher with a broad-based approach. It is important to individually address the cause of high insulin levels. For example, if chronic sleep deprivation is the main problem causing weight gain, then just reducing refined grains is not going to be the answer.

When it comes to the question of what to eat, here are Dr Fung’s basic steps.

  1. Reduce consumption of added sugars.
  2. Reduce consumption of refined grains.
  3. Moderate your protein intake.
  4. Increase your consumption of natural fats.
  5. Increase your consumption of fiber.