How to Break the Weight-Gain Cycle, Part 2
Three Steps to Reversing Insulin Sensitivity
Once you and your physician have identified the problem, the answer is to promote a healthy lifestyle that enhances insulin sensitivity and works to reverse the problem and reduce long-term health risks. Dr. Strand advises...
1. Follow a healthy diet that does not spike blood sugar. Generally, 40% to 50% of calories should come from low-glycemic carbohydrates (for more on the glycemic index see Daily Health News, September 20, 2004)... 30% from fat... and 20% to 30% from protein. While you don't need to weigh your food or starve yourself, you do need to make healthy food choices. This means...
- Eat good complex carbs such as antioxidant-rich fruits, veggies and whole grains, and avoid high-glycemic carbs that send your blood sugar soaring, including white bread, white rice, highly processed cereal and white potatoes.
- Replace the bad saturated and trans-fats in hamburgers and french fries with good alternatives such as monounsaturated fats (for example, olive oil, avocado and macadamia nuts) and essential fatty acids (EFAs), including cold-water fish (salmon, sardines, etc.), flaxseed oil and walnuts.
- Choose good sources of protein such as nuts, hard-boiled eggs, avocados, beans, soy, legumes, fowl with the skin removed and cold-water fish. Dr. Strand notes that the poorest sources of protein are red meats and dairy products.
- Drink eight to 10 glasses of purified water daily.
- Never go hungry. Small, frequent meals will help control spikes in blood sugar. As you feel better, you should decrease meal frequency and increase content. If you're still hungry between meals, snack on an apple, a hard-boiled egg or a handful of raw almonds.
2. Develop a moderate, consistent exercise program. Physical activity is the second step to insulin sensitivity. It doesn't matter what you choose to do, says Dr. Strand. At first, consistency is the most important thing. Your ultimate goal: Gradually work your way up to 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise such as brisk walking five days a week. Every step you take will bring you one step closer to improved insulin sensitivity. To be on the safe side, Dr. Strand recommends consulting your physician before beginning an exercise program.
More Effective Than A Pill - A Healthier Lifestyle
As Dr. Strand sees it, modern medicine relies too much on drugs to control the consequences of elevated insulin levels without addressing the underlying problem: insulin resistance. He speculates that this may be because there is no FDA-approved pill to cure insulin resistance. In the parlance of conventional medicine, where there's no pill, there's no disease.
However, if you follow these simple steps to a healthier lifestyle, says Dr. Strand, your body will gradually begin to release fat, and you will see triglyceride and blood pressure numbers start to drop. It won't happen overnight, any more than insulin resistance develops overnight... but over the months, you'll find that you feel better overall and have more energy. Without a pill, without drugs or their side effects, you will have taken charge of your health and brought your body back into balance.
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