Tag Archives: weightloss

Effects of a low carbohydrate diet on energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance: randomized trial | The BMJ

Effects of a low carbohydrate diet on energy expenditure during weight loss maintenance: randomized trial | The BMJ
— Read on www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k4583

Another study supporting good eating habits that includes fewer carbs.

Lowering the hormones that cause hunger! Yeah!! Make a small change today!

Insulin Resistance and Fitness After 40


Blood sample test and empty tube blood for blood test screening.

The human body is amazing and complicated and when it functions properly we feel healthy. However, when there is an interruption in function we begin to feel unwell. One common condition involves changes in how our body responds to insulin. When our bodies fail to manage insulin properly, this is insulin resistance and our health  will begin to deteriorate.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body loses the inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin. It is often related to obesity, although there are other medical causes.

Insulin resistance can lead to diabetes type 2 but it is not inevitable. With changes in diet and activity level, and perhaps medication, you can reverse insulin resistance. In my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I provide you with tools and ideas how to find the best eating plans and movement plans that can ameliorate this condition.

I will discuss the type of insulin resistance that is seen in overweight and obese adults in this post, and what you can do to avoid it or improve it.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas that is produced to transport sugar into the cells for use as energy or to be stored as fat. When the cells become resistant to insulin, two significant changes occur. First, the insulin levels rise in order to have more available to transport sugar, which does help in the short term, but then the body becomes even more resistant. Subsequently blood sugar elevations occur as the cells are unable to use the sugar in the blood, and this is when pre-diabetes and diabetes is diagnosed. Too much sugar in blood negatively affects nerves, the cardiovascular system and more.

It is known that elevated insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and insulin resistance often precedes diabetes type 2. Hyperinsulinemia can be identified with the measurement of insulin level by a lab test. You may go to my Ulta Lab Test NurseChrisP site to determine your insulin level and then present the results of the test to your doctor for his/her direction of your care.

What does Hyperinsulinemia or Insulin Resistance Feel Like?

There are no symptoms of insulin resistance. Any symptoms that do appear are related to the elevated blood sugar that ultimately occurs when the sugars cannot be moved out of the blood into our cells and used. The symptoms of elevated blood sugar include fatigue, difficulty concentrating and hunger. Measurable signs include elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and fat around the middle. These are also the signs for a condition called Metabolic Syndrome.

What can Cause Insulin Resistance?

Poor diet and lack of exercise and the resulting obesity can cause this condition. Additionally chronic stress can play a role too. Steroids taken for other medical conditions can also contribute. Certain diseases, such as Cushing’s Disease or Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease can also be a factor.

How to Avoid Insulin Resistance

Avoiding insulin resistance that is related to inactivity and obesity is as simple as maintaining a healthy weight and living an active lifestyle. Using BMI (Body Mass Index) can be useful as a guideline and maintaining a BMI of less than 24.9 is the recommendation. Activity should be, at a minimum 150 minutes of moderate exercise or equivalent per week. 10K steps per day is a great goal to set.

If you already have insulin resistance simply increasing your daily physical activity can improve your insulin sensitivity. One study has shown that insulin sensitivity increases by 20% after just one hour of aerobic exercise and persists for approximately 20-48 hours thereafter,

Lab testing recommendations

Blood testing is the only way to determine if your blood sugar or insulin level is elevated.  Fasting blood tests are the most accurate. Fasting for 8-12 hours will give you the best and most reliable results. If you have a fasting blood sugar that is over the normal, it is recommended that you recheck it every 2 years. That is not frequent enough for me. I do not recommend waiting for 2 years to go by before addressing it. If you have elevated blood sugar or elevated insulin levels, lifestyle changes should be made immediately and then I recommend rechecking again in 3-6 months. Ulta Lab testing offers a Metabolic Syndrome Package with insulin.

However, lab testing is not necessary. If you are obese, have a waist circumference of more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men, with confirmed high cholesterol, you can fairly say that you have insulin resistance.

Reversing Suspected or Confirmed Insulin Resistance with Lifestyle Changes

Reversing suspected or confirmed insulin resistance is simple.  Halting insulin resistance that is not related to another serious health condition it possible.  Changes to diet and activity level are recommended to improve how our bodies handle insulin and sugar.

The recommended diet changes include ketogenic diets, very low carbohydrate and very low calorie diets. Significant exercise and a healthy diet can reverse insulin resistance.

Simply increasing your physical activity daily will improve your insulin sensitivity, even if you don’t lose any weight. Aim for 40-60 minutes per day. Dividing up the physical exercise through out the day is an option that yields similar benefits.

By using my book, the Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating , you can choose the best diet and the best exercise that can possibly reverse the condition and  reduce your risk for this condition.

If you are overweight or obese, and feel fatigued and have difficulty concentrating why not check your insulin level?

Visit your.  doctor and ask if he or she is concerned about this condition. You may also use my lab test link here Ulta Lab Test NurseChrisP and check for yourself. You could also measure your waist at just above your hip bones, and if you are over the recommendation, and obese (BMI <30), have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, then you most likely are insulin resistant to some degree.

Disclaimer: always seek care from your primary care provider for any health issues or concerns that you have.

In summary, lifestyle changes will improve or eliminate insulin resistance that is not the result of another serious health condition. Improving or eliminating hyperinsulinemia can help you avoid the progression to diabetes.

Order my book now to reduce your risk for diabetes by choosing to love active living and clean eating!


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Home Cooked Meals and Improved Fitness After 40

home cooking

Home Cooking or Eating Out

It has been reported that almost 61 percent of people eat at restaurants at least once per week. The same poll found that there were frequent diners who ate out three to more times per week! What about you? How often do you eat out?

Obesity in the American population has not plateaued yet, in fact, it continues to increase. Eating away from home has been identified as one of the culprits. Portion size and preparation techniques of restaurant food has been found to be contributory. Paradoxically, studies show that those who cook  at home have a decreased risk for obesity and the related illnesses,  like diabetes type 2. Home cooking often results in healthier fare with fewer calories. In my book Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I offer guidance on programs that are perfect for home cooking!

The Western lifestyle would seem to necessitate this eating pattern. Long hours at work, after school activities and fatigue all play a role in succumbing to the ease of driving through the fast food lane, or stopping to pick something up.  Does this sound like you? If this sounds like you, keep reading, I am going to offer you some simple ideas about how and why to begin cooking and eating at home.

As a health professional and a blogger making these suggestions falls right in line with my patient care paradigm.  I outline the easiest way to transition to cooking and eating at home.

Cooking and Eating at Home is Healthier

Cooking at home is less expensive and healthier.  It is less expensive because you can use sales and coupons to maximize your budget. It is healthier because you are in charge of the additional sugar, salt and fat content. We also tend to eat smaller portions when we eat at home. Cooking at home can easily be done on a budget as well.

Why Do We Eat Out So Often?

As I talk about in my book, Second Chance at Health- Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating,  taking the time to identify your own barriers to change is paramount. Without understanding the ‘Why” makes in harder to move onto the “How”. What are your barriers? Do you feel like you have limited time to shop and prepare? Or do you lack of skills and confidence? Do you not like to cook? All of these and more have been reported and barriers to home cooking.

Begin simply! Take These Steps to Begin Cooking at Home

First, make a commitment and plan to cook and eat at home 2 additional days a week if you eat out more than 3 times per week. The final goal should be to cook and eat at home 5 times per week. Set a date and circle it on your calendar.

Second, stock up on common home cooking staples for the pantry and the fridge. By having the staples available it can be less tempting to throw in the towel and head out to the fast food restaurant. Here is a list of staples that I found useful. Click on the link and print it and use it to restock your kitchen. Well Stocked Pantry

Third, design your menu. For the first month, I suggest making the foods that you ate growing up! These recipes and cooking techniques should be  familiar to you! Don’t spend too much time worrying about nutrition content during the first few weeks! Just enjoy the food memories!

Forth, generate your grocery list using your menu. If you cited that you have limited time to shop, the use one of the shopping apps that most grocery stores are offering now! If you cites limited time for preparation, utilize the already prepped food such as pre-cut vegetables, pre-cut meats, or even the pre-packaged fresh meals!

Face Your Fears

If you lack the skills and confidence to cook, you have options here to. My first suggestion is to stop being so hard on yourself. Practice makes perfect, and unless you are planning to try out for Chopped, most home cooks can dice and saute more than adequately. Your confidence will increase as you continue.  My second suggestion is to follow a recipe. Exactly. Don’t attempt to substitute an ingredient or spice. I speak from experience.  And if the meal you have prepared is inedible, you can resort to a PB&J (again I speak from experience).

Use Home Delivery Meals

If you simply do not like to cook, which is ME! I use a meal delivery program called Blue Apron. I can follow the recipe and have an amazing meal to the table within 30-40 minutes. These meals rival many meals I have eaten at restaurants.

On a Budget? No Problem!

Cooking at home on a budget can also be accomplished. When money is tight, I suggest generating your weekly menu based on the grocery store sales. If chicken is on sale this week, chicken it is. If the beef or pork shoulder is on sale, then find your recipes that include those ingredients.

Use Technology

Use technology to your advantage, you can find recipes that have been tried on Pinterest. There are also meal planning apps. Try this one. Eat at Home. Or this site has already done the work of finding the top 5 apps! Five Best Meal Planning Apps.

One More Important Benefit

Another benefit of home cooking is improved relationships! Cooking along side your spouse or children can result in conversations that may not have occurred in a noisy restaurant! You can improve your family’s physical health and emotional connection! Now is the time to take care of your health and your families health.  Buying food from the grocery store is less expensive than eating at a restaurant. Use my tips to begin cooking at home!

Here is one of my average week dinner plan:

Monday: Blue Apron Meal

Tuesday: Blue Apron Meal

Wednesday: Blue Apron Meal

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner: usually eggs and pancakes 🙂

Friday: Oven baked crispy chicken wings and celery

The weekend meals are usually breakfast and late lunch so we don’t eat dinner. If we are on the sail boat, our go to is simple Pb&J sandwiches, or hummus and vegetables.

Keep it simple, and don’t over think it. Try to simplify your life. Give yourself time to slow down and enjoy the time at home around the kitchen table. Fitness after 40 is not only about exercise, it is about balance.

Order your copy of  my book now.