Firstly. Stop dieting and start eating!

Successful weight loss has a huge number of factors and it is not about counting calories, it’s about knowing which foods help weight and which hinder. Other important influences include, your personal relationship with food, your general health and ability to dispel toxins, your weight influencing hormones, your lifestyle including exercise and of course, your food.

Today we are concentrating on the food, as this is the one thing over which we have complete control.

How blood sugar influences weight

Food directly impacts your blood sugar. In fact, in most people their eating habits dictate whether their blood sugar is balanced or not. If it is balanced it means you don’t have energy highs or lows, cravings, feel irritable easily and often have unwanted weight. How to balance this is key to overall health as well as healthy and sustainable weight loss. The good news is that if you choose to take this seriously, you can make safe changes without having to seek professional advice.

Healthy weight loss and blood sugar is influenced by more than just food. The right balance of foods at the right times and in the appropriate proportions for your size and lifestyle. Please do not starve yourself. The key is to eat regularly, it’s just ‘what’ you eat that makes a difference. The right food eaten regularly is vital for your metabolism. If you have a slow metabolism and you diet or skip meals, you are teaching your metabolism to store food.

Fat storage

Why is blood sugar important for weight you may ask? Well, this is why: Your body has triggers, hormones and mechanisms for protection and blood sugar is one of these mechanisms. Its job is to keep glucose levels stable (not to high and not to low). If we eat foods that cause our blood sugar to rise and spike quickly with a sudden intake of sugar or stimulants, our bodies react to those foods with a hormone most of you have heard of called ‘insulin’. Initially you feel an energy kick, but as soon as insulin receives a signal that the sugar level has peaked, your energy levels crash down. The excess glucose has to go somewhere and that somewhere is into your fat cells for safe keeping!

Mid afternoon slump & weight connection

Do you often have a mid afternoon slump or crave certain foods (often sweet or carbohydrate based)? If so, this is one of the typical signs of a blood sugar imbalance. When you have the slump it is in fact more than just your energy dropping. It is your excess glucose being removed from your blood and stored in your fat cells. Visualise the slump as glucose being transported to your fat cells. Its essential you do your utmost to avoid high and low energy levels that are dictated by the foods you eat and drink if you want to address your weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

Foods that effect blood sugar:

Insulin is also known as ‘the fat storage hormone’. More insulin has to be secreted when glucose levels in your blood get too high. The function of insulin is to create homeostasis which means to keep the bodies systems in sync as glucose at high levels is literally toxic to your body. Your aim is to reduce the insulin response which, in turn, will reduce the amount of glucose that is stored in your fat cells.

Factors that influence blood sugar imbalance include;

  • Eating high sugar foods,
  • High caffeine intake (coffee, tea, red bull, coke)
  • Refined carbohydrates such as white breads, pastries, white pasta, white rice and potatoes
  • High intake of fruits eaten without other foods
  • Fruit juices – ( including fresh)
  • Smoking and alcohol such as wine, which is high in sugars
  • Cakes, biscuits, ‘junk food’ and ready-made meals
  • Many sauces for cooking are very high in sugars

However, it is not just foods that can influence your blood sugar and weight

  • skipping meals
  • eating at irregular times
  • stress

Stress is more challenging to control but when it comes to eating patterns you are in the driver’s seat.

Tips to slowing down the fat storage

  • Grab a bite to eat about 30 minutes before your afternoon slump
  • Ensure that every time you eat, both meal or snack you include some form of protein as protein helps to slow down the rate that the food is converted to glucose
  • Protein is essential for healthy blood sugar and sustained weight loss. It fills you up for longer so good for reducing hunger. It gives us longer lasting energy with slow release of glucose and best of all it then reduces the glucose peaks so insulin does not have to work overtime to store it all as fat.
  • Eat as little sweet food as you can. Our bodies can only effectively metabolise sugars equivalent to 2 portions of fruit per day.
  • Never skip meals
  • Eat only protein, vegetables and good fats after 5pm. Replace any carbohydrates you would have on your plate with varied and extra vegetables (not potato).
  • Ensure you drink plenty of water. Often when we are dehydrated we think we are hungry.

This has just touched on a few factors. There are many easy to achieve tips for successful weight loss beyond here. However, in closing I would like to emphasise that eating high vegetable and protein meals 3 times a day every day together with reduced sugar intake, is key to sustainable energy, keeping healthy and maintaining your ideal weight. Please don’t think that to lose weight you need to stop eating!

For anyone interested in a comprehensive, achievable and natural approach to weight loss, we will be running ‘The Programme’ from Body With Soul that take both a group approach as well as individualised health analysis looking at all body functions beyond food. Please email and we will send you details and further information of our next programme starting after the summer.

Sara Valentine

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