Posts Tagged ‘insulin resistance’

What Took America from Fit to Fat

The annual U.S. obesity report issued by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Report came out this week and some of the findings are downright shocking. For instance, adult obesity rates rose in 16 U.S. states over the past year, and NOT ONE state decreased. Twelve U.S. states now have obesity rates above 30 percent, versus just one state four years ago. With a direct and indirect cost of $147 billion annually, obesity is anything but just an aesthetic issue. Obesity is a cost to our personal health and our health care system.

Dr. Joseph Mercola, a New York Times best-selling author and osteopathic physician, posted some comments to this report on his Web site , which align with many of the points I make in my books about the causes of hormone balance and weight gain. Dr. Mercola mentions that severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) and increasing healthy fat consumption are the two keys to curb out-of-control obesity.

Dr. Mercola points out that fats, even saturated fats, provide a concentrated source of energy that is far more ideal than carbohydrates. The only really dangerous fat out there is trans fat. Saturated fat is the preferred fuel for your heart and fats slow down absorption of your meal so that you feel satiated longer.

So how is fructose causing America to be overweight? Dr. Mercola explains how it tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism, as it turns off your body’s appetite-control system. Fructose doesn’t appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the satiety hormone), which together result in eating more and developing insulin resistance. And as I have pointed out many times, insulin resistance leads to hormone imbalance and is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many cancers.

I have a feeling it will take awhile for the food industry to come around, so it is up to you to take control of your diet. The easiest way to cut back on fructose is leaving the sugar-laden processed foods on the shelf.

Exercise to Improve Your Mood

If you’re not a fan of exercise, getting started can seem like a huge obstacle. However, to achieve hormone harmony, exercise is vital. It is also a big help to improve your mood and overcome some of those other annoying symptoms you may be experiencing.

Physical activity plays a key role in reversing insulin resistance, the main trigger in creating a hormone imbalance. Cells tend to shut down when hit with an overdose of blood sugar from too many sugary and starchy foods. Exercise helps the body build new muscle cells and wakes up older ones and opens their doors for more fuel. To reap the full benefits, you need a combination of strength training for your muscles and aerobic exercise for your heart.

More on the physical pros of exercise in a later post, for this one I want to focus on how physical activity can boost your energy and mood. If you’re a woman, or a man, approaching midlife or experiencing a hormonal imbalance, some of the main symptoms you might be experiencing are depression and mood swings. You might also feel like you have lost your “edge” or don’t have as much zest for life. Sound familiar?

Exercise triggers the production of endorphins, feel good chemicals. And, research shows that it both prevents and alleviates depression at any age and also stabilizes mood swings. Aerobic exercise also helps our bodies to take in and use oxygen, which generates more energy for us.  And let’s face it, when we start to lose weight and feel better, our self confidence improves, along with our mood.