Have you ever been awake at night wondering if there is any secret to keeping a healthy weight?
Are you concerned with a family history of high blood sugar or diabetes?
Science has shown a close relationship between obesity and diabetes. If you’re obese and don’t have diabetes, it’s not a reason to feel safe. You may have insulin resistance and not be aware. When you’re diagnosed with diabetes usually you’ve been insulin resistant for about 10 years.
Here we’re going to explore how simple habits related to the time you eat can affect your weight and sugar control.
CDC states obesity is an epidemic in the United States, 42% of Americans are obese. Adults with extreme obesity have increased risks of dying 15-20 years earlier.
Obesity is a complex disease, it’s much more than just a cosmetic concern. Besides diabetes it increases your risk of other serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, a variety of cancers, digestive problems, gallbladder disease, liver problems, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The good news is that obesity and diabetes can be resolved. Just like any chronic disease you may have hidden reasons. Studies have shown many causes for obesity and diabetes, lifestyle is only one of them. It’s not easy to lose weight and maintain your healthy weight, but it is possible with the right program. It has to fit your needs and preferences to be sustainable long term. Intermittent fasting is an option with encouraging results.
Intermittent fasting is a broad term for many ways to practice restricted time eating. Most people can practice intermittent fasting safely and get health benefits. But it’s important to remember that intermittent fasting is not for everyone, talk to your doctor about your risks before starting it.
What insulin has to do with weight gain and high sugar?
When you eat, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose. Your pancreas secrete insulin to allow the glucose to enter the cells and be used for energy. The excess glucose (sugar) is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen for later use. But they have a limited capacity for storage, so the extra glucose is turned into fatty acids and stored in the fat tissues.
Insulin resistance – If you keep eating frequently and more than you need for energy, your stored glucose doesn’t have a chance to be used. You keep piling up more and more fatty acids and your cells become resistant to insulin. Therefore, you need to produce more insulin to keep your blood sugar levels within normal limits, until it can’t keep up any longer. At that time, you’re diagnosed with diabetes. The damage to your arteries from insulin resistance throughout the years is already significant by then. But there is hope!
Fasting promotes a reverse process. Your level of glucose is low when you’re not eating, so the pancreas beta cells stop producing insulin, and the alpha cells start producing glucagon. Glucagon tells your liver to turn glycogen into glucose for energy. Once your liver stores of glycogen are depleted, your fatty cells mobilize fatty acids to supply the energy your body needs to function. This switch from sugar-based energy to fat-based energy promotes insulin sensitivity, weight loss and sugar control. Studies have indicated many health benefits of intermittent fasting.
Options for your intermittent fasting depend on your health condition, your lifestyle, and how much weight you need to lose.
- Start slowly, it may take a few weeks to get to your ideal schedule.
- Increase your water intake to at least 10 cups or 3 liters a day.
- Avoid processed and sugary foods.
- Maintain a balanced diet on non-fasting days.
- One of the popular intermittent fasting schedules is eating 2 meals within 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours, including overnight. You can choose the convenient time for you.
- You don’t need to count calories. Your body will adjust to let you eat as much as you need within the time window. And you won’t be hungry.
- Listen to your body. You know you’re having benefit not only by losing weight but having more energy, improved focus, and better sleep.
Decrease your stress and have fun in the process.
Talk to your doctor before starting intermittent fasting, especially if you take any medication.
I’m here for you!