When you are trying to improve your health or manage your weight, the scales seem like an excellent place to focus on your health goals. However, the truth is that the scales don’t reveal that much about your current health status. Weight gain is a symptom of an imbalance in the body, and one system that is often out of balance is blood sugar.
This article will consider the crucial role of blood sugar regulation in stabilising weight and reducing inflammatory symptoms leading to weight gain.
Why does blood sugar dysregulation lead to weight gain?
When your blood sugar is high, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin, which directs your muscle and fat cells to take in glucose. Your cells use this glucose as energy or convert the glucose into fat to store for future use. However, when insulin is high, the cells that store fat cannot burn their fuel, which means you end up in permanent fat-storing mode, with no ability to access the energy in the adipose tissue, and ultimately lose weight.
The action of insulin is triggered by insulin binding to a receptor on your cells, similar to a lock and key. Over time, the insulin receptor in the cell membrane, which acts as the lock, can become desensitised, especially after long-term sugar consumption. When this happens, your cells require even more insulin to metabolise and store glucose properly, which may lead to a state of insulin resistance. In turn, this causes blood sugar imbalances that result in symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, irritability and inflamed joints and skin.
And what’s more, research shows that the more weight you gain, the less likely you are to produce enough insulin from the pancreas, which means insulin-resistant cells are even less likely to respond to insulin, which can become a vicious cycle. Managing blood sugar is vital to getting your health and weight back on track.
How does blood sugar affect inflammation?
Sugar in the blood is reactive and produces excess free radicals. Having free radicals is a natural bodily process, but oxidative stress occurs when there are more free radicals in the body than antioxidants.
Oxidative stress damages the inside of blood vessels and creates an inflammatory response that causes further destruction. In addition, when blood sugar is high, the free fatty acids stored in adipose tissue become oxidised, which leads to further inflammation.
This cascade of events can affect your organs, bodily processes and even your DNA.
What foods help to regulate blood sugar?
Eating foods that are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar, such as colourful vegetables, healthy fats, and good quality meat and fish, will help to improve blood sugar regulation. The glycaemic load index provides a good benchmark for choosing foods that are less likely to cause high blood sugar.
Eating good quality protein with every meal also helps to lessen blood sugar spikes after eating. Incorporating high-fibre foods in your diet and chewing food properly before swallowing is also helpful, as this will slow down digestion.
Polyphenols found in plants may improve insulin sensitivity at the cell level, including curcumin found in turmeric, green and black teas, and the compounds berberine and resveratrol found in bright yellow and red plants.
Live a blood sugar balancing lifestyle
Diet isn’t the only thing that may help improve your blood sugar regulation and chronic inflammation. How you live your life makes a difference as well.
Doing moderate exercise daily helps lower the number of pro-inflammatory chemicals and promotes weight loss. Stretching, walking, jogging, lifting weights, and a short burst of high-intensity training are lovely ways to bring movement into your day.
Living in a mindful state will help with stress resilience. Meditation helps bring focus and awareness to everything you do. If you find your mind wandering, pull it back to the moment. This will allow you to be calmer and more.
If you are finding it difficult to lose weight, then stabilising blood sugar through diet and lifestyle changes may be a significant first step toward improving your health and managing a healthy weight for the long term.
And if you would like to learn more, you can join the free Sugar RESET Challenge starting Wednesday, 22 February. You can sign up here.
And if you would like to learn more about working together 1-2-1, you can book a free health consultation. Book your spot here.
And if you want to understand more about what is driving your inflammatory symptoms, check out the functional testing packages offered here at the clinic.
And remember, if you haven’t done so already, download your FREE copy of The Autoimmunity Recovery Plan to start making meaningful changes to your health today.
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