Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
Mastering Metabolic Syndrome
We’ve talked a lot about insulin resistance.
Maybe one of the most dangerous conditions linked to insulin resistance is metabolic syndrome (sometimes called syndrome X).
You have metabolic syndrome when you have 3 or more of these risk factors:
A sizable belly.
If you’re an “apple,” with a waist measuring more than 35″ as a woman or 40″ as a man, you’re already in harm’s way.
Add on any additional risk factors, like smoking, being older, or of South Asian, Mexican, or Native American descent, or having diabetes in the family, and your threshold drops to 31-35″ for women or to 37-39″ for men.
If you’ve already been diagnosed and treated for triglycerides, you have this risk factor, even if your level is lower than the 150 mg/dL threshold.
If you’ve already been diagnosed and treated for low (good) HDL, you have this risk factor, even if your level is higher than the 50 mg/dL (as a woman) or 40 mg/dL (as a man) threshold.
High blood pressure.
If you’ve already been diagnosed and treated for high blood pressure, you have this risk factor, even if your pressure is lower than the 130/85 threshold.
(If either number is higher than the threshold – even if the other one is lower – you have this risk factor.)
High fasting blood sugar.
If you’ve already been diagnosed and treated for high blood sugar, you have this risk factor, even if your fasting blood glucose is lower than the 100 mg/dL threshold.
(If you test between 100 and 125 mg/dL, you’re prediabetic; if your fasting blood test shows 126 mg/dL more than once, you’re officially diabetic.)
Are you in this group?
You’re not alone – nearly 1 in 4 Americans has metabolic syndrome, but not many of them know it.
The frightening thing about metabolic syndrome is if you do have it, you’re now twice as likely to develop heart disease and 5 times as likely to develop diabetes as those who don’t have it.
You also have a higher chance of developing fatty liver disease and PCOS.
And some severe cardiovascular damage may have already been done before you even knew you had it – several studies have found hardening of the arteries begins well before insulin resistance shows up as high fasting blood sugar.
That’s why it’s so important to take any one of these symptoms very seriously and head off metabolic syndrome before it starts – and here are some ways to do just that.
Lose just 5% of your weight (preferably more!)
Losing this amount of weight can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 58%, reduce your risk of stroke, and reduce or completely eliminate your need for blood pressure medication.
Lose 10% and you cut your overall risk of developing heart disease and increase your life expectancy.
Shooting for that 10% weight loss in a year – if not sooner – is your top priority for treatment, with an ultimate goal of a BMI under 25.
Manage your insulin response.
The uniting theme in all the risk factors for metabolic syndrome is an increased risk of insulin resistance.
If you follow this diet, especially eating smaller meals every 4 hours to keep your blood sugar stable, you’ll lessen the amount of insulin your body needs and may radically change some of these readings very quickly.
Make sure to eat some amount of protein at every meal or snack, use cinnamon, garlic, and fiber frequently, and quit smoking – all of these steps help lower blood sugar and manage insulin resistance.
Get more sleep and lower stress.
Stress is linked to increased body fat, where your stomach has more receptors for cortisol.
Reducing your stress level can automatically shrink your waist and lessen the amount of dangerous visceral fat, which is linked to systemic inflammation and decreased insulin sensitivity.
If you pair that with a solid 7+ hours of sleep a night, you’ll lower hunger hormones cortisol and ghrelin, making it easier to stick to a healthy diet.
The more muscle you have, the more cells are available to absorb glucose.
Exercise increases your cells’ ability to use insulin, so you won’t have to produce as much in response to meals.
When you produce less insulin, you lower your chances of developing diabetes.
Consider extra hormonal help.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of drugs, but in the case of metabolic syndrome, maybe hormones can help.
Recent research shows men with metabolic syndrome and diabetes are also at risk for lower levels of testosterone.
A placebo-controlled study recently found diabetic men or those with metabolic syndrome who used a testosterone gel for 14 days had increased insulin sensitivity – and those results lasted for a full year of treatment afterward.
Regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, it wouldn’t hurt anyone with metabolic syndrome to take advantage of the natural testosterone boost of intensive exercise and the testosterone-trigger foods we discussed earlier.
Come join me on my weight loss journey! I’d love to have you along!
Have an awesome day!
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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!
Dick and Lenay
email: Lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657