I am hoping my role is to help people become healthier, and not just focused on the number on the scale; of course we become healthier as we lose weight, but we can also become healthier well before weight loss.
What is metabolic health? It’s a combination of factors including: regular activity, proper sleep, decreasing stress and a nutritious diet. As we focus on each of these factors, our immune health (think COVID) improves, inflammation reduces, we lower triglycerides and increase good cholesterol, we lower blood pressure, reduce fat in the liver (a huge risk to our health), and in turn reduce risk of coronary disease, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, and other chronic disease.
I fear that a lot of us simply look at the scale, and forget to look at longevity, disease prevention or remission, our energy levels, our moods, etc. All of these factors improve (or worsen) depending on the food choices we make and our stress/sleep/activity levels.
I don’t think there is any question that over-consumption of highly processed food (namely refined carbohydrates, sugar and seed oils), is at the root of most of the chronic diseases plaguing our society.
Even before you experience marked weight reduction, your metabolic health improves greatly by avoiding highly processed carbs and sugar, and decreasing the load of carbohydrates on your body (and therefore your insulin). As I follow blood insulin levels in my patients, I can notice these levels improving as we get rid of refined carbs and sugar in our diet! I see inflammatory markers go way down and previously elevated liver function tests (fatty liver) improving.
Of course, the side benefit is often a reduction of the dangerous belly fat!
Staying active has an incredible impact on improving muscle density, improving vascular function, lowering stress and depression, and improving sleep. We mustn’t forget how important activity is for our long term health. As well, sleep!
We all need to improve our metabolic health. I believe in the USA, about 88 percent of people are metabolically sick (high insulin/fatty liver/ increased visceral fat), however, they are not aware.
I want you to be aware! If you focus on the things that will improve your metabolic health you will also see weight loss.
I realize that work stress/ COVID exhaustion/ home demands…many things can get in our way. We then may develop an addiction to carbs and sugar as a coping mechanism to deal with our emotional stress. These factors make change difficult, but we can help you change both your mindset and your actions.
I suggest you listen to a wonderful podcast on “low carb MD” interviewing Dr. Philip Obadia. He was morbidly over weight, but, more importantly, a cardiac surgeon who operated on people with coronary disease. He talks about metabolic health and the effect of carbohydrates (insulin) worsening our health, from both a personal and professional perspective.
Keep working at changing your eating habits, improving the regularity of your exercise, improving your sleep and reducing stress. The physiological impact of stress is automatically reduced through stable blood glucose, regular activity and more sleep, even if our life circumstances remain the same.
You are strong and resilient, and you have everything you need within yourself to continue powerfully on your health journey. Just keep trying! Don’t ever give up!