Why Balancing Your Blood Sugar is Key to a Slimmer Waist
Blood sugar is probably a term you’ve heard thrown around here and there, but do you understand what it is, and what effect it has on your body? As it turns out, balancing your blood sugar is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.
Cortisol is the hormone that governs your hunger, digestion, blood pressure, sleep patterns, physical activity, and the capacity to cope with stress. It belongs to the glucocorticoid family—a fancy name for the substances that can raise your glucose.
Blood sugar, aka glucose, is your main source of energy. Blood sugar is produced when we break down any carbohydrate—from quinoa to cake. The key idea with respect to blood sugar is balance. We feel our best and lose fat when our blood sugar is balanced: not too high, not too low. Eating the right amount of protein, fat, and fiber at each meal can help you naturally stabilize your own blood sugar to burn fat and have consistent energy throughout the day. It will also help keep any kind of significant insulin spikes at bay.
Here’s the low down: insulin is made in the pancreas. The main job of insulin is to regulate your blood sugar. Think of insulin as the knock on the door of your muscle, liver, and fat cells. Insulin is a fat-storage hormone, so it causes you to deposit more fat, especially around your waist when your blood sugar is out of balance.
Balancing your blood sugar is more than making the necessary dietary changes. The proven secret to finding balance in your blood sugar is to address your stress, which will balance your cortisol. There are several ways to lower cortisol. Consider hitting the pause button as your first line of defense. Here are some tips:
Diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing, used in yoga, meditation, and tai chi, entails bringing air deeply into your lower and upper lungs. This relaxing and therapeutic form of breathing, also called abdominal breathing, has been shown to lower stress and cortisol.
Yoga. Recent data suggest that the benefit of yoga arises from not just the physical poses but also from yoga as an integrated philosophical package. Studies show that yoga lowers cortisol and lowers blood sugar.
Meditation. Not surprisingly, meditation lowers cortisol, improves sleep, decreases worry, and reduces depression, anxiety, and distress in people with various stress-related health problems. Additionally, it has been shown to reduce stress and abdominal fat.
Vitamin B5. Pantetheine (B5) appears to reduce cortisol in women under high stress. If you are under prolonged stress and having trouble losing weight around your waist, consider taking 500 mg/day.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a safe vitamin to add to your regimen. Adult doses shown to lower cortisol levels were 1,000 mg three times daily.
Omega 3. Women who took 4,000 mg (4 grams) of fish oil a day for six weeks lowered morning cortisol to healthier levels and increased lean body mass.
Nicole Buratti is a Certified Women’s Health Consultant. Contact her at NicolemBuratti@gmail.com