Food that we consume is broken down and processed in our digestive tract into sugar molecules known as glucose that can be easily absorbed by the cells of our body. The amount of #glucose# in our blood is modulated by the hormone #insulin# released by the #pancreas#. These glucose molecules are assisted by insulin to gain entrance inside the cells of the body. The insulin binds to the glucose molecules and act as a key that unlocks the door to the cells. Specifically, the insulin will carry the glucose to the #liver#, #muscle# and fat cells to be stored for release of future energy. In Type II #diabetes#, the cells are not responsive to insulin and this is known as #insulin resistance#. The insulin will still carry the glucose molecules to the cells but the cells will not open their doors as easily. As a result, there is too much sugar build-up in our blood, known as blood glucose concentration, which can damage the liver, kidneys, eye and nerves. The pancreas in turn tries to pump out more insulin to deal with the high glucose concentration in the blood stream. As a result of the increased insulin in the blood, it is also very difficult for the body to burn fats. In fact, the fatty acids in the blood move into fat storage that lead to increase in weight gain. Additionally, since the cells don’t have enough glucose to provide continuous energy release, one can feel more tired and have more sugar cravings.
How can we cope with insulin resistance? We can eat more complex carbohydratess to slowly introduce the glucose into our blood stream – this prevents too much insulin from releasing and building up in the blood causing fat storage and subsequent weight gains.
We can simultaneously increase our levels of #physical activity# and engage in moderate exercises. When our muscles are more active, that increases the amount of glucose that can be easily taken up by our muscle cells, without needing the help of insulin. Additionally, the #energy storing capacity# in our muscles increases gradually with increased muscular activities.
Have you felt trapped in a vicious cycle of low #metabolism and low #energy? We get stuck into the never-ending pattern of lack of #physical energy and never seem to be able to break out from its tight grip.
It really is a cycle and unfortunately there is no way to come out of it without a purposeful intent and desire to make that happen. If you are reading this article, that is definitely a step in the right direction. Here we have summarized some helpful steps to break out of the vicious cycle of continuous low energy and boost our metabolism.
There are various mechanisms to jumpstart our metabolic system -one of the easiest being food intake since there is a thermic effect from the digestion of food itself. However, all #calories are not created equal – a donut and a piece of lean chicken breast with the same calorie content does not translate to the same net energy in our body. Thermogenic foods are those smart foods that actually scorch significant calories during their digestion process. 30% of the calories in a piece of chicken is required in the process of its own digestion- thus the net calories are less than total consumed! Some examples of #thermogenic foods are chicken, turkey breasts, lean red meat, such as veal and almost all types of fish and shellfish. Celery is also a great example with net negative calories! These lean proteins, some brown starch and fibrous vegetables make a highly effective combination also for burning fat in our bodies. (Check our links on aging well physically :
Besides choosing the right combination of thermogenic and smart calorie foods, we can #energize our system with light weight-lifting and aerobic exercises. Gradually increasing our #activity levels from light to moderate can eventually reverse the vicious negative cycle into a cycle of positive energy! The energy released from working out in turn helps us to be more active in general.
In order to maintain a healthy activity level at all times, we can also hack our system with incidental workouts. Sometimes despite our desire to remain active, we find ourselves sitting long hours at work and at home. How can we move away from this #sedentary #lifestyle? Finding opportunities to flex our muscles or doing incidental workouts is the answer. We can train our brains and form #healthy habits to choose the stairs over elevator, park a little farther from the entrance, walk the longer route to the coffee machine or carry the heavy grocery bags!