Now that you’ve cut out sugar and starches, you’ve started to eat breakfast and stopped skipping meals, and you’ve embarked on an elimination diet – let’s continue with the necessary steps to lose weight and detox. If you’re not following me right now, please read parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series by clicking on the numbers above. In this part, I’ll continue on the benefits of eating healthy and normalizing blood sugar.
If you’ve just completed the elimination diet and immediately realize that you lost 5-10lbs already, inflammation is one of your biggest problems. Inflammation is probably the most destructive process that occurs in the body, and is essentially everyone’s problem regarding any health challenge. And even though inflammation serves a very important purpose, when it’s constant, it can (and will) wreak havoc on every system in the body. When there’s inflammation in the digestive tract from constant consumption of food sensitivities, it will usually cause systemic inflammation. So what’s the problem with inflammation you ask? As mentioned earlier in this series, inflammation will contribute to blood sugar imbalances by interfering with cortisol (causing it to spike). This will result in insulin spikes as well. After this takes place over a period time from stress and poor eating habits, inflammation and the resultant spikes in insulin will interfere with the way insulin works at the cellular level. [By the way, imbalances in blood sugar will also lead to inflammation – so it works both ways.]
Cortisol is a hormone that helps break down stores of glycogen (stored starch) in order to raise blood sugar during times of physical and mental/emotional stress; and insulin is a hormone that deals with glucose (or sugar) transport and storage. Essentially, the constant insulin spikes and inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines that result from blood sugar imbalances will help promote insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition which prevents cells from taking up glucose from the blood, because the cells no longer respond to insulin’s message. And when this happens, the body converts the excess glucose (which the cells can’t take up) to fatty acids, that are then stored as fat.
In addition to contributing to insulin resistance, inflammation and blood sugar imbalances (along with the insulin and cortisol spikes) will eventually lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone whose purpose is to let the brain know that you are full or satiated. When you become resistant to this hormone (again, meaning that cells do not respond to the hormone’s message sufficiently), you’ll wind up overeating. This can obviously lead to weight gain.
So how do we reverse insulin resistance and cortisol spikes? Again, the answer is in your diet (and certainly avoiding mental/emotional stress). You need to avoid the foods you are sensitive to and maintain even-keeled blood sugar by avoiding sugar and limiting starches. And now what about leptin resistance? In order to help reverse this, you need to eat small meals throughout the day and eat slowly so that you can realize that you’ve eaten enough and then simply stop. It may take some time, but the rewards will eventually pay off.
Good luck and check back for more information on weight loss and detox.
Dr. Rob D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Diplomate of the International Board of Applied Kinesiology