The flurry and excitement of Christmas is still fresh in my mind as being a wonderful time of family, food, fun, food, friends, oh and did I say food? If your celebrations and family gatherings were anything like mine, food was always at the forefront. For many people, this type of abundance tends to linger, much like that left over fruit cake, often in the form of excess bloat and weight that can easily add an extra 10 to 15 pounds around the middle. Not quite the Christmas keepsake anyone is hoping for.
I am quite certain that over-indulging at Christmas is not the only reason most New Year's resolutions include some type of weight loss or fitness program, but I do think it may just be the tipping point for some, the straw that broke the camel's back if you will. Is it any wonder that the number one New Year's resolution for 2014 was losing weight? According to statistics collected January 1, 2014 by Scranton University and published in their Journal of Clinical Psychology, 38% of Americans made weight loss resolutions, but only 8% actually achieved those goals. Dismal numbers at best. So, if greater than one-third of the population is interested in better health and are actually motivated to make a resolution and get started in some way, why are so few people succeeding? The answer is simple, diets don't work.
Typically when a person decides to lose weight, he or she has reached their breaking point and will do almost anything in an effort to get the weight off quickly and feel better about themselves. In some way, the extra weight has interfered in their lives in such a way as to make day to day living uncomfortable or even unbearable. Enter the diet. There are hundreds, no thousands, of books, cds, online programs and diet centres available promising results quickly. And, in all fairness, anyone can actually lose weight on a diet, but because diets are based on deprivation and cutting calories and/or food groups, they are neither healthy, nor are the results sustainable. So, how about we take a look at what will work in the now, as well as for life.
This year I encourage anyone resolving to; lose weight, improve eating habits, increase fitness levels, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increase energy, reduce joint pain, eliminate sugar cravings, lower blood sugar levels, etc., to consider a blood sugar stabilization program rather than dieting. And no, that list was not a misprint. You can win and succeed in all of these areas. Because blood sugar stabilization allows your body to release fat and increase metabolism, weight is lost and lean muscle is built. And because the above list of conditions is exacerbated by excess weight, losing weight has a positive effect in all these areas. So, what does eating to balance blood sugar look like and how is it different than a diet? Let me explain.
Eating to balance blood sugar simply means eating in 3s. By eating small, balanced meals, each consisting of a protein, fat and carbohydrate, within one hour of waking and every 3-4 hours throughout the day up until and including one hour before bed, blood sugar is stabilized. When blood sugar is stable, fat is released into the body and can be burned as energy and lean muscle can be built. When this happens on a consistent basis, metabolism begins to speed up, allowing even more fat to be released and burned. Each pound of stored fat has 3500 calories of energy waiting to be used. It's no wonder energy levels go through the roof for people who live this program.
Let's now compare blood sugar stabilization to a diet. Blood sugar stabilization is a program designed to fuel the body based according to the science and physiology of how our bodies function naturally. Food groups are not eliminated, calories per day are not restricted and it does not rely on purchasing special foods, pills or hormones in order to have success. Diets, on the other hand, are designed to work only through restrictions or eliminations that are often unrealistic and therefore the results are not sustainable for life. For example; a no carb or low fat diet, allowing only a certain number of calories per day regardless of the number of hours the person is awake and active, purchasing pre-packaged meals or consuming diet pills/hormones.
In comparing blood sugar stabilization and diets, it's fairly obvious to see that blood sugar stabilization is the healthier, more sustainable alternative. So this New Year's if you are one of the many wanting to lose weight and get healthier in 2015, make this New Year's resolution your last ever around weight loss. Decide this year to start living the program of blood sugar stabilization and enjoy a New Year and a New You!
Tania Gustafson, Nutritionist & Fitness Coach (IBNFC)
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