Insulin resistance occurs when the pancreas works overtime to produce more insulin than it should because the body’s cells have become resistant to insulin. In other words, the body attempts to provide more insulin than normal to keep blood sugar normal. Insulin resistance precedes the development of type 2 diabetes. There is good evidence that obesity is a major cause of insulin resistance which, in turn, affects blood pressure, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and fasting glucose levels.
With the holidays behind us, take a moment and ask yourself how you are currently eating and compare it to how you ate during the holidays. Have you extended your holiday season by continuing to eat liberally or are you back to a disciplined food plan? Are you dealing with some added pounds due to letting down your guard over the past two months?
Before setting goals for the New Year, think about the big picture and where you would like to be – 5, 10 years from now. What types of activities would you enjoy? What would mean the most to you? Do you want to travel, play with your grandchildren? To do the things you enjoy, you don’t want your body weight to affect your health and get in the way of your quality of life. So it is first important to identify what means a lot to you. It is easier to motivate oneself if there is a reason to make and keep making those changes.
The reality is that holiday foods are calorically dense. In other words, a small portion has a significant number of calories. To expect to burn off these extra calories through exercise is wishful thinking. Why? Because seasonal goodies have far more calories than is possible to burn off doing a realistic amount of exercise. What compounds the problem is that holiday indulgence occurs almost daily from Thanksgiving through the end of the year.
Thanksgiving dinner can be a calorie disaster. Knowledge is power, so be aware of the calories you are consuming in typical Thanksgiving foods. Use the following tips to choose wisely: *White Means Light 4 ounces of turkey breast has 180 calories; 4 ounces of dark meat has 323