Getting a diagnosis of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes is an emotional thing. You feel scared, worried, paralyzed, and maybe embarrassed.
You rely on your doctor to give you solutions. If you’re lucky your doctor might have told you to change your diet and lose weight.
Like any other normal human, you turn to the diet industry to get your answers about what to eat.
The problem is that the diet industry has dished out horrible advice for decades.
It’s been pounded into our heads that calorie counting and how much you eat is the best predictor if someone will lose weight or not.
There’s a reason why the diet industry is a $6 billion dollar industry.
When diets fail, people keep going back for more when something doesn’t work thinking it was user error or the diet’s fault.
People (mostly woman) are pouring money into programs, supplements, and promises that won’t ever deliver the lasting results they’re needing and wanting.
Ladies, diets don’t work.
If you’ve been on 100 of them like most women then you know what I’m talking about.
The diet industry is skipping over the most important piece of the weight loss puzzle.
How much you eat is much less important than what you eat and when.
What you eat and when you eat affects your hormones.
Hormones are what determine if you lose weight or not.
The diet industry doesn’t want you to know this because it would put companies and businesses that are making oodles of money out of business.
Money’s the bottom line for these companies and businesses.
Not your health and certainly not your weight.
Hormones and Your Weight
The primary hormones responsible for your weight are insulin and cortisol.
Cortisol is released when your body is stressed. The body doesn’t distinguish sources of stress and whether the stress is real or perceived. Stress, is stress, is stress.
Sources of stress can range from the demands of your job and boss, not getting enough sleep, over exercising, even dehydration.
Cortisol (the stress hormone) is released during times of stress. The stress triggers the release of cortisol. Ideally, the stress is resolved and cortisol is no longer pumping through our body. This is all normal.
The problem arises when stress is severe and persistent over time. Prolonged stress means cortisol is flooding your body at all times. Your body is very smart. The first defense your body takes to combat stress is to hold onto fat.
The more stress you have in your life, the more fat your body is holding onto.
The solution? Develop ways to get back into a relaxed state after a stress stimuli is present. Deep breathing, mindset shifts, even stepping outside are techniques that can be used anytime and just about anywhere.
Finding ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life is ideal. What can you say “no” to? What or who is draining your time and energy that you can eliminate? Are there things you’re doing that you can ask for help to lighten your load?
There’s always going to be stress in your life. The key is finding ways to reduce and manage more effectively what comes up.
Insulin is the other hormone responsible for your your weight. Insulin is known as the fat storage hormone.
Insulin is released every time you eat. It’s job is to deliver energy (glucose, also known as sugar) from your blood to your cells. The more glucose or sugar you have in your bloodstream, the more insulin that gets released. When you have an excess of insulin due to an excess of glucose (sugar), the only other place for the glucose to be placed is in fat storage.
Certain foods raise your blood sugar more than others, requiring more or less insulin. Carbohydrates increase your blood sugar the the most, protein, and then fat.
The idea is to keep your carbohydrates lower, protein at a moderate amount, and a little more fat to minimize how much insulin is released.
It’s a project of trial and error to figure out the portions of each type of food that works for your body. You know you’ve got it figured out when you can go from one meal to the next, 4-6 hours apart, without feeling hungry and needing to eat.
Another way to support and lower insulin is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is when you eat during a portion of the day, and don’t eat the rest. During times of fasting (or not eating), your insulin drops. This allows your body to use stored energy (glucose) in your cells. Eventually your body will switch from burning sugar as energy to using your body fat as energy.
I know you want to count calories to address your diagnosis and weight. It’s a default setting we’ve all developed. I assure you, focusing on calories is not a long term solution. Nor will it put you on a path to lowering your blood sugar and reversing your prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Knowing how your hormones work, specifically cortisol and insulin, will lead you to the answers you’re looking for. Questions about where to start can feel overwhelming. I’ve made an easy in a step-by-step free resource that will help you address your insulin with food in my Ultimate Guide to End Sugar & Carb Cravings. Following my process and your need to guess what to eat will vanish. The need for a special diet with ridiculous rules will go out the window. And best of all, the dread of going back to see your doctor won’t be so dreadful. You’ll have a tool you can use to change your blood sugar numbers and get you on the track to health.