What is insulin resistance and why is it a problem? Insulin resistance is a major driver of chronic disease in this country and one of the factors that sets your weight set point. Insulin resistance is associated with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease, stroke, hypertension, and the list goes on. This is one reason we test a fasting insulin in our weight loss programs at the Loveland Medical Clinic. This article is on how insulin resistance occurs and how you can reverse it.
Insulin and Glucose
Insulin is a hormone that allows the cells to absorb glucose. In the 1950’s we ate 3 meals a day with no snacks. This allowed insulin levels to return to baseline on a daily basis. These days meal frequency has increased with snacking which just did not exist in the 50’s. Because of this and an increase in the poor quality of processed foods our insulin does not return to baseline levels. Insulin is the fat storage hormone and will cause your body to store fat as long as you are constantly running an elevated level of glucose.
How Insulin Resistance Occurs
Let’s use an analogy to explain insulin resistance. Imagine a train that comes by everyday. The train cars are the cells in your body. The passengers are glucose. When the train cars are empty the passengers(glucose) can easily get into the train. The cells(train cars) can use up only so much glucose per day. Insulin is what opens up the train car doors and allows glucose(passengers) to enter. Now imagine that after years and years of too much glucose the cells are not using up all the glucose(emptying the cars of passengers). So now when the train arrives the cars have people in them already. So insulin starts to push people into the train cars just like the people pushers in the Tokyo subway system. You end up needing more and more people pushers(insulin) to shove people into the train cars as they get more and more stuffed. That is insulin resistance.
Liver and Insulin Resistance
The liver has 2 functions with insulin. If your glucose drops low it produces glucose. If your glucose is high it converts glucose into fat. Back to the subway analogy. Image the car comes by and the car is full of people and you can’t stuff anymore people in. Excess glucose(passengers on the platform) in the blood is toxic to the body and something has to be done by the body about this. The stranded people on the platform(blood glucose) is converted by the liver into fat. The liver can make fat forever which is why people end up with fatty liver disease and obese. This is what is called metabolic syndrome.
Reversing Insulin Resistance (Diabetes Type 2)
Now that we understand that too much glucose and insulin are the cause of insulin resistance we can devise a simple treatment.When your medical provider places you on insulin or drugs that increase insulin in the body they are not solving the problem, they are making it worse. The problem is excess glucose and all the cells are stuffed with that already. You need to get rid of the excess glucose which will solve the insulin resistance problem. That is where a low carbohydrate diet comes in. Everyone is different in how their body uses up insulin. In general you need to get under 75gm of carbohydrates per day to start reversing this . Some people are so carbohydrate sensitive that they need to get under 20 gm of carbs per day. A ketogenic diet accomplishes the same thing and reverse this problem faster. The fastest way to reverse this is fasting. When you do not eat you have no glucose and your body will use up all those extra passengers hanging around. Then the body will start using up the fat since no glucose is available for fuel. The only essential macronutrients are fats and protein. The brain functions great on fats because it will break them down into ketones and it will create glucose from fatty acids. The ancient Greeks used to fast for the sole purpose of improving their mental clarity.
Intensive Dietary Management Program
The Loveland Medical Clinic uses all the above methods in their Intensive Dietary Management Program. We will wean you off your diabetes medications and reverse your diabetes. If the insulin resistance is taken care of , you solve the type 2 diabetes problem. If this is something you are interested get in touch with us and we can get you started.
So you are going on vacation. Congratulations. The question is how do I eat healthy when I am on vacation. That is what this article is all about. I recently went on vacation to Spain and this is what I did.
Some vacations are more active than others. If you are one of my patients you already know that diet is 95% of weight and exercise is only about 5%. Exercise still is important for so many other functions so do not ignore this. I hiked and biked the Way of St James in Spain in April and for 24 days traveled “The Way”. Since I am on a ketogenic diet that basically means minimal carbs in my diet. While possible, why would I want to do this on vacation ? I wouldn’t and I didn’t.
My Vacation Eating Philosophy
My philosophy is that their is a time for feasting and a time for fasting. Remarkably our bodies are well designed for this. Think about your caveman ancestors. They killed something and feasted for a short while. Following that who knows when they would get their next meal and were in a forced fast for a while. You have 40,000 calories of stored fat in your body. You could walk across the United States on you fat stores. Vacation is not the time for fasting though. You are celebrating your hard work so go out and enjoy yourself.
My Vacation Eating Routine
My routine in the morning was I got up and walked till I found a cafe that served espresso. The Spanish really love their coffee and know how to make it. I would walk a couple more hours and have another espresso. Those of you who have done the 22 Day Weight Loss Program know that I do not advocate eating fruit unless you are exercising. Since I was walking or biking daily I took advantage of this and ate oranges everyday. Spanish oranges are the bomb. Later on in the trip I did start to eat breakfast around 10am or so and that usually consisted of eggs with bacon/ham/chorizo and a bit of bread. I know, I do not advocate eating bread either but I was on vacation and I did enjoy myself.
Spain does not have an obesity problem. I believe part of the cause of this is they eat only freshly prepared, unprocessed foods. I do not know what the big cities are like but I basically saw no fast food in any of the smaller cities and rural areas. The tapas and pinchos are all freshly make and consist of healthy ingredients like fish, eggs, olive oil, and some bread. I ate potatoes while here and those were never deep fried. In St Jean (France) I found a macaroon store and you better believe I indulged.
In summary , when you are on vacation enjoy yourself. I did put off the first meal of the day as long as possible. I ate whatever I wanted but I ate in moderation as well. I was lucky in that the Spanish do cook wonderfully unprocessed meals which are healthy in themselves, but I did not concern myself too much about what I ate. If you are ever in Spain make sure you try paella which is a famous Spanish dish made with rice. Bon apetite
Hi, this is Siegfried with the Loveland Medical Clinic. I take very few supplements, but one supplement I take on a daily basis is magnesium. Since I have recently received a lot of questions on this I thought I would write a blog post on Magnesium and how it affects you.
What is Magnesium
By some estimates over 75% of Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diet. There are over 3000 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins. It is required by 300 enzymes in your body and enzymes are crucial for proper metabolic function. Magnesium is one of the most abundant electrolytes in your body. Glutathione , which is your body’s most powerful antioxidant requires magnesium to be produced. So naturally if you are deficient in this there will be problems.
Function of Magnesium
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the energy molecule of you body. Magnesium plays a large part in the creation of this molecule. Magnesium works in conjunction with calcium in the formation of bones and teeth. Magnesium plays a role in relaxation of blood vessels. So a deficit of this important electrolyte can contribute to high blood pressure.
Why I take Magnesium
The reason I take magnesium is to help with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance contributes to weight gain and type 2 diabetes. The Framingham Offspring cohort (2006) showed that higher magnesium levels reduced type 2 diabetes risk and increased insulin sensitivity. The American Diabetes Association did a study in 2013 which reinforced this information. With my history of diabetes you can bet I am taking a magnesium supplement every day.
Who is deficient in Magnesium
Older adults tend to be low on magnesium because they absorb less with age and are more likely to be on medications that interfere with absorption. If you have any kind of kidney problem you will be low because the kidneys will not be performing their proper function of holding magnesium in the body. Poorly controlled diabetes urinate a lot and that causes them to be low on magnesium. That is a double whammy for them. Last of all alcoholics are 60 percent likely to be low on magnesium. Watch how much you drink.
What to supplement . It is quite easy to supplement orally with magnesium. I tend to use the citrate or chloride forms. There is a newer form called magnesium threonate which is supposed to have the best absorption of all. Of course being new, it is more expensive. Make sure you stay away from mag stearate which can actually be harmful due to the stearate(stearic acid ). Below is the magnesium I currently use. I take 2 of these daily which gives me about 400 mg of elemental magnesium. Take it at night because it will help you with your sleep. It also works great if you are one of those people how have frequent cramps.
Myers Cocktail Vitamin IV Infusion
The Loveland Medical Clinic does do Myers Cocktails for its clients. This vitamin IV infusion has magnesium in it as well as many B vitamins and vitamin C. I take this once a month and I can certainly feel its affects. If you have any questions post on our facebook page and I will answer your questions.
Hi folks, Siegfried here with another restaurant review. I am writing these reviews because people ask me frequently how do we stay low carb when we are eating out. It is actually getting easier these day because lots of restaurants are getting gluten free menus. Door 222 is one of those. Now I have been coming here since they were called Next Door and they are still the same great place. I go here for tapas quite often and do not even eat a main course. Tapas are basically appetizers. In Spanish culture you go from bar to bar and have tapas and drinks. They are small plates meant for sharing.
Price Door 222
Door 222 has great food. You get what you pay for. They do have happy hour daily from 3pm to 530pm. They have a separate happy hour menu that has plenty to keep anyone happy. I like the fact that they go locally as much as possible for their food stuffs. That means it is fresh and supporting our local economy. On this trip I went with the stuffed Peppadew Peppers with Serrano Ham , Goat Cheese and Balsamic Reduction which was 9 dollars. You can see the picture above.
Concept Door 222
Door 222 has a variety of foods. While you might be fooled into thinking because of the tapas that it is a Spanish restaurant, they actually serve a wide variety of food. Burgers, steaks, seafood, and pasta made with locally sourced food when available. Great drink menu as well as some of their own concoctions. I find the construction of the place really cool. They took some parts of old building and incorporated it into their place. The really old thick beams and doors make the place very interesting.
Execution Door 222
We visited on a Sunday and arrived around 415pm. Where they sat us down there was only one other couple there in our row. By the time we left over an hour later the whole place was full. What is amazing is there was no slowing of service. Our waiter was excellent and we never felt rushed or hovered over. The other cool thing is because of the way Door 222 is designed it never got too loud. They definitely work like a good team. I ended up having the Seafood Cioppino that has shrimp, clams, calamari, herbs, white wine, and Tomato Broth. It was excellent. I was definitely able to keep this a low carb meal with lots of flavor.
Value Door 222
If you are going for great food and interesting atmosphere this is the place for you. Nice central location on 4th Street downtown Loveland. They do have special events. I remember doing a beer dinner pairing several years ago that was excellent. So if you are visiting Loveland check out Door 222.
What is something useless worth. You can do their 30 day online program for 40 dollars. You can also go to one of their resorts and spend a couple thousand dollars. I have put a video below which shows what happened to the contestants after the show. Over 90 percent gained all or more of their weight back. So is either price worth it to you ? Unfortunately the TV reality show gave them a lot of attention and that rocketed that companies sales to the detriment of peoples health. You can go to TrueNorth Health Center in California for less and come out much healthier. No , I am not affiliated with them, but I admire their program.
Concept of Biggest Loser Diet
They swear by the calorie restriction and exercise to lose weight theme. Lets talk about exercise. In the show they had contestants exercising up to 5 hours a day. Is that sustainable ? Heavy exercise does boost your metabolism. It also makes you hungrier and you tend to eat more because of this. Calorie restriction will eventually slow down your metabolism which will reverse your gains unless you change your way of eating which this diet does not accomplish. Below is an example of a breakfast shake. Banana, low fat yogurt, honey, pineapple juice, and honey will jack your insulin level through the roof and is not conducive to weight loss. Yes, you would have to work out 5 hours a day if you eat like that all the time.
You have to give them credit for this because they execute their program like no one else. Great website, great service, and their resort are are a resort. Here is a link to some reviews of their resorts. They have a recipe section which is nice. I even found a couple recipes that I could use for my low carb high fat lifestyle .
They get a big fat zero here. Go to the resort if you want to go on vacation, not to lose weight. Like I have stated many times in the past you will lose weight on any weight loss program, but unless you change the basics of your diet it will all come back. US News ranks this diet tied for fifth. You can see that review here. My advice is don’t do it.
Just as I was ready to leave on a vacation trip I had a need for urgent care. Ultrasound Solution saved the day and my vacation. Their service was convenient--in my home, and professional. I will definitely call them again.