Today’s Tip: Blood Sugar and Willpower

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Did you know that keeping your blood sugar stable and willpower go hand in hand?  I didn’t know this either, but it’s true.  When you have a drop in blood sugar, your body will demand that you bring it back up one way or the other.  Often when you get a craving for sweets it is because your blood sugar is low and needs a boost.  Unfortunately when we give in and eat the sweets, then our blood sugar raises dramatically, instead of slowly like it should and our bodies have to work harder to bring it back down.  Ideally, keeping our blood sugar balanced is the key to keeping our weight on track, staying healthy and preventing disease.  Dr. Sears says, “High blood sugar makes you fat.”  Because your body doesn’t want to waste food, if you eat more carbs than it can burn or store in the liver, insulin sends the excess into the fat cells to be stored as extra fat.  Insulin stores fat by increasing the fat-storing enzyme lipoprotein lipase in the fat tissues, and it impairs the ability of the muscles to burn fat-a double whammy.  The good news is that when healthy blood sugar levels are maintained, belly fat is often the first to go.  Insulin regulates the hormones that tell you if you’re hungry or not.  When blood sugar levels are just right, insulin alerts the brain to release the hormones that telly you you’ve eaten enough.  When blood sugar levels are not optimal, the brain gets inaccurate signals that suggest you’re hungry and should eat, when in reality your body doesn’t need to.  Persistently high levels of blood sugar make you need more carbs to satisfy hunger.  So, the answer is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day by grazing.  Grazing is eating small healthy meals/snacks throughout the day, rather than eating three big meals a day.  Who knew that just keeping our blood sugar stable would give us willpower to keep from overeating?  Our bodies really do know the best way to do things, we just need to learn to listen to them.

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