Diabesity is projected to affect one in two Americans by 2020. Amid the barrage of doomsday news, we too often forget that this disease is preventable and reversible. That’s the starting point of Dr. Mark Hyman’s New York Times bestseller, The Blood Sugar Solution. The empowering message promotes taking control of your health by balancing myriad aspects of the day-to-day. Sign on and get ready. You’ll be challenged to remake your life, habit by habit (sayonara band-aid meds and surgeries). The former co-medical director at Canyon Ranch advocates Functional Medicine, an approach that treats the body’s integrated systems rather than symptoms. The big idea: Heal and balance body systems, and weight loss naturally follows. Peruse these key takeaways, and consider reading the book in its entirety. Peppered with real-life success stories from Hyman’s patient based, it’s a reminder that healthy living is achievable when you embrace change, no matter your starting point.
1) Formula for Success.
A main principle of Hyman’s six-week re-balancing plan: Eat small amounts of low-glycemic-load carbs with easy-to-absorb amino acids and protein throughout the day in three meals and two snacks. The program largely promotes whole, plant-based foods, along with small portions of lean animal protein. It’s anti-sugar and anti-processed-foods. No counting calories here. Just removing toxins and adding health-promoting foods and practices.
2) Adjust Diet.
Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, sugar, flour products (even gluten-free), processed foods, dairy, grains, and starchy vegetables is recommended. The aim: Rid the body of these and pack in the high-quality foods: low-glycemic-load meals, plant-nutrient-rich foods, slow carbs, and healthy fats. Also encouraged? Generous amounts of healing herbs and spices.
3) Locate, Address Imbalances.
Dr. Hyman suggests working with your doctor to discover any body imbalances, then addressing them to restore balance. He outlines seven core areas at root of reducing diabesity: upping nutrition, regulating hormones, reducing inflammation, improving digestion, detoxing, improving metabolism, and making relaxation a daily to-do.
It powerfully affects blood sugar, health, and weight, points out Dr. Hyman. Combining aerobic conditioning with strength training is his exercise recommendation for those at-risk for diabesity. He recommends at least 30 minutes of walking daily, with at least three strength-training sessions and two full-body stretching sessions weekly.
5) Schedule Stress Reduction.
Stress may trigger insulin resistance, increase inflammation, and pack on pounds, points out Dr. Hyman. He recommends relaxation as a daily non-negotiable and also suggests a one-week media fast when all Internet, magazines, newspapers, TV, and movies are cut. Suggested relaxation activities worth exploring include hot baths, exercise (especially interval training), deep breathing, prayer, meditation, massage, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Would You be willing to remake your day-to-day life to reverse diabetes?