What Causes Blood Sugar to Rise
First of all, before we can address the question of weight loss through the regulation of blood sugar levels, we must start by discovering what causes blood sugar levels to rise in the first place. Although to some the answer might seem fairly simple, to others it may not. What causes a persons blood sugar to rise is in fact sugar itself! Simple enough? Maybe not.
What foods contain sugar?
When most people think of sugar they immediately think of the white stuff they put in their coffee in the morning. The truth is that we can get 'sugar' from any substance we put in our bodies which will eventually break down into sugar. These types of foods are any that contain carbohydrates. This means that all carbs, whether it be the less nutritious cake, chips, pop or candy or even the healthier alternatives such as apples, oranges, or whole wheat bread, will all eventually break down into sugar in the body. It goes without saying that certain sugars will have a greater impact than others and this should be taken into consideration when trying to lose weight.
How eating sugar makes your body crave more sugar
When the body detects sugar, our blood sugar levels will inevitably rise. This causes the pancreas to secrete a hormone called insulin. Insulin's main function in the body is to bring the blood sugar levels back down to a safe level. That being said, over consumption of sugar can cause the pancreas to go into overdrive and secrete more insulin than what is needed. This will inevitably lead to a blood sugar crash which leaves us feeling tired, lethargic and will eventually lead us to crave things which will bring our blood sugar levels back up again. And what type of food might that be? You guessed it! More sugar! More carbs!
How eating protein makes your body crave less sugar
When the body detects protein, the pancreas secretes a different hormone called glucagon. Most people have never heard of glucagon or believe that it is the same thing as glycogen. Its not. Glucagon is a complete separate hormone with a completely separate function: glucagon regulates insulin levels. Think of insulin and glucagon as the brother and sister that don't get along. As insulin is dropping your blood sugar levels down, glucagon comes along and 'fights' with it to make sure that it does not go down so far as to create the blood sugar crash. By preventing this crash, glucagon is preventing the recurring cravings for more sugars and carbs.
How regulating blood sugar levels can help you lose weight faster
First off, as previously mentioned, protein keeps the blood sugar levels stable and helps to prevent further hunger and cravings. Secondly, although insulin does have an important function in the body, at the same time it is also a hormone which promotes fat storage. This means that although glucagon can help to minimize its effects, it cannot undo them altogether.
So what should you eat for optimal weight loss?
Ideally, choose carbohydrates which are slower digesting in the body such as beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. In general, more fiber is always better! Try and limit white breads and processes sugars which have a greater impact on your pancreases' decision to secrete insulin. Next, be sure to eat a balanced meal of lean meats and proteins at the same time as you are consuming your carbohydrates. This means that at every meal and every snack you should be combining both carbohydrates and proteins together to allow your blood sugar to stay in the best range for weight loss. Snacking on an apple? Grab some cottage cheese or greek yogurt with that!
Burn calories? Or store them away?
A calorie is not just a calorie. Your body's decision to either burn off that calorie or to store it away as fat makes a huge difference in your weight loss goals. Your insulin levels play a huge part in your body's decision so be good to yourself. After all, you always want to work with your metabolism - not against it!