By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
March 25, 2015
- This might be why you’re not losing weight
- Foods that break the “fat” cycle
- One more way to drop cancer-causing pounds
In a previous editorial, we discussed how excess weight impacts your risk of getting cancer. We also talked about more than 32 foods that can help you starve cancer cells.
But to really gain the upper hand on cancer, it’s also important for you to halt the cycle of weight gain and insulin resistance that started the cascade to begin with.
You see, when you’re overweight, it leads to insulin resistance. So your pancreas pumps out more and more insulin to compensate. Well, in addition to increasing your risk of cancer, that extra insulin also causes you to pack on even more weight.
Here’s how it works…
When insulin levels stay high for too long, your body can’t properly utilize the foods you’ve eaten. The sugars never get transported to the cells when they’re needed. This can leave you with a fierce appetite, especially for carbohydrates. In fact, you feel hungrier after you eat than if you had skipped a meal.
So it’s a catch-22. Obesity leads to insulin resistance…and insulin resistance leads to obesity.
This could explain why certain weight loss plans and exercise programs might not have worked for you in the past. Getting rid of that excess weight will be nearly impossible until you break the cycle.
Additionally, your cancer risk is high until the cycle is broken.
One of the biggest problems with insulin resistance is that you can have it for years without ever knowing it. It’s easy enough to have your doctor test for it. And in the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to break the cycle.
First, let’s talk a little bit more about food. A lot of the foods that reduce your risk of cancer are fruits and vegetables. And they don’t just slash your cancer risk.
They also stop those big spikes in blood sugar that are associated with the release of insulin and fat storage. So if you are making fresh, organic fruits and vegetables the focus of your snacks and meals, you’ve got a good head start on good food habits.
Protein is also important. It stimulates the production of glucagon, a hormone that opposes insulin and allows the body to burn stored body fat. Additionally, protein helps make you feel fuller so that you don’t get as hungry during the day. So eating small amounts of protein throughout the day can do wonders to prevent the urge to overeat carbohydrates.
Now remember, there’s more to the protein category than just meat.
Try slipping in some plain Greek yogurt, an egg from pastured chickens or a serving of wild-caught fish into every meal. Nuts and seeds are good snack sources of protein, and you can always toss in a glass of almond milk or a protein shake.
Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in cold-water fish, are another great addition to your diet. They might even be one of the best things you can do to improve insulin sensitivity. These fatty acids are so effective that studies show they can work even better than the anti-diabetic drug metformin.
In just 12 weeks, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce levels of glucose and insulin. Just as importantly, they can also help to significantly decrease your body mass index. You won’t see any of these positive effects by taking metformin.
Omega-3s also come with a bonus.
These fatty acids can increase the length of your telomeres. Since excess weight tends to shorten telomeres…and since shortened telomeres are linked to insulin resistance, this is a big plus.
Look for a high quality fish oil supplement that contains oil from fresh, wild-caught, deep sea fish. And make sure it’s been molecularly distilled and tested for purity (i.e., no mercury.) Aim for 1200mg. of EPA and 800 mg. of DHA daily for telomere lengthening.
There’s one more supplement I really like when it comes to insulin response and weight.
It’s an extract from green coffee beans. It contains chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is found in regular coffee as well, but the concentration is much, much higher. In fact, green coffee beans contain a 270% higher concentration of chlorogenic acid than coffee.
Chlorogenic acid helps stop your liver from producing glucose after meals, which in turn, can help lower insulin response.
It can also help knock down some of those excess pounds. In fact, in just 60 days people who consume chlorogenic acid can lose almost twice as much weight as people who drink regular coffee. All it takes is 200 mg. twice a day before your heaviest meals.
All of these recommendations tie in with eating a Mediterranean style diet. And as a regular reader, you know this way of eating is one of the healthiest and most slimming in the world. But there’s still one more recommendation I have for you…
I heartily recommend high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, to help keep insulin resistance at bay and drop excess weight. This involves a burst of short-term high intensity exercise followed by a recovery period.
If you’re not used to being active, start by getting checked out by your doctor. When you have the go-ahead, start by doing a 30-second brisk walk. Walk as fast as you can. Then, slow down and spend three or four minutes walking regularly. Repeat four to six times. When it gets easy to do this, change the brisk walk portion to a jog…over time, you build up a sprint (if your body allows).
Another thing you can try as you build strength and endurance is this…
Sprint up a flight of stairs as fast as you can for 20 seconds eight times per week. When that becomes easy, try doing six 10-second sprints with 10 seconds of recovery between each sprint; three 20-second sprints with 20 seconds of recovery; two 30-second sprints with 30 seconds recovery; or one 60-second sprint. Do these in 4-8 mini sessions a day, 2-3 days a week with a full day of rest in between.
This type of high-intensity training works with other activities, too. Try it on your bicycle, while rowing, or even with a jump rope. Just remember to consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
If you implement most of my recommendations, you’ll be cutting your risk of weight-related cancer, dropping pounds and slashing your chances of having insulin-resistance turn into diabetes.
You’ll also have a healthier heart and brain, stronger bones and muscles, and a whole lot more pep-in-your-step.
Juárez-López C, et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce insulin resistance and triglycerides in obese children and adolescents. Pediatr Diabetes. 2013 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]
Demissie S, et al. Insulin resistance, oxidative stress, hypertension, and leukocyte telomere length in men from the Framingham Heart Study. Aging Cell. 2006 Aug;5(4):325-30.
Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stress, and leukocyte telomere length: A randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Feb;28:16-24.
Thom, E. The Effect of Chlorogenic Acid Enriched Coffee on Glucose Absorption in Healthy Volunteers and Its Effect on Body Mass. J Int Med Res. 2007 Nov-Dec;35(6):900-8.
Angelopoulos TJ, et al. Significant enhancements in glucose tolerance and insulin action in centrally obese subjects following ten days of training. Clin J Sport Med. 2002 Mar;12(2):113-8