Hundreds of millions of people want to know how to reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity these days. That’s because both of these diseases have reached epidemic proportions. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports an estimated 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, and another 84.1 million have prediabetes.
But the numbers of those with diabetes are not even close to the numbers of obese Americans. The CDC reports that 93.3 million American adults were obese in 2015-2016. Obesity is a condition in which the percentage of body fat is high enough as to significantly increase the risk of health problems.
You don’t have to be obese to suffer weight-related health problems, however. Research shows that carrying any extra weight increases your risk of health problems, though not as much as being obese does. How many Americans are overweight? According to the CDC, more than 70% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. And a study published in The Lancet found that almost 30% of America’s youth — children and teens under the age of 20 — were overweight or obese.
Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity by Understanding the Link
Type 2 diabetes and obesity have become twin epidemics because obesity is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. There is such a close link between obesity and type 2 diabetes, in fact, that a new term has been coined to describe this condition: diabesity.
Doctors have known for decades that their overweight or obese patients tended to develop type 2 diabetes more often than their “normal” weight patients did. They may not have dwelled on it much. After all, the link between obesity and type 2 diabesity wasn’t something they learned in medical school. This link also wasn’t addressed in any of their continuing education course. But they kept treating their overweight and obese patients, and when type 2 diabesity developed, they treated this condition, too.
In the early ‘90s, researchers scientifically demonstrated a clear relationship between excess weight and the development of type 2 diabetes. But it wasn’t until the mid- to late- ‘90s that most of the medical establishment accepted these findings. It took a lot longer for them to discover the reason for this link, which is insulin.
Understanding how insulin impacts the body will help you reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The Role of Insulin in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Many clinical research studies show obesity causes insulin resistance. The reason for this, some studies show, is that as fat cells get larger, they attract immune cells that release inflammatory chemicals. This results in chronic, low-grade inflammation that promotes insulin resistance. If insulin resistance continues long term, it can result in type 2 diabetes.
Studies also show, however, that insulin resistance can also cause obesity. This is because insulin is a fat-storage hormone. If you have chronically high levels of insulin circulating in your bloodstream, it causes your body to store fat. In either case, the resulting insulin resistance increases your risk for type 2 diabetes.
It is not a surprise that studies show almost 90% of those who are obese will develop type 2 diabetes, and 90% of diabetics are obese. Obesity and type 2 diabetes share the same underlying cause — insulin resistance.
Want to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity? Understand Insulin Resistance
If you want to reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity, it is necessary to learn how insulin resistance works.
When you consume carbs, your body converts it into glucose and sends it to your bloodstream. Your blood glucose levels rise, signaling the pancreas to release a sufficient amount of insulin to move the excess glucose to your cells for energy. The amount of insulin your pancreas releases depends upon the amount of glucose in your bloodstream, which in turn depends upon the form of the carbohydrates you just consumed. It can also depend upon the types of food you eat with carbohydrates.
All carbohydrates except fiber are broken down into simple sugar (glucose) and absorbed into the bloodstream. However, there are differences in how fast your body digests different carbohydrates.
Processed Carbs and Sugars: Because these foods contain no fiber to slow digestion, they are quickly converted into glucose and absorbed into your bloodstream. This results in blood sugar spikes and surges causing your pancreas to overproduce insulin. If you regularly eat carbs that are digested quickly, the resulting insulin overproduction leads to insulin resistance, increasing your risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Fibrous Carbs: Because fibrous carbs, especially the non-starchy variety, slow digestion, the glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly. This results in a gradual rise in blood sugar levels, keeping the pancreas from overproducing insulin. This reduces your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
One of the best ways to reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity, then, is to reduce consumption of processed carbs/sugars and increase your consumption of fibrous non-starchy carbs.
Eat Veggies and Protein First
The types of foods you eat with your carbs may also make a difference in their rates of glucose absorption. For instance, a study published in Diabetes Care found that consuming protein and vegetables first, before processed carbohydrates, leads to lower insulin and blood glucose levels. This effect is probably due to two things: the first is that the fiber content of vegetables slows glucose absorption of the entire meal. The second is that studies have shown that protein slows digestion leading to slow glucose absorption.
Causes of Insulin Resistance
Though poor-quality diet and obesity are major causes of insulin resistance, they are not the only ones. Here are a few other factors that contribute to insulin resistance.
Physical Inactivity: During exercise, muscle groups absorb glucose from the blood, bypassing the normal insulin-signaling process. Engaging in regular exercise/physical activity keeps your blood glucose and insulin levels low, promoting insulin sensitivity rather than resistance.
Chronic Stress. We live in a highly stressed society. When you’re under stress, many changes take place inside your body to prepare you to fight or flee the threat. Your adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that signal the liver to secrete glucose into the bloodstream for energy. This also triggers a release of insulin to move the excess insulin to the cells so it can be used for energy. When the threat passes, your blood sugar and cortisol levels are supposed to return to normal. But chronic stress keeps the cycle of glucose and insulin secretion going, which can eventually lead to insulin resistance.
Sleep Deprivation: Many studies show that sleep deprivation causes increased levels of cortisol in the bloodstream. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol cause chronically elevated levels of insulin in the blood, eventually leading to insulin resistance.
In order to reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity, then, it is necessary to not only switch to a high-quality diet but to also make lifestyle changes that lower your insulin levels. These changes also lower your setpoint weight, which will reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, and Setpoint
Your setpoint is the amount of fat your body “thinks” you should have based upon continual communication between your brain, digestive system, and hormones. When this system works correctly, you will maintain a healthy body weight, never becoming either too fat or too thin. This is because your brain, digestive system, and hormones work together to synchronize the activities that automatically maintain that level of body fat.
So, when you eat too many calories, your body may suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism, thereby ensuring you burn off these extra calories to keep you near your setpoint weight. When the system works correctly, you will probably never develop type 2 diabetes because excess weight or obesity will never be a factor.
If the system is broken, however, the hormones cannot send or receive correct signals. This results in excess fat storage and an elevated setpoint weight. Your body then believes this is the level of fat you should have, so it fights to defend this new setpoint weight. No matter how hard you try to diet or exercise the fat away, and no matter how many pounds you initially lose, your body always brings you back to or above your setpoint weight.
Studies prove starvation dieting doesn’t work for long-term weight loss. The only thing that will enable you to permanently lose weight is to lower your setpoint weight. Your body then works to keep you slim in the same way as it once worked to keep you heavy.
How to Reverse Type Two Diabetes and Obesity by Lowering Setpoint
Everything in your life affects your setpoint weight. But the ones that have the greatest effect, and the ones you can control, are the same ones that cause insulin resistance: poor-quality diet; physical inactivity; chronic stress; and sleep deprivation. Lowering your setpoint weight to reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity is simply a matter of making adjustments in each of these areas.
How to Reverse Type Two Diabetes and Obesity With The Setpoint Diet
The setpoint diet is scientifically proven to heal the hormones and lower setpoint weight, which is exactly what is needed to reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity. The setpoint diet focuses on whole foods containing water, fiber, and protein that gives the body the nutrients it needs to heal. These foods also regulate blood sugar levels and trigger fat-burning hormones, ensuring a lower setpoint weight and effortless weight loss.
For each main meal, simply choose from these 3 food groups.
10+ servings per day
Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables — such as spinach, cucumber, carrots, broccoli. Or make a delicious setpoint-lowering green smoothie. (Be sure to use lots of green leafy veggies for your smoothies!)
3-5 servings per day, 30-55 grams per meal.
Fill one-third of your plate with nutrient-dense proteins — such as salmon, nonfat Greek Yogurt, egg whites, liver.
3-6 servings per day
Fill the remainder of your plate with whole-food fats — such as coconut, almonds, flax seeds, macadamias.
You can also enjoy up to 3 servings of low-fructose fruits per day — such as lemons, goji berries, oranges, strawberries, grapefruit.
How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity with Eccentric Exercise
To reduce your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, it is important you incorporate physical activity into each day. Walking. Recreational biking. Playing fetch with your dog. These and similar activities will help your body better use insulin. Traditional intense exercise, such as jogging, aerobics, kickboxing, etc. are not good activities if your goal is to lower setpoint weight and reverse type 2 diabetes and obesity. This is because prolonged exercise triggers a release of cortisol that, if it is done regularly, leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels. This raises your setpoint weight.
The best way to lower your setpoint weight is through eccentric exercising. Eccentric exercise focuses on the lowering part of the exercise. For instance, if you’re performing a dumbbell curl with your arms, the eccentric part of the exercise is when you lower the dumbbell away from your chest. Studies show that you use up to 40% more resistance by concentrating on the eccentric portion of the exercise, which is what you need to do to lower your setpoint weight.
Because eccentric exercise works deep muscle fibers, it clears hormonal clogs, raises metabolism, increases insulin sensitivity, and lowers setpoint weight. If you want to try eccentric exercise, you don’t need special equipment. You can make any exercise eccentric by lowering the resistance slowly, to a count of 10, and then repeat several times. (If you’re doing a squat, for instance, slowly squat to a count of ten. Repeat several times.)
Since eccentric exercises are intense but brief, they don’t affect cortisol levels, making them a much better option to flip type 2 diabetes and obesity than traditional exercise. Also, since it takes deep muscle fibers at least 4 days to heal, you can only do eccentric exercise 10-20 minutes, once per week.
How to Reverse Type Two Diabetes and Obesity by Sleeping More and Stressing Less
Getting enough sleep is an important step for lowering setpoint weight, as is de-stressing regularly.
Here are some tips for each one:
- Try to get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
- Go to bed at the same time every night, as this trains your brain and body to be ready to sleep at a certain time.
- Darken your bedroom. (Any light disrupts products of melatonin, the sleep hormone.)
- Turn off your computer, smartphone, and television an hour before bedtime. The light of the screen prevents your brain from releasing melatonin at the proper time.
Anything you do for fun will de-stress you. Here are some specific suggestions.
- Walking the dog
- Going out to dinner with friends
- Joining a club
- Watching a telethon of your favorite sitcom on television
Next Step: Learn How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity by Lowering Your Setpoint with the SANE
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