I've long heard that exercising before a big meal is beneficial because of the metabolic boost we get from exercise. This has now been shown to have added benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, and those with insulin resistance. While a 30-minute workout before each and every meal is daunting, "exercise snacking" takes a lot less time. An exercise snack is a short, intense bout of exercise, shortly before a meal, that can quickly add glucose-storage capacity in muscle tissue and increase insulin response.
How does it work? The "snack" primes muscle tissue to the effect of insulin. A research paper from 2014 looked into the effects of six 1-minute bouts of incline walking a half-hour before each meal. The study found that brief, intense "exercise snacks" before main meals are a time-efficient and effective approach to improving glycemic control for people with insulin resistance. Researchers also found that these short bouts were as efficient as 30 minutes of activity at a moderate intensity.
These 6 x 1 minute bouts of intense exercise can be performed in 10 minutes (including rest). The greatest benefit came from doing this before every meal. Since I don't have a treadmill at home, my "exercise snack" would be 6 x 1 minute of high knees, before dinner. What would be an appropriate exercise snack for you and how could you implement it into your day
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
By now, we know that restrictive meal plans can be difficult to maintain long term. The key to losing weight is to reframe the diet mentality toward healthful living and better nutrition. Here are some tips:
Use the Hunger Scale for More Intuitive Eating
You may have heard about intuitive eating from one of my earlier emails. Intuitive eating means consuming when hungry, stopping when full and not restricting certain types of food. The goal is to stay in the middle of the scale, starting to eat at 3-4 and stopping at 5-6. Routinely overeating to extreme measures makes it more difficult to recognize feelings of fullness in the future.
Make Sure the Calories are "Worth It"
Do you really love dessert? Then we can work together to devise a plan to eat dessert while maintaining a healthy eating plan overall. Before eating a not-so-healthy food, ask yourself, "Is this worth it?" You may decide you don't enjoy eating the food, so the calories are not worth it. This tip is especially useful at holidays and parties.
Don't Drink Your Calories
Beverages are problematic because they do not produce the fullness feeling we get from food that requires chewing. Keep in mind that milkshakes, sodas, and Frappucinos aren't the only sugar-rich offenders. Many smoothies, juices, teas, protein drinks and kombucha beverages may seem healthy, but upon closer inspection, prove to be calorie-dense and full of added sugar.
Eat What you Love, but Add more Vegetables and Fruits
Fruits and vegetables are the real "superfoods". A way to increase your consumption is to chop after you shop. After grocery shopping, spend 15 minutes prepping your veggies and fruits, or buy pre-chopped produce. And don't forget that frozen fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen almost immediately after harvest, which locks in nutrients, keeps them from degrading, and require no prep before heating.
Flip the Ingredients
Rethink the proportions of the foods you eat instead of giving up foods altogether:
- Instead of eating ice cream topped with a spoonful of fruit, eat a bowl of fruit topped with a spoonful of ice cream.
- Rather than filling a dinner plate with steak and potatoes and a side of spinach, eat a large spinach salad with sliced steak and potato chunks.