Insulin is the Key to Weight Loss

At one time or another, most of us has set a goal to lose weight. Insulin is the Key to Weight LossUnfortunately, 35% end up giving up within a month or two. It’s not always a lack of willpower or time that causes us to struggle with weight loss. In many cases, the struggle to lose weight comes down to insulin resistance, also known as “metabolic dysfunction.” The good news is that, with the right weight loss plan, exercise, and a committed attitude, you can fight insulin resistance and achieve sustainable weight loss.

What is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone generated by beta cells located in the pancreas. These cells help the body use the sugar from the carbohydrates that are in the food you consume for energy, as well as to store glucose (blood sugar) for future use. Insulin also helps keep blood sugar levels from dropping too low which is considered hypoglycemia and can keep it from getting too high, which is hyperglycemia.

When and How Insulin Stores Sugar and Fat

Besides helping your body turn glucose into energy, insulin helps the body store it in your fat cells, liver, and muscles to be used later when your body requires it.

After you eat, blood sugar rises. This rise in glucose activates your pancreas, releasing insulin, then travels through the blood to the cells, telling them to let the glucose in. The cells then convert the glucose into energy or stores sugar and fat for later use. Without insulin, the body isn’t capable of storing glucose for energy, causing it to stay in the blood.

Insulin – The Key to Weight Loss

Low carb diets will lead to fast weight loss, at least initially. There’s more water required to store carbs than protein, which is why the weight drops when you first start on a high protein diet – primarily because you end up losing water weight. The same is true when you cut down on carbs.

When you eat too many carbs, your body has to produce more insulin. If it can’t use the energy from the carbs, it stores it as fat. The more processed carbs you eat without using the fat means that more fat is stored. You get the picture.

Counting Carbs

Reducing the number of carbohydrates in your diet is one of the best ways to lose weight. If you’re “carb sensitive” aim for between 50 and 100 grams a day. This amount also makes it easy to lose weight while still being able to consume a bit more (healthy) carbs. If you have a metabolic issue, have diabetes or are considered obese, aim for 20 to 50 carbs a day. You’ll also lose weight a lot faster if you stay within this range because your body will kick into ketosis, supplying energy to the brain, reducing your appetite.

Keep in mind that a “low carb” diet isn’t a “no carb” diet. On a healthy low carb diet, you can satisfy your appetite by eating lots low-carb vegetables and lean meat, lose a significant amount of weight, feeling satisfied at the same time.

When you reduce your carbs, you reduce the strain on your body. This may be just what you need to lose the weight. The Weight Watchers plan is a great program to help you reduce the amount of insulin you need to release and fat therefore stored. You can find the best deal on Weight Watchers by using my referral link. You’ll get a $10 gift card and a rebate as well.

What is Kombucha Tea?

Kombucha tea is a fermented probiotic drink made out of tea, sugar, yeast, and bacteria. What is Kombucha TeaWhile it’s often referred to as “mushroom” tea, kombucha is not a mushroom. Although the medical community doesn’t necessarily sing its praises, Kombucha tea has a long history of use for its reported impressive health benefits. Since the 70’s the tea has often been referred to as the “healthy” beverage of choice for the era’s “hippies” – today it’s gaining in popularity with mainstream society.

A Brief History of Kombucha Tea

The first documented use of kombucha originates from China during the Tsin Dynasty in 221 BC. It had been referred to as “The Tea of Immortality”, containing a variety of healthy enzymes, vitamins and minerals and over the centuries has been revered by varying cultures for its health-supporting properties. Kombucha tea has also been used in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Japan for centuries. Some believe that the tea originated in Japan in 415 AD and that it is where the name “kombucha” came from.

Kombucha Tea Benefits

The tea has a long list of reported benefits including aiding digestion, constipation, weight loss, memory problems, rheumatism, joint pain, high blood pressure, hair growth, boosts the immune system, helps prevent some cancers, cleanses, detoxifies, increases energy and more. According to believers, it can bring the body into balance, helping it heal itself naturally.

Possible Health Risks

Health risks of kombucha vary and include liver dysfunction, allergic reactions due to contamination during the brewing process and kidney failure. In addition, due to the high level or acidity in the tea, it can cause issues for those sensitive to acidic foods like heartburn or stomach ulcers. Even with the potential dangers, a growing number of people choose to drink kombucha tea and are convinced of its health benefits. Because some research tends to support the tea’s benefits, including its immune boosting effects, it’s more than likely going to continue to be popular. That said, as mentioned here, drinking kombucha tea isn’t without risk.

Ingredients

Kombucha tea is made with a symbiotic culture of bacteria/ yeast (SCOBY), sugar and black or green tea. Once the combination is fermented, the end result contains B vitamins, vinegar and a number of other natural chemical compounds.

How to Use Kombucha Tea

It’s recommended that users start off slowly, consuming no more than a 6 to 8 ounces per day until you determine how your body is going to react to it. If brewed correctly, the tea is safe to drink. If you choose to make your own Kombucha tea, you’ll find a wealth of recipes online, most making a gallon of the tea at a time.

Naysayers have said that the health benefits of Kombucha tea haven’t been proven by medical studies. However, enthusiasts of the tea continue to celebrate its many virtues. That said, you should always talk to your physician before trying kombucha tea, especially if you have a health condition or are taking prescribed medications.

Weight Watchers Points for Kombucha Tea

Kombucha tea ranges from zero to two points per eight fluid ounces. Synergy Enlightened Kombucha Passionberry Bliss and Raspberry Chia runs 2 Smart Points, while Gingerade and Cosmic Cranberry runs 1 Smart Points.

Have you tried Kombucha Tea? What did you think?

Weight Watchers Smart Points Options

There are many Weight Watchers Smart Points Options to consider as you continue on your weight loss journey.Weight Watchers Smart Points Options Currently, there are three different program options offered directly from Weight Watchers. The best deal can be found through Ebates, so be sure to click my referral link here to get a $10 gift card and $10 back in rebates through 5/30/16. That’s $20 plus whatever deal Weight Watchers is running (currently the promotion is to join for free).

Once you decide which option works for you, you can use the plan alongside your current nutritional plan. From the “eat anything in moderation” mindset to the “cave man Paleo” plan. Any nutrition plan can work with Weight Watchers.   If you need additional structure beyond the standard Weight Watchers Smart Points Options, read on.

Weight Watchers Smart Points Options

There are three Weight Watchers Smart Points Options. You can choose from online only, meetings plus online, and coaching plus online. Every Smart Points option comes with the online plan. The plans start at under $4 per week and go up to $11.50 per week depending on your location. I had the personal coaching plan for quite some time, but downgraded as I found I was using the service less. Currently, I’m on the online-only option because it works well with my busy schedule.

Smart Points and Paleo

The Paleo plan works fabulously as one of the many Weight Watchers Smart Points options. It’s use of vegetables; fruits and lean meats are the perfect combination of foods to ensure you don’t go over on your Smart Points allotment. Be careful with the following approved Paleo foods: fresh juices, butters, coconut sugars, nuts, oils, chocolate, dried fruit, and alcohol.

Smart Points and Atkins

The low-carb Atkins plan will also work well as a Smart Points option. The only problem is that it limits the types of fruit and vegetables. The bars will also get you on Smart Points values. Favor lean meats and vegetables if you’re planning on incorporating an Atkins plan along side your Weight Watchers plan.

Smart Points and Clean Eating

There are a number of Weight Watchers followers that incorporate clean eating into their plan. Clean eating is basically eating food as close to its natural state as possible. This means that you’re reducing the quantity of processed foods that you eat and are likely to eat more fruits and vegetables, lean meats and complex carbohydrates. It’s definitely a win when it comes to Smart Points.

Smart Points Options and Other Plans

If you’re already set on a specific nutritional plan, you can still use Weight Watchers. I’ve personally done the 21-day fix plan alongside the Weight Watcher’s program. It helps me vary my meals and exercise if I switch it up. In other words, I don’t get bored and am always challenged. I’m the kind of gal who thrives on setting goals and achieving them.

Any plan with high amounts of vegetables and fruit (and less of the other food categories) that aren’t blended into a smoothie will work well on the Smart Points plan. Low-fat programs won’t work since sugar is often used to make the food taste better. You take a huge hit in Smart Points anytime you eat processed sugar. It’s not forbidden; nothing is really forbidden on the plan, but you pay the price in points.

The Best Option

The best option is the plan that works for you. I’m moving more towards clean eating these days as I need a bit more structure in my plan. The “everything in moderation” never has worked well for me. Without structure and planning, I pretty much eat everything that’s processed and yummy if it’s readily available.

People ask me why I stay on Weight Watchers if I incorporate other plans. Again, it’s the structure. But, I also like the community and the convenience of asking a personal coach if I have a question. As I get better and better at nutrition, I’ll likely be fine on my own, but may stay with Weight Watchers for the community aspect of it.

Next month, I’ll continue my clean eating journey with a nutrition coach. I’ll be working with Dee McCaffrey, the author of The Science of Skinny and Processed Free America. As I learn more and more about better nutrition, I’ll be happy to share it with you. This will be a tough challenge, but I’m confident it’s the right move for me.

I’d love to know if you combine other nutrition plans with your Weight Watchers plan. What Weight Watchers Smart Points options have worked for you?