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?

Free Printable Low Smart Points Snack List

I’m putting together my grocery list for the week and thought it would be a good idea to make a printable list of go-to snacks that are low in smart points. FREE SMART POINTS SNACK LISTObviously, it’s my personal smart points snack list and not endorsed by Weight Watchers, but if you’d like a copy feel free to download it here.

Low SmartPoints Snack Grocery List

For those of you who want to peruse the list prior to downloading it, read on. Remember that if you’re new to Ebates you can get a $10 gift card + money back if you shop with Amazon or Walmart using Ebates links.  When you use my Ebate referral links, I get a small commission. It’s like buying me a protein drink. I love protein drinks!  Thank you 🙂

0 Smart Points Snack

No list is complete with zero smart point snack ideas. Vegetables never make my snack list, but they should! One of these days I’ll add them…I promise. Just not today.

  • Sugar Free Jello – 0 Smart Points
  • Fresh Fruit (Not Blended)– 0 Smart Points
  • Frozen Fruit (Great for Yonannas) – 0 Smart Points

1 Smart Point Snack

These one smart point snack ideas are best when paired with something else. Like yogurt dressing and carrot sticks. See…there you go…a vegetable snack…I can change (baby steps).

  • Opa Greek Yogurt Dressing – 2 Tbsp for 1 Smart Point
  • Velveeta Cheese Slices 40 cal – 1 Smart Point
  • La Tortilla Factory High Fiber Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas- 1 Smart Point for one
  • Silk Almond Light Milk (Vanilla)- 3 Smart Points for 1 cup

2 Smart Points Snack

I’m a chip and crackers kind of gal so I’m always on the look out for yummy easy to grab snacks.

  • Keebler Club Mini Crackers- 17 crackers for 2 Smart Points
  • Keebler Club Reduced Fat Crackers – 5 crackers for 2 Smart Points
  • Special K Cracker Chips – 16 cracker chips for 2 Smart Points.
  • Snack Pack Sugar Free Pudding – 2 Smart Points
  • Sara Lee 45 Calorie Delightful Multi-Grain Bread – 2 Smart Points
  • Flat Out Light Original Flat bread – 2 Smart Points

3 Smart Points SnackFree Download Smart Points Snack List

Once you start getting into snacks that are 3 smart points or more, the selection starts to get really good. I did a double take when I saw the granola thins come up as 3 smart points. They’re like cookies to me, so I grabbed a box.

  • Baked Cheetos – 34 Cheetos for 3 Smart Points
  • Nature Valley Granola Thins: Dark Chocolate Granola Thins of Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Squares- 3 Smart Points per pouch
  • Emerald 100 Calorie Pack of Almonds- 3 Smart Points for 1 pouch
  • VitaTop muffin Tops 4 Smart Points or 3 Smart Points for the sugar free version
  • Dannon Light and Fit Greek Mousse – 3 Smart Points
  • Thomas Bagel Thins – 3 Smart Points

4 Smart Points Snack

Most of these snacks can be cut in half for half the points. Just check your calculator before doing so. That way you have an accurate count.

  • Baked Flamin’ Hot Cheetos – 34 Cheetos for 4 Smart Points
  • Lays Oven Baked Lays Original- 18 chips for 4 Smart Points
  • Tostitos Scoops – 16 baked scoops for 4 Smart Points
  • Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Poppers Airy and Crunchy Pretzel Shells, Three Cheese – 18 pieces for 4 Smart Points

I hope my free printable low smart point snack list helps you find something the next time your in the grocery store. The Weight Watchers SmartPoints program isn’t easy, but I find that having snacks on hand does help make it easier to follow. Oh…and I promise…next time I create a snack list, I’ll include yummy vegetables too. They really are good for you and truly make a great snack!