After hCG diet exercising must address a core issue that leads to overweight in the first place – i.e., insulin resistance. Most exercises have nothing to do with weight loss directly. Exercising to reduce insulin resistance, though, goes a long way toward resetting your metabolism for getting and staying slim and healthy for the rest of your life.
Insulin – The Fattening Hormone
The Short Story
The main role of insulin is to drive blood sugar (glucose) into cells of the liver, skeletal muscles, and fat tissues. Glucose is transformed into storage as glycogen in liver and muscle and as triglycerides (fats) in fat cells.
Insulin is secreted from the pancreas in response to blood sugar (glucose). Higher amounts of blood sugar means more insulin. Unfortunately, this system breaks down when blood sugar is too high for too long. Cells begin to defend themselves against the overabundance of insulin by blocking the hormone’s normal action. The result is called insulin resistance. As insulin resistance develops, ever increasing amounts of insulin are required for reducing blood sugar levels. This is a downward spiral that typically leads to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Furthermore, insulin stops the use of fat as an energy source by inhibiting the release of the hormone glucagon.
Although the exact metabolic steps have not been fully explained, the link between insulin resistance and obesity is well-established.
Are You Insulin Resistant?
Estimates are that 80 million Americans are pre-diabetic. These are people who have some level of insulin resistance already. Add that number to the 25.8 million folks who have already been diagnosed as diabetic. Are you in either group? If you are overweight, or have been overweight recently, it is likely that you are. (Unfortunately, perhaps only one in 10 people who are pre-diabetic are aware of it.)
If you are not sure where you are in the diabetes spectrum, you can get a good idea with some lab testing. Your doctor can help you out here, since these are blood tests. The main tests of importance are fasting insulin, fasting blood glucose, and the A1c test. You may be recommended for a glucose tolerance test, although hopefully not. This test is time-consuming, inconvenient, tedious, and expensive.
Regardless of where you are regarding insulin resistance, you can be healthier if you do what it takes to prevent and even reduce it. You can even overcome it completely if you are not too far along the insulin resistance spectrum already. On the other hand, if you do nothing, chances are that you will develop full-blown diabetes in less than a decade.
Overcoming Insulin Resistance
This is where diet and exercise come into play. As far as diet goes, the simplest recommendation is to cut out sugars, starches, and other processed carbohydrates. That will go a long way to helping you address insulin resistance, although it will not be sufficient without the right exercises.
The right exercises are important for everyone, especially those who have already done an hCG protocol one or more times. Get ready for the good news: the right exercises are is not hard to do!
In fact, take a look at the key research that tells you exactly what you can do and how often. Here is the complete reference citation and published abstract of a recently published key article. Even though I appreciate the details, I realize that you may not. If so, ignore the jargon for now. Just skip to the conclusions (in bold) and the explanation of them below.
Dipietro L, Gribok A, Stevens MS, Hamm LF, Rumpler W. Three 15-min Bouts of Moderate Postmeal Walking Significantly Improves 24-h Glycemic Control in Older People at Risk for Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Diabetes Care. 2013 Oct;36(10):3262-8.
OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of three 15-min bouts of postmeal walking with 45 min of sustained walking on 24-h glycemic control in older persons at risk for glucose intolerance.
ESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Inactive older (>60 years of age) participants (N = 10) were recruited from the community and were nonsmoking, with a BMI <35 kg/m(2) and a fasting blood glucose concentration between 105 and 125 mg dL(-1). Participants completed three randomly ordered exercise protocols spaced 4 weeks apart. Each protocol comprised a 48-h stay in a whole-room calorimeter, with the first day serving as the control day. On the second day, participants engaged in either 1) postmeal walking for 15 min or 45 min of sustained walking performed at 2) 10:30 a.m. or 3) 4:30 p.m. All walking was on a treadmill at an absolute intensity of 3 METs. Interstitial glucose concentrations were determined over 48 h with a continuous glucose monitor. Substrate utilization was measured continuously by respiratory exchange (VCO2/VO2). RESULTS Both sustained morning walking (127 ± 23 vs. 118 ± 14 mg dL(-1)) and postmeal walking (129 ± 24 vs. 116 ± 13 mg dL(-1)) significantly improved 24-h glycemic control relative to the control day (P < 0.05). Moreover, postmeal walking was significantly (P < 0.01) more effective than 45 min of sustained morning or afternoon walking in lowering 3-h postdinner glucose between the control and experimental day. CONCLUSIONS Short, intermittent bouts of postmeal walking appear to be an effective way to control postprandial hyperglycemia in older people.
THE MAIN POINT: Walking for 15 minutes after dinner, just three times per week, significantly lowers postmeal blood glucose levels in older people who have impaired glucose tolerance.
ASSUMPTION: This type of exercising will help everyone. This is a big assumption, so we can only guess about how good this recommendation might be for younger people or for people who are not at risk for glucose intolerance.
Wait – There’s More!
Note again the role of insulin in driving glucose into different cell types, including those of skeletal muscles. This just means that insulin resistance can develop on muscle cells, too. Fortunately, a key exercise addresses insulin resistance in muscles. It is simply resistance exercise. This is, of course, a modern euphemism for “weight-lifting” workouts. This type of exercise is crucial for maintaining insulin sensitivity of muscle cells, especially for those of us in the ‘maturing’ population of over-50s, over over-60s (like me!), over-70s, and beyond.
The really great news about resistance exercise is that you can dispense with the notion of having to go to a gym several days a week and grunting along with those over-muscled behemoths who are always slinging barbells all over the place.
The most efficient way to strengthen muscle tissue for enhancing insulin sensitivity is relatively easy and takes only one visit to a gym, for less than a half-hour, per week. In fact, my workout typically takes less than 20 minutes when the weight machines that I use are all unoccupied.
The method that I refer to is the subject of several posts on my fitness blog. Probably the best one for you to start with is: How To Build Muscle Quickly And Easily. Take a look at that post, and the free videos that I provide links to, and feel free to browse around if something else strikes your fancy there.
Meanwhile, I hope the information here shows you how important it is to get control of your blood glucose and insulin, regardless of where you are regarding the hCG diet protocol.
With after hCG diet exercise advice,