Well, while preparing to teach Nutrition III at National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, OR; I have been compiling information about blood sugar regulation and…. naturally, insulin. Insulin is a hormone that many of you have heard/read about in relation to diabetes and blood sugar regulation. Those who are in the body-building and/or weight lifting industry have heard about it because of some of insulin’s anabolic (muscle building) properties. What does insulin do?
Click on the following link for an article that addresses the function of insulin and relates those functions to body composition (body fat, lean muscle mas and more): Insulin and Body CompositionYours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health
OK, lately, I have been obsessed with “The Dog Whisperer” on Animal Planet
Now, stay with me for the next paragraph, I will tie this all into the title of this post and a simple and effective way to set your body up for the efficient utilization of the calories you eat….
Early in 2010, we adopted a 5 week old lab/Shepard/pit bull mix. I have always been an animal lover and with both my dog and cat dying of cancer in the past 4 years, I have decided that we must investigate how best to keep our pets healthy; much in the same way I investigate ways to keep myself and my patients healthy. The first thing I did was to dive into the vast amounts of information on dog training. Huck (the lab/shepard/pit mix) is incredibly sweet, healthy and is fun to go off-road unicycling with; this is in part due to the principle laid out by Cesar Millan:
Providing these things in that order helps to set rules, limitations and boundaries for dogs but also helps to support them physiologically as this is how their body is meant to work. This is where my dog training research started to parallel my human health and wellness research. Regarding dogs, it has been amazingly helpful and healthful with our dogs to take them for a walk, play Frisbee with them, go unicycling with them or rough-house with them before they eat; it’s what they would do (or technically, their ancestors would do) in the wild, they chase their food down and eat it.
Well, for the better part of human history, this is what we would do too. Research is telling us that this is the way our physiology is set-up too; metabolic and lifestyle diseases have been on the rise for the better part of the last 60-100 years and food has become easier to get and eat every day. So, regarding food, we should consider food as the affection, it’s how our internal environment communicates with the external environment and how we nourish (READ: love) ourselves. I know; what about the discipline part?
Well, that could be built into our “how to eat equation” by stating this; we should eat until we are 75% full and have the discipline to choose a diet that is plant-based or mostly plant-based and not processed. OK, it’s a little bit of a stretch but it works well for my agenda
Here’s more, in fact, I’ll cut to the chase with my recommendation regarding exercise and meals:
Do some quick muscle contractions a few minutes before you eat to make sure you maintain a healthy relationship with sugar, insulin and fat deposition.
Now, I’ll get to the “how” and “what to do” in a little bit; first the “why”.
I’ll start off by saying this idea is not necessarily new ; it’s fairly well-established in research to one extent on another (see my references) and the idea has permeated a few resources for the every day individual; most notably, in a book called, 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss (click for link to book). In this book the idea is discussed under the premise that this technique and other explained in the book will help you look and feel better. I want to expand upon this idea and state that it can help you regulate the sugar in your body.
Why would you want to do this?
It’s scientifically-solid and well understood that after an intense work out, food calories are less likely to be stored as unwanted fat. When our muscles perform work (especially intense work and even in VERY short bouts), they use sugar. Most of the sugar used is supplied by glycogen; this is a storage unit of sugar in muscles and the liver. As such, exercise depletes muscle glycogen and therefore many of the calories you take in after contracting muscles intensely serves to replenish this glycogen so it’s there the next time your muscles contract for more than a few seconds. In fact, it appears that this process occurs with as little as 60-90 secs of muscle contractions.
The appropriate exercise carried out a few minutes before eating may encourage glycogen restoration and not favor fat deposition, this is a GOOD thing.
In addition, this “habit” seems to be a good recipe to improve insulin sensitivity and improve your blood sugar regulation long term. Exercise before eating does this by increasing a substance in your body named GLUT-4 (glucose transporter type 4). By contracting muscles before insulin is secreted after a meal, it appears we can make sure that the calories we eat are used to replenish glycogen and not be stored inside our fat cells.
What type of exercises should you do? Here is a list of things you can do but the main principle is, 90 seconds of intense muscle contractions:
- Go through each big muscle group and squeeze them as hard as you can for 10-30 seconds until you accumulate 90 seconds of muscle contractions. (the bigger the muscle group, the better
- Do 90 seconds of kettlebell swings
- Do 90 seconds of jumping jacks or jumping rope
- Do 90 seconds of squatting up and down
The list goes on; NOTE: if the activity you choose causes pain, stop and talk to your chiropractor or trainer.
So, be good to yourself; regarding food, use this formula:
- Exercise first (60-90 seconds),
- Discipline next (make the right food choices; real, unprocessed foods, eat mostly vegetables)
- Affection last (EAT )
I should also note that those of you who regularly workout should eat readily-available carbohydrates within 60-90 minutes after your workouts. This is the window of opportunity to maximally replenish your glycogen after a longer workout.
Questions? Ask away…..
- Terada S, Yokozeki T, Kawanaka K, Ogawa K, Higuchi M, Ezaki O, Tabata I.Effects of high-intensity swimming training on GLUT-4 and glucose transport activity in rat skeletal muscle.J Appl Physiol. 2001 Jun;90(6):2019-24.
- Barnard RJ, Youngren JF. Regulation of glucose transport in skeletal muscle. FASEB J. 1992 Nov;6(14):3238-44.
- Youngren JF, Barnard RJ.Effects of acute and chronic exercise on skeletal muscle glucose transport in aged rats.J Appl Physiol. 1995 May;78(5):1750-6.
- Richter EA, Kristiansen S, Wojtaszewski J, Daugaard JR, Asp S, Hespel P, Kiens B.Training effects on muscle glucose transport during exercise.Adv Exp Med Biol. 1998;441:107-16.
- Kawanaka K, Tabata I, Katsuta S, Higuchi M. Changes in insulin-stimulated glucose transport and GLUT-4 protein in rat skeletal muscle after training. J Appl Physiol. 1997 Dec;83(6):2043-7.
- Terada S, Tabata I, Higuchi M. Effect of high-intensity intermittent swimming training on fatty acid oxidation enzyme activity in rat skeletal muscle. Jpn J Physiol. 2004 Feb;54(1):47-52.
- Fujimoto E, Machida S, Higuchi M, Tabata I.Effects of nonexhaustive bouts of high-intensity intermittent swimming training on GLUT-4 expression in rat skeletal muscle. J Physiol Sci. 2010 Mar;60(2):95-101. Epub 2009 Dec 19.
- Hiltunen JK, Qin Y.beta-oxidation – strategies for the metabolism of a wide variety of acyl-CoA esters. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Apr 12;1484(2-3):117-28.
Processed sugars, including food and drinks that contain them, harm our health more than anyone wants to admit: BP Drops when Sugary Drinks Are ReducedYours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health
This is absurd! Activists call foul on KFC bucket campaign
We need some “Nutritional Reform” or “Dietary Reform” or “Food Relationship Reform”. Only then will health care measures be able to truly help us!Yours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health
An entry on the Psychology Today blog deals with the topic of chronic dieting and how it may lead to “Food Addiction” Click Here: The Problem with Dieting
This is a great blog entry and cites research that suggests those who chronically diet may actually become “food addicts”. I am sure many of you who read this can attest to these findings if you are a chronic dieter or have been in the past. There are better ways to get control of your eating habits, I can help…..Yours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health
Here’s a link to an article about the benefits from quitting cigarettes being decreased if the person is also obese. Decrease in smoking extends life span, but obesity may curb gains
In my Portland, Oregon chiropractic, nutrition and hypnosis clinic, Optimum Function, I often see patients who come to me to stop smoking through hypnosis. Many of them also need help losing weight and becoming healthier and more active; these patients often see the best and most long-lasting affects. Often, it is these patients who are the ones to permanently stop smoking bcause they change their entire lifestyle with regards to exercise, food and habits.
If you have comments or questions, leave them here or contact me through my website.Yours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health
Have you always wondered why everyone is recommending fish oils and other forms of omega-3 essential fatty acids? Well, there’s a new test that you perform at home and send out to my lab that can test your omega-3′s and give you an omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. This information is incredibly important and is called the Omega-3 Index and you can come into Optimum Function; my Portland, Oregon chiropractic, nutrition, hypnosis and functional medicine clinic to grab your test kit and find out what you Omega-3 Index is.
Have You Checked Your Omega-3 Index?
The Omega-3 Index is the new measure of heart health. It may be the most important number you’ll know.
The Omega-3 Index is a stronger predictor of heart disease risk than cholesterol. Individuals with a high Index have a decrease in the relative risk for sudden cardiac death by as much as 90%!
Are you getting the right types and amounts of omegas in your diet? How much do omega-3 you need? What about omega-6?
Now you can check your omega scores with this convenient at-home omega 3 blood test kit which includes two important measures of omega-3s in your blood, your Omega-3 Index and your Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio, an important factor associated with chronic, whole body inflammation
Knowing your omega levels can help you proactively make changes to your diet to reduce your risk of heart disease and other conditions associated with chronic inflammation.
Taking the omega 3 blood test is easy. Simply follow the instructions in this convenient at home test kit to collect a drop of blood and return your blood sample in the enclosed return envelope. Within about two weeks, you will receive your lab results by mail along with a customized report, explanation of results and resources to help you make and sustain changes to your diet that will positively impact your omega scores.
The cost of the test is $129.95 and this includes my evaluation and diet and/or supplement recommendations if any are needed.
Contact me at info@OptFunction.com or use the contact form to the left of this post for more information or to schedule a time to come pick up your test kit!Yours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health
This is a question I receive quite often when potential patients in Portland, Oregon and other places in the U.S. and Canada call me, email me or contact me through the Optimum Function Website.
At Optimum Function, patients not only have access to various chiropractic and soft tissue techniques, they also have access to functional rehabilitation and training that includes kettlebells, TRX suspension systems and body weight exercises. My patients have access to nutritional interventions to decrease pain and inflammation that include diet and lifestyle counseling, body composition analysis, anti-inflammatory supplements, and blood work or other lab work if necessary.
In fact, there are not many chiropractic, nutrition, functional medicine and hypnosis clinics in Portland, Oregon; and even fewer that treat patients from all over the U.S. and Canada. As a doctor, I decided to pursue treatments that allowed me to help my patients from a few different avenues.
- Chiropractic, soft tissue therapies and manual medicine allow me to restore motion in joints and balance tension throughout your body. Techniques used include; Graston Therapy, Kinesiotape, Cold Laser, Electrostimulation, Arthrostim, Vibracussor, Adjusting, Active Muscle Release, and more!
- Functional rehab. and training allows me to “turn-on” the muscles that are your prime movers. After this is done, I can give you full-body functional workouts to help solidify your body’s stability and reduce your risk of re-injury.
- Nutrition and functional medicine allows me to look at and treat your particular chemical and physiological processes. Often, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are the first line of defense against diseases like type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity
- Hypnosis helped me round-out my treatment paradigm by allowing me to help my patients on a subconscious level, dealing with habits, issues and problems on a level deeper than the conscious mind for long-lasting, effectiveness.
Well, there you have it, at Optimum Function in Portland, Oregon, you get one-on-one treatments that address many of your health concerns. Escape pain and live the life of your dreams!Yours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health