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Dr Peter Hill

Dr Peter Hill

Tummy Rolls & Bagel Bums

If you are one of those unfortunate people who happens to have a spare tummy tire or if your rear-end resembles a large bagel – or both –  then there is a good chance that it’s NOT YOUR FAULT!

It may be your problem but it’s not your fault!

If you are one of those unfortunate people who happens to have a spare tummy tire or if your rear-end resembles a large bagel – or both –  then there is a good chance that it’s NOT YOUR FAULT! That’s right – being overweight or obese is most often the result of the metabolic dysfunction we call ‘insulin resistance’, and not because you lack willpower and eat too much and don’t exercise enough.

Now you may eat too much (of the wrong foods) and don’t exercise enough,  but that’s because you are forced to do so by your underlying insulin resistance. Don’t beat yourself up. If you are always hungry and often too tired to exercise, it is most likely because of physiological and not because of psychological reasons. And guess what? If you happen to be a woman then you are in the majority. Almost 70% of all adult females in this country are overweight or obese.

Insulin resistance means that your cells have lost some of their sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Insulin is secreted by your pancreas in response to blood sugar (glucose) which is mainly derived from carbohydrates in your diet.  Your body loves carbs because they are easily digested and turned into energy.

Starch (long chains of glucose) and sugar are refined carbohydrates and they drive insulin levels. Bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes, breakfast cereals, sweets and chocolate, sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juice as well as some fruits and vegetables are just some of the products that drive our insulin levels.

Sustained high levels of insulin mean four important things:  enhanced fat storage, constant hunger chronic inflammation and increased risk of disease. That’s right – extended and high levels of insulin means that you are really good at storing fat and conversely, you are probably pretty lousy at burning it.

High levels of insulin means hunger – you are always hungry (especially for carbs) because that’s the only way your body knows to get your high insulin level down (i.e. use up some of the excess insulin). But then your pancreas secretes more insulin in response to the new carbs you have just eaten. Oh dear – the vicious carb-insulin-fat circle raises its ugly fat head once again!

High levels of insulin lead to chronic inflammation arising from pro-inflammatory compounds secreted by cells known as macrophages in over expanded fat cells. This type of harmful inflammation is implicated in diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia.  Getting rid of your ‘ Tummy Role’ or ‘Bagel Bum’ can mean much more to you in the long term than simply being able to fit into a tight pair of jeans.

To learn more about normalising insulin and improving your health and the health of your family, please email Dr Peter Hill at care@caleb.co.za

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