You work out 3 times a week. You do not eat any more than your friends do, in fact sometimes you eat less, but they're all lean and you're carrying around an extra 10 to 20 pounds around your middle.
IT'S NOT FAIR! Right?
I know, because I'm one of those people who have / had Metabolic Syndrome. I was in better shape than most of my friends, hiking, climbing, skiing all over the Colorado Rockies. But I had this pesky spare tire that would not go away. Too much Beer? Maybe, so I gave it up. Did not help. No weight loss for me.
Around that time my Doctor told me I was heading towards Pre-Diabetes. He never mentioned Metabolic Syndrome, only that I might have to consider Insulin injections in the future if I did not drop some weight. WHAT …? OK, this was getting serious.
I'm six feet and 1 inch tall. I weigh 210 lbs. I lift weights. My BMI (Body Mass Index) is 27.7 according to the CDC. According to them my ideal weight should be between 140 lbs and 189 lbs. At a 189 lbs I'm going to look like a lean fit athlete. At a 140 lbs I'm going to look like a female French runway model.
Metabolic Syndrome is not a disease, but it is a group of things that are not working properly in your body. To name a few, the ones I have are
1.) Too much weight around the stomach
2.) My cholesterol (HDL) at 212 and
3.) A blood fasting sugar at 102.
So what does that mean? Because I have three of these factors together, I have Metabolic Syndrome. Two important things to note about having Metabolic Syndrome are:
1.) It puts me in the cross-hairs of 3 very scary Diseases: * High Blood Pressure, * Heart Disease and * Diabetes
And number 2.)
* It Keeps Me From Losing Weight
Why does it keep me overweight?
One of the wonderful gifts of Metabolic Syndrome is a new-found resistance to Insulin. This resistance gives me a craving for refined carbohydrates. So I want to eat / snack all the time, which keeps my leptin levels low, decreasing my metabolism.
That's how an overweight person like me can consume fewer calories yet remain heavier than someone without these factors. My insulin resistant metabolism slows down with frequent eating, but I continue to crave carbohydrates. The cycle gets worse because as I eat refined carbohydrates my insulin resistance gets worse.
The good news is that this is a syndrome, not a disease. You can lose weight; you can avoid the ugly consequences of Metabolic Syndrome and its three horrible older brothers. You can have more energy. There are great foods to eat, there are awesome supplements to help and there is exercise. There is always exercise. As I've been dealing with this in my own life I've come across some very helpful and practical information to keep myself healthy. I'm happy to share.