January is one of my favourite months of the year. I think it is one of the only months where we as a collective, take the time to formulate ideas about what we want to focus on for the upcoming year. It is also a time where we can evaluate the year that has passed, take the good from it, and move on with a fresh start. For those who struggle with acne or know someone who does, please note in our "Events and Promos" section below, we are hosting another fabulous skincare evening. Be sure to check it out!
One of the biggest trends we see in the New Year is people vowing to lose weight. I see a lot of this in my practice and love helping people on this journey. Changing your diet, and reaching a healthy weight can help so much more than your waistline. Typically, energy and mood will increase, quality of sleep will improve, and skin becomes less problematic. As much as good quality skin care products can help your skin, diet is equally important.
When we discuss dietary changes that help with weight loss, the single most important piece of advice I can share with you is to reduce your sugar intake. When we talk about sugar, most people think of sugar as things like doughnuts, cookies, cake etc. and while reducing these will help you to loose weight, we need to expand our thinking when it comes to sugar. Carbohydrates in the form of pasta, bread, grains, starchy vegetables and even fruit break down in our system to sugar. The body responds to this by releasing a hormone called insulin to move this sugar out of the blood and into the cell. There are two problems with this process. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more insulin you require. The more insulin you require, the more fat you store. Over time, if you have eaten a diet high in carbohydrates your insulin receptors that sit on the surface of the cell become desensitized and you require more insulin to transport sugar into the cell, resulting in more fat storage.
The goal for weight loss, then becomes fairly simple. Keep insulin levels low, and keep insulin receptors extra sensitive. Exercise is a great way to keep insulin receptors sensitive. Remember that exercise is cumulative so, 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, can add up to make some real change in the body. To keep insulin levels low, cut back on your consumption of carbohydrates. As a first step, I often ask patients to track their diet for a week, focusing on reducing and tracking their daily servings of carbohydrates. This helps you become more aware of what you are eating on a daily basis, and helps to shed light on where your sources of sugar are coming from. Keep in mind that if you are eating better than you were yesterday, you are making progress!