Is It REALLY All About the Scale?

April 5th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I read the Joslin blog from a few weeks ago written by C. Ronald Kahn, MD about Obesity and Diabetes.  He writes about the importance of cutting insulin resistance as much as possible in both Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes.

It’s a frustratingly shallow article, overall.  Especially when it’s written by someone with such expertise!!

So here’s my take on some of the topics he mentions:

Cut down your body weight to decrease insulin resistance.  While the Joslin blog doesn’t explain why insulin resistance is considered harmful, I’m willing to pose a few ideas:

Insulin Resistance leads to elevated blood glucose, which in turn leads to damaged micro- and macro-vascular systems that lead to traditional complications of kidney and eye damage.

Excess Insulin removes free fatty acids from the bloodstream and sends them to your body’s fat storage cells.  This creates a circular cycle as added body weight in the form of increased fat stores also increases your body’s resistance to insulin.

Dr. Kahn also says the bottom line is what you see when you step on the scale.  I disagree.  I think the bottom line is somewhat more complicated than that.  I think your body composition matters quite a bit as well as your weight.

You need to increase or at the very least maintain your lean muscle mass if you want to keep yourself strong and healthy for the long haul.  As you age, your body begins to lose its lean muscle at the alarming rate of about 1/2% each year after the age of 25… and that loss doubles after the age of 60 UNLESS YOU STAY ACTIVE with exercise and resistance training.

(Because muscle is more compact than fat, you may be a muscular trim size 6 and weigh more than a weak flabby size 4.)  To maintain your body’s performance, you need to work at preserving and hopefully increasing the lean muscle you have.  It’s never too late to start!

Joslin says it’s important to work with your physician, nurse or dietician to lower your body weight to a healthy weight.  I would also like to jump up and down, wave my arms, and shout “WORK WITH A KNOWLEDGEABLE TRAINER, TOO, TO KEEP YOUR BODY WORKING AT ITS BEST!”

You know where to find me!

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