Post-Meal Walk Lowers Glycemic Levels


Older Man on a Walk

Managing your blood sugar is an important part of losing weight. A stable blood sugar makes you less likely to raid the pantry in search of unhealthy snacks. While eating a real food diet with adequate protein, fiber and healthy fats helps, you might be surprised to learn that exercise - and more specifically the timing of exercise - also plays a part.

Eat Smart Not Big Before Exercising

Eating a big meal just before exercising isn't a good idea - your body is trying to digest the food. A high-carb/high-protein meal three or four hours before a strenuous exercise session can help you build muscle and lose weight. However, a post-meal walk may be a good idea. Researchers in New Zealand found that when people who had diabetes took a post-meal walk, their glycemic levels dropped (glycemic is a fancy way of saying "blood sugar").

Research Study on Walking After Meals

The researchers studied 41 people who had type-2 diabetes. It's normal for glycemic levels to jump after a meal, especially if the meal is high in carbs. For people with diabetes, that's a problem, as their bodies don't respond to insulin (the hormone that lowers blood sugar). A higher blood sugar level increases the risk of complications. The researchers divided the study participants into two groups. The first group walked 30 minutes a day all in one session, while the second group took a 10-minute walk after each meal. Those in the second group had a 22 percent reduction in post-meal glycemic levels. The study also showed patients had the greatest benefit from the after-dinner walk, which may be related to the tendency to eat more carbohydrates with the evening meal.

Exercise is one of the major keys to weight loss, but this study shows timing matters. At Metabolic Research Center, our counselors can help you develop a diet and exercise plan that fits you. You'll eat real food and lose real weight.

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