The only thing you should be feeling after a meal is ‘less’ hungry. If you are feeling energized, sleepy, bloated or gassy…your body is giving you a signal that something isn’t functioning properly. It's kind of nice that He designed our body that way, but whether you listen to those signals or cover them up with medications is another question, but your body is trying to tell you something.
A quick clue to tell if you are struggling with hypoglycemia or insulin resistance (IR) is the way you feel after a meal.
If you feel sleepy and sluggish after a meal – it’s a good signal that you are struggling with Insulin Resistance.
If you feel energized and ready to get moving – that is a telling sign that you are fighting Hypoglycemia.
Both problems have something to do with blood sugar and your inability to regulate your blood sugar. The reason this is important is so you can figure out how to combat the potential problem, because you first begin with hypoglycemia, then it progresses to insulin resistance, and then finally into full blown diabetes.
Insulin Resistance is exactly what it means – your body (your cells) has become resistant to insulin, which is needed to move sugar out of your blood stream and into the cell where it can be used to produce energy. When you can’t move sugar (glucose), which comes from carbohydrates, out of your blood stream – your blood sugar levels stay elevated, which is not good and a classic sign of diabetes.
The question is why are so many people becoming insulin resistant? One thing you have to look at is stress and the continual production of cortisol due to all the stress in one’s life.
Cortisol causes your cells to become resistant to insulin. Could your IR be a result of too much stress in your life? Have you had your adrenal glands tested to see if you are making too much cortisol?
Hypoglycemia on the other hand occurs because your blood sugar is falling to low. There could be a number of things that cause your blood sugar to drop so low such as:
- Skipping meals, missing breakfast
- Not enough protein or fats in your diet
- Eating too much of the wrong (refined, processed or fast foods) carbohydrates
- Not eating soon enough after a workout
- Stress or Adrenal Fatigue
The hypoglycemic person will feel energized after a meal, because they got a jolt of sugar (glucose) to fuel their body. The insulin resistant person will feel lethargic and sleepy after a meal because they can’t get the sugar (fuel for their body) into their cells and converted into energy, so they feel sleepy.
Whether you feel energized or sleepy after a meal you have to realize you have a blood sugar problem that needs to be addressed. The reason I talk so much about blood sugar is because it is closely related to weight loss and your ability to stay in your ‘fat burning’ zone. The more difficult it is to regulate your blood sugar the harder it is to lose weight and overcome fatigue.
If you suspect hypoglycemia, IR or diabetes the best test is the hemoglobin A1C. This tests tells you how your blood sugar has been the past 2-3 months. It is much better than the glucose tolerance test.
If your diet is good and you are still having these issues I would definitely do an Adrenal Stress Profile to see if stress and the over-production of cortisol is the problem. The one good thing about diabetes, insulin resistance and hypoglycemia is that they can all be helped and controlled with proper diet, exercise and of course checking to see if stress is also part of the puzzle
Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert and creator of the Work Horse Fitness Trainer. His approach to health and fitness is to "treat the cause - not the symptom." He has written several books and is a regular contributor to various magazines. To learn more sign up to receive his Health Blog or attend one of his FREE Teleseminar at www.DrLenLopez.com