As part of my plan to change my current situation, I'm doing some research into the facts and figures I was given at my health assessment. One of the things that leaped out at me is the fact that my triglyceride count is too high. I'd like to share with you the things I've researched on that - it will help me remember and it might be of benefit to you.
Triglycerides - basically, this is the term for fat in your blood. The medical websites say that when you consume fat or calories, and you don't burn them off by exercising, they get converted into triglycerides in your body. They then get carried off to your fat cells for storage. Then, when you expend energy, your fat cells release them to help maintain that energy.
(See picture) The top figure shows a rat on a healthy diet. The bottom picture shows a rat after consuming a diet high in triglycerides. It's pretty obvious, eh?
When you have too many triglycerides in your body, you are putting yourself at risk for coronary artery disease. Your ideal levels are less than 150 mg. Mine are at 403 mg. Yikes. Yep, that puts me in the high range, although thankfully, not in the very high range. It's best if you have this test done while fasting.
Ways to lower your triglycerides - You guessed it. Diet and exercise. You start by eating less fat, and then you burn it off through exercise. To get rid of the triglycerides already stored in your fat cells, you would exercise a little more.
It seems that humans, as a general rule, are always trying to find ways around that whole diet and exercise thing. You can do a Google search and find scads of pages of programs that say, "You don't have to exercise at all! Just eat one pill of eye of newt daily and watch the pounds melt away." It's true that there are certain vitamins and nutrients that help weight loss, and there are certain drugs that will do it too, but for a truly healthy lifestyle, we must watch what we eat and we must exercise. There is no way around that. If I had my way, I'd live on Arby's and Wendy's, never exercise, and have the body of a supermodel. Not gonna happen - that's not how our bodies were designed.
So my goal: lower my triglycerides. I don't know how long I need to wait for my next blood test, if the changes will show up immediately or if they take time to appear. I'll ask my life coach that when we have our phone interview in February. In the meantime, I've started a diary to track what I'm eating and my exercise habits.
How'm I doing with my other goals?
1. Eat breakfast. I'm doing some better here. I'd say I'm eating breakfast about 50% of the time now. Still some room for improvement, certainly. But doing better than I was.
2. When I do eat fast food, getting a side salad instead of fries. I have eaten fast food twice since setting this goal, and each time, I just got a sandwich instead of a combo. So, not bad.
3. Eating before I leave home, so I'm not as tempted to eat fast food. I've been sick (big shocker there) so I haven't left the house as often. However, I must say that when I have left the house, I've been careful to eat first. I'm getting ready to go grocery shopping, and so right now I'm eating some oatmeal and two scrambled eggs. Good on me!
I shall continue to update, especially in regards to those pesky triglycerides. After I feel I've got my mind wrapped around those, I'll begin my next phase: cholesterol.