[Guideline] Alberti KG, Eckel RH, Grundy SM, et al. Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome: a joint interim statement of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; World Heart Federation; International Atherosclerosis Society; and International Association for the Study of Obesity. Circulation. 2009 Oct 20. 120(16):1640-5. [Medline].
These calorie counting fanatics are either unaware, or don’t want you to know about what we call the law of metabolic compensation. This law dictates that your metabolism is not like a calculator at all but more like a thermostat or see-saw. You eat less and exercise more to burn calories, and your body compensates by making you more hungry while at the same time decreasing the amount of calories you burn at rest (resting energy expenditure or REE).
Eating healthfully. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet, like many healthy-eating plans, limit unhealthy fats and emphasize fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains. Both dietary approaches have been found to offer important health benefits — in addition to weight loss — for people who have components of metabolic syndrome.
Being undiagnosed celiac for decades definitely played into my weight loss struggles. This is counter to what current medical literature says but I see it all of the time. Food allergies, food sensitivities and the like can have a huge impact on weight loss resistance! They do this through inflammatory processes in the body but also through altering gut hormones and the types of bacteria that live in the gut. Study after study has shown that the blood sugar and insulin response to a food is incredibly individual BUT it can be predicted by the type of bacteria that are living in your gut. Yes, in the future we will be sequencing everyone’s gut bugs and using them to alter the course of every disease. I am sure of it!
Metabolic syndrome is increasing in prevalence, paralleling an increasing epidemic of obesity. In the United States, where almost two thirds of the population is overweight or obese, more than one fourth of the population meets diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome. [25] In the United States, data from a 1999-2000 survey showed that the age-adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome among adults aged 20 years or older had risen from 27% (data from 1988-1994) to 32%. [26]
Although the first formal definition of metabolic syndrome entered medical textbooks not so long ago (1998), it is as widespread as pimples and the common cold . According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans have it. That's almost a staggering one out of every six people. The syndrome runs in families and is more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. The risks of developing metabolic syndrome increases as you age.
Research has shown this is NOT an imaginary issue. As far back as 1975, researchers published a study in the journal Lancet that looked at the issue of weight loss resistance. 29 women who claimed they could not lose weight were studied. The researchers, like many of us, assumed these women simply were not compliant and wanted to test their metabolism by sequestering them in a house and controlling all food and exercise they did. Each woman was put on a strict 1500 calorie a day diet.
Some cases of diabetes are caused by the body's tissue receptors not responding to insulin (even when insulin levels are normal, which is what separates it from type 2 diabetes); this form is very uncommon. Genetic mutations (autosomal or mitochondrial) can lead to defects in beta cell function. Abnormal insulin action may also have been genetically determined in some cases. Any disease that causes extensive damage to the pancreas may lead to diabetes (for example, chronic pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis). Diseases associated with excessive secretion of insulin-antagonistic hormones can cause diabetes (which is typically resolved once the hormone excess is removed). Many drugs impair insulin secretion and some toxins damage pancreatic beta cells. The ICD-10 (1992) diagnostic entity, malnutrition-related diabetes mellitus (MRDM or MMDM, ICD-10 code E12), was deprecated by the World Health Organization (WHO) when the current taxonomy was introduced in 1999.[53]
Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.
Central obesity is a key feature of the syndrome, being both a sign and a cause, in that the increasing adiposity often reflected in high waist circumference may both result from and contribute to insulin resistance. However, despite the importance of obesity, patients who are of normal weight may also be insulin-resistant and have the syndrome.[27]

When you have diabetes, it’s important to avoid eating many packaged, processed snacks such as cookies, chips, cake, granola bars, and the like, in lieu of fresh, whole foods, like fiber-rich fruits, veggies, and whole grains. (27) Eating foods high in fiber can help keep blood sugar levels steady and fill you up, potentially promoting weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity. (28)
To explain what hemoglobin A1c is, think in simple terms. Sugar sticks, and when it's around for a long time, it's harder to get it off. In the body, sugar sticks too, particularly to proteins. The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die off. When sugar sticks to these hemoglobin proteins in these cells, it is known as glycosylated hemoglobin or hemoglobin A1c (HBA1c). Measurement of HBA1c gives us an idea of how much sugar is present in the bloodstream for the preceding three months. In most labs, the normal range is 4%-5.9 %. In poorly controlled diabetes, its 8.0% or above, and in well controlled patients it's less than 7.0% (optimal is <6.5%). The benefits of measuring A1c is that is gives a more reasonable and stable view of what's happening over the course of time (three months), and the value does not vary as much as finger stick blood sugar measurements. There is a direct correlation between A1c levels and average blood sugar levels as follows.
People who have metabolic syndrome typically have apple-shaped bodies, meaning they have larger waists and carry a lot of weight around their abdomens. It's thought that having a pear-shaped body — that is, carrying more of your weight around your hips and having a narrower waist — doesn't increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other complications of metabolic syndrome.
[Guideline] Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. 2018 Jun. 71(6):e13-e115. [Medline]. [Full Text].
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