How Insulin Resistance Stymies Weight Loss

(4-minute read)

I often remind my Bettys that you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

It’s imperative to know if your diet, fitness routine, sleep schedule and other lifestyle factors are working for you–or against you.

There’s a lot of conflicting advice being offered and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay motivated when you don’t know what “right” means for you. So, if you’re not sure what works for you and your body, I’d like to share a new tool that will help you find out.

Why Measure Insulin?

A key driver of overall health is insulin, a vital hormone in regulating blood sugar and metabolism. Insulin is not commonly tested, but it should be: avoiding chronically elevated insulin levels is crucial for preventing insulin resistance.

High insulin levels prevent stored energy—particularly fat—from being accessed and used. When losing weight, you want to access your stored energy reserves. Chronically high insulin levels make this much harder to do.

When fat accumulates, inflammation rises. This leads to further insulin resistance,

Insulin resistance negatively impacts your ability to lose weight and puts you at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Left unchecked, it can eventually contribute to other health issues like fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), high cholesterol, high blood pressure (hypertension), cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s.

Fortunately, diet and lifestyle changes like exercise, stress management, and blood sugar tracking can all help reduce insulin resistance, manage metabolic response, and promote weight loss.

My Experience with Metabolic Metrics

When I started as a Levels member a few months ago, I thought I understood my metabolic health pretty well.

Turns out, I didn’t actually know how certain foods were affecting me until I viewed my own unique response metrics on the Levels app.

The biggest change I’ve made is cutting back on avocados because I found that my metabolism doesn’t actually respond well to them.

Even if you enjoy a food, and even if it’s considered on the healthy spectrum, you and your metabolism may not agree.

Poor glucose control affects your day-to-day energy levels, your ability to control your weight, and even sexual function.

Tracking your glucose can help you make more informed food choices based on your own unique physiology.

This is where Levels comes in — it gives you data-backed, personalized, real-time information about how your food choices affect the aspects of health that matter to you —including your weight, sleep quality, and risk of chronic disease. How?

Based on your unique lifestyle and biology, the Levels app–paired with a wearable continuous glucose monitor–delivers recommendations tailored specifically for you.

A New Approach to Weight Management

Beyond insulin, several hormones play a role in weight management. Your body’s response to a given food may vary depending on your hormonal makeup at a given moment. This factor is particularly relevant to women because they experience natural fluctuations in hormone levels throughout their menstrual cycle and their lifetime (e.g., during perimenopause and menopause).

Most diets don’t consider differences in physiology and lifestyle that affect how your individual body responds to different foods.

When you only focus on the scale and the mirror, you can overlook key changes happening in your cells and organs.

Levels recognizes these nuances. The app helps you track what’s happening inside your body by helping you identify how your body responds to different foods in real time.

With this personalized, immediate information, you can identify which foods spike your blood glucose and then make incremental changes to your meal plan to keep your levels in a more stable range.

Seeing how your food choices and lifestyle habits affect your body through the different phases of your menstrual cycle can help you decide on foods better suited to your body’s fluctuating hormones and needs.

And measuring your metabolic response helps you manage more than your food.

You may be inspired to cultivate small habits (like taking a walk after lunch to curb that afternoon slump!) that will help keep your blood sugar at stable levels consistently.

Food choices based on your own physiology, coupled with daily movement, adequate sleep, and minimizing your stress are the best ways to lose weight sustainably and keep yourself healthy in the long term.

Get Started with Levels

Right now, Levels is offering my Bettys an additional two free months of the Levels Annual Membership when you get started using this link.

Dr. Stephanie

Keep Your Bones Healthy with Plant-Based Minerals

(3-minute read)

Strong bones keep you mobile and pain-free, increasing your “healthspan” so you can move with confidence, regardless of age.

It can be challenging to keep your bones strong, especially after age 40. Bone density loss is especially prevalent in women during perimenopause and menopause. About 54% of women develop osteopenia (low bone density) by the end of menopause, and another 30% develop osteoporosis[*].

That low bone density is dangerous. Your chance of fracturing a bone goes up[*]—and if you develop osteoporosis, it can happen during an everyday activity, like bending at your hip to pick something up or stumbling while taking the stairs.

That’s why it’s so important to keep your bone density high as you get older. You want to navigate the world with confidence—which means keeping your bones flexible and resilient to stress.

I love strong bones! You know I strength train regularly and encourage you to do the same as a proven way to help offset bone loss as you age. It’s a great way–but not the only way–to maintain BETTER! bone density. Minerals play a key role, too.

Minerals Keep Your Bones Strong

Your bone density declines as you age because of something called bone resorption. As you get older, your body pulls more and more minerals from your bones and uses them elsewhere[*].

The result is that your bones end up deficient in calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and several other essential minerals. They weaken and become brittle, and they also struggle to replenish their mineral stores.

If you want to restore bone density and keep things like chronic pain and mobility issues at bay, you have to replenish all those lost minerals.

A Calcium Supplement Alone Isn’t Enough

Plentiful research shows that taking calcium helps prevent bone loss as you age[*]. Calcium supplements can help restore bone calcium levels and give your bones the raw materials they need to grow.

However, many health professionals stopped suggesting solo calcium supplements in recent years after discovering that taking calcium alone, while great for bones, causes problems elsewhere in your body. For example, high-dose calcium supplementation can lead to kidney stones[*].

But the bigger issue is that high calcium levels deplete magnesium and potassium, which causes damage to your heart over time[*]. In addition, newer research has found that bone growth requires a variety of different minerals—not just calcium[*].

For these reasons, doctors now suggest taking a full spectrum of essential minerals for bone health. Replenishing all your essential mineral stores will give your body the raw materials it needs to stay strong as you age, without the imbalances and side effects that can come from single-mineral supplements.

Replenish Your Body’s Minerals in 30 Seconds A Day

Normally, if you want to balance your mineral stores, you have to test your mineral levels, take a handful of different mineral supplements in the right ratios and forms, and then retest to see what has changed. It’s an expensive and time-consuming process.

BEAM Minerals offers a solution. Their full-spectrum, plant-based minerals contain every essential mineral your body needs, all in the correct ratios to promote mineral balance.

With just two ionic liquid supplements, Electrolyze and Micro-BOOST, you can refill all your body’s mineral stores at once. Because BEAM Minerals require no digestion, they’re far easier to absorb than most pill or capsule-based mineral supplements. Simply take a capful of each in the morning (don’t worry; they taste like water) to start strengthening your bones.

As your mineral stores gradually refill over a few weeks, you may begin to experience additional benefits of remineralization–like deeper sleep, and more focused energy in your body and brain.

I invite you to learn more about how BEAM Minerals support your well-being as you age. Use code BETTER at checkout to get 20% off.

Dr. Stephanie

Time-efficient, hormone-supportive fitness with CAROL Bike

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have exercise equipment that saves you time, works with your hormones, and helps you achieve incredible health and fitness results? Enter CAROL Bike. Giving you the shortest, most effective workouts—backed by science.

All that’s required is 2×20-second sprints, 3x a week (no, really). It’s a moment of effort you can always master, helping you set a fitness habit that lasts.

In this article, we’ll explore how CAROL Bike can help you burn fat and improve cardiovascular health—all in a fraction of the time and without the potential disruption of hormone levels that can happen when doing a high volume of intense cardio.

If you love what you read, you can get $100 OFF your very own Carol Bike – just click this link and use code DRSTEPHANIE for your savings. Ok let’s dive in.

Maybe you can relate – you bang out 3-4 hot and sweaty cardio sessions a week that last 45 mins each…you feel like a hero, you’re high on adrenaline, and blood is pumping through your veins…you think “I DID IT!!”. Then you get onto the scale and see that you’re nowhere closer to your goal. In fact, you may find that week after week you’re just…stuck. You feel defeated and like you’ve wasted a lot of precious time. But there’s good news – there’s a BETTER way.

Scientifically proven REHIT workouts

CAROL Bike was developed with leading exercise researchers to deliver the shortest, most effective workouts. The signature Reduced Exertion HIIT (REHIT) workout creates the most potent training stimulus with just 2×20-second sprints. It’s scientifically proven to deliver double the health and fitness benefits compared to regular cardio exercise in 90% less time.

CAROL’s AI-personalization tailors the workout to you and helps you push to your limits during the sprints. Like in a ‘fight or flight’ situation, your muscles are forced to mobilize about 25-30% of muscular glycogen—your emergency energy reserve—releasing key signaling molecules (AMPK and PGC-1a), telling your body it must get fitter and stronger.

You develop more mitochondria, your blood plasma volume increases, and your heart gets stronger. Resulting in increased aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

Unlocking metabolic health in minimal time

Incorporating short sprints into your workout routine unlocks the power of metabolic flexibility, pushing your body into a metabolically healthy state – in other words, your body is able to take the food you are feeding it and better turn it into beneficial ENERGY. CAROL Bike’s short, scientific REHIT rides challenge the traditional definition of “working out” and offer a unique approach to metabolic workouts. CAROL recommends doing 2-3 REHIT sessions per week to unlock those metabolic advantages efficiently. That’s just 15 minutes per week.

AI-personalization makes CAROL Bike unique. The bike tailors the workout to you and helps you push to your limits during the sprints—it’s like having your own personal trainer right there with you, guiding you through every session.

Burn Calories Passively – The Magic of Afterburn

Research by Western University Colorado shows you’ll burn more calories on a 15-minute CAROL Bike ride, than a 30-minute run. This is because the short, maximum intensity sprints on CAROL Bike generate a significantly higher level of afterburn compared to conventional exercise. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC. The increased metabolic rate following a CAROL workout can last for up to 3 hours and accounts for up to 66% of the total calorie burn. Meaning you will continue to burn calories long after you’ve hopped off the bike – now THAT’S efficiency!

Reduce Brain Fog and Mood Swings

CAROL Bike goes beyond physical fitness—it prioritizes the health of your brain as well. The REHIT workouts stimulate the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), enhancing your brain’s vitality and resilience. This boost is particularly transformative for women over 45. As hormonal fluctuations can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, a quick 5-minute session on the bike can shift your mood, ignite productivity, and keep you at the top of your game.

Stop Spiking Your Cortisol, Create Balance and Tranquility

CAROL Bike also includes mindful breathing exercises during the warm-up, recovery, and cool-down phases of its workouts. By directing your focus to your breath and following recommended breathing patterns, you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, reinstating balance and tranquility. This powerful tool strengthens your nervous system and promotes overall well-being. It also means that with CAROL you experience a transient spike in cortisol rather than a prolonged one, unlike other high-intensity workouts.

Customized Solutions for Women in Perimenopause and Menopause

CAROL Bike employs a distinctive set of algorithms known as cardiovascular optimization logic, which continuously tailors and refines workouts for maximum effectiveness. What’s even more exciting is that the bike is constantly evolving, with regular updates and fresh workout options being added.

When it comes to women’s health, adapting workouts for those entering perimenopause and menopause is of utmost importance. And here’s where the real magic happens: CAROL Bike offers a solution specifically crafted for menopausal women, enabling you to achieve metabolic fitness in less time while fostering a healthier hormone balance.

CAROL is constantly engaged in cutting-edge research and advancements to further refine the bike. They are delving into the impact of hormones on exercise and exploring the potential benefits it can bring to our lives. It’s an ongoing journey driven by the passion to empower women like us—and help us thrive.

CAROL Bike is the answer to your fitness and hormonal balance needs. With its time-efficient workouts and personalized approach, it revolutionizes the way you exercise. Burn fat, improve cardiovascular health, and feel better in your body—all without the potential hormone disruption caused by high-volume intense cardio.

If you want to listen to my conversation with the founder of Carol Bike and go on a geeky magic carpet ride to explore all the incredible science behind why it’s so effective then click here to listen to it on Apple Podcasts or click here to listen to it on Spotify!

And don’t forget…

You can get $100 OFF your very own Carol Bike – just click this link and use code DRSTEPHANIE to save!

Dr. Stephanie

3 Keys To Summer Sleep (because we really need it!)

For so many women in their 40’s, the biggest pain point of our health is getting a good night’s rest. I like to call this the stress sandwich. We have pressure from above with aging parents and caregivers, and we have pressure from below with our kids…and then we are stuck RIGHT in the middle of that sandwich.

One of the first signs of prolonged stress is disrupted sleep.

And do you know where prolonged disrupted sleep leads to?

Weight gain, accelerated aging and chronic fatigue. Hard pass.

Now let’s throw in the stress of SUMMER – it’s supposed to be easy, breezy, lemon squeezy like all those commercials for beer and wine spritzers tell us right? Wrong.

After many late nights at summer bbq’s, winding road trips and perhaps the stress of having kids out of school, our sleep can suffer even more during this season – and I for one am not going to take it lying down – unless that involves some seriously good zzzzz’s.

SO WHAT’S A GIRL TO DO?

My first step is always incorporating a supplement that aids in my sleep – but you know me, I’m a supplement minimalist. So whatever I take must be efficient + effective – meaning I don’t need to take a ton of them and they have ingredients that really WORK.

My choice? Mello Magnesium by Hello Ned. It comes in a powder form and the lavender berry flavor is my absolute fave. Although there is a truly lovely variety of flavors to choose from if that’s not your jam.

Listen, I get the allure of supplements in pill form rather than a powder form you need to mix and drink – it’s just pop and go.

But with Magnesium in particular – which I’m taking to help me get into a state of calm and relaxation – I want to create a bit of a ritual around it for a few reasons.

  1. Because in performing this ritual every night I’m signaling to my brain that it’s time to slow down and rest. Repeating the same routine before bed is proven to train our bodies to get into a sleep-ready state.
  2. And secondly, because the ritual itself – which involves me slowly sipping my yummy Mello Magnesium concoction while I’m winding down with my kids at night – feels so relaxing and soothing. I even make sure to drink it out of a beautiful cup – this is my kinda nightcap as a woman who wants to feel great during perimenopause and sleep like a baby.

 

I sometimes laugh at past bedtime routines our family has gone through that had me rushing through a bunch of steps, frantically trying to get to bed by a certain time, and then wondering why I end up laying there with my eyes wide open and my body rigid and tense…unable to sleep!

You don’t need to have a bedtime routine that takes hours, but even one small thing – like including a soothing magnesium ritual – can make a huge difference.

But let’s talk about why this particular magnesium works because you know I love the juicy science – Mello Magnesium contains magnesium glycinate, which is the most bioavailable form of magnesium and aids in inducing relaxation. It has a calming effect on the brain and body, making it the preferred magnesium for reducing anxiety and promoting healthy sleep. Check.

It also contains L-theanine which acts very similarly – so you’re getting a double whammy of relaxing minerals right before bed. Music to my ears.

With anything I’m going to ingest – especially when it comes to powdered supplements – I like to understand what the ‘non-medical’ ingredients are. What are the flavor enhancers? If there is sweetness, what is the source?

I was so pleased to see things like monk fruit – a sweetener that doesn’t spike my glycemic index – purple carrot powder and organic blueberry flavor on the ingredients list.

I AM HAPPY TO SAY THAT I AM NOW ABLE TO OFFER YOU A DISCOUNT ON THEIR PRODUCT.

If you click this link to purchase, there is a discount code to save 15% OFF that’s automatically added to your order. Sleep and savings? My fave.

Because I’m a fan of geeky magic carpet rides – and I know you are too – there are two more steps I want you to take.

Listen to my ‘Sleep Your Way To The Top’ episode with the sleep doctor himself, Dr. Michael Breus.

Secondly, check out my ‘Unlocking The Science Of Sleep In Perimenopause’ solo episode where I go deep and provide actionable steps.

When you really understand why sleep is so important and how to get MORE of it, you’ll never go back to setting for restless nights and sluggish days.

As always, so grateful for you all – you’re the Bettys of my REM dreams.

Dr. Stephanie