Track + Measure to Lose Weight, Feel Better & Get Healthier

The more metabolically healthy you are, the better you're going to look and feel. Here, JJ talks about 6 ways to help your metabolism so you can lose weight and stay healthy. You’ll learn what labs (and ideal ranges) to ask your healthcare practitioner for, the 3 tests to detect pre-diabetes and diabetes, the critical measurement that can reveal whether you’re metabolically unhealthy, how to use the scales to identify barriers, the best way to monitor your blood sugar, and how to track your sleep. With these 6 strategies, you can confidently measure and test to become more metabolically healthy.

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ATHE_Transcript_Ep 431_YT 19
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin. Thanks so much for joining me. This is ask the health expert. In each episode, I put the power of health in your hands and share ways to get healthy, lose weight, heal your gut detox and lots more. So you can look and feel better fast if you'd rather watch the video. Hey, I did put on my makeup and do my hair.
So check it out on my YouTube channel.
the latest statistics show that only 12% of the population is metabolically healthy. 12%. So odds are pretty good that you may be in the other 88%. And if you want to feel great, lose weight, well, you gotta be metabolically healthy. So let's talk about [00:01:00] six ways you can heal your metabolism. Hey, it's JJ. This channel is all about helping you get healthy, feel better, fast, and lose weight as a bonus.
If you're interested in that. And if you are hit like, and subscribe to get more videos like this, now here's the headline looking and feeling your best are almost impossible if you're not metabolically healthy, but what does that really mean? What are the markers and measurements that you need to look at to really determine whether you're metabolically healthy or not?
Well, I'm going to give you six things to check. So you'll get a sense of where you are now to get your baseline. And if you're not metabolically healthy, you'll be able to keep an eye on these markers to see how they improve as you make the changes. Because as you know what you measure, you can improve.
So I'm going to start with some labs you'll want to get, and then I'm also going to share some things you can do at home that are going to make a big difference. In fact, most of the [00:02:00] things I'm going to share can be done at home. So there's really no excuse not to be all over this. All right. Number one, number one is lab tests.
You have to know your numbers and that means getting your functional medicine doctor. Getting with them and having them order a few labs. Now you can do this on your own too, with those direct to consumer lab companies. But to start, if you can work with your doctor now, the first one you're going to do is you're going to want to look at your triglycerides to HDL ratio.
And the closer to one, this ratio is. TG to HDL is used in diagnosing metabolic syndrome and is a predictor of heart disease. Now, when you're looking at this ratio, you'll also want to test your level of lipoprotein little a or LP little a, which is a type of LDL cholesterol. It's like the most atherogenic type.
Now most people have levels. Five to 29 milligrams per [00:03:00] deciliter. You don't want it any higher than that because there's clear evidence that the risk of heart disease may start to rise at that 30 milligrams per deciliter. And then it just goes up steeply at 50 and over. So if it's high, it may also mean you're at risk for heart disease.
Now don't worry. You can bring these down with lifestyle shifts, your diet and by adding in some exercise. So if you are at risk, check out my book, the sugar impact diet, and then make a habit of doing some resistance training and high intensity interval training exercises, at least three times. Okay.
You'll also want to know where you stand as far as pre-diabetes and diabetes are, and early detection is really important. So there's three tests you're going to want. First, you're going to want to look at fasting glucose, which measures blood glucose. After you haven't eaten for at least eight hours, 12 is better and shows how well your body utilizes sugar.
Now the normal range is 70 to [00:04:00] 92 milligrams per deciliter. Ideal is around 80 milligrams per deciliter. If yours is high, it can indicate insulin resistance and other conditions of metabolic. So. You're also going to want to look at your fasting insulin fasting, insulin indicates how much insulin you have in your blood, even when you haven't eaten.
And high levels can be a warning that your pancreas is over secreting insulin to clear out excess sugar. And it's another test that can help your doctor determine insulin resistance and other indicators of metabolic syndrome. The normal range of fasting insulin, varies somewhere between two to five.
Miu to ML is really where you want to be. That's considered ideal. And by the way, you might see up to 20 is fine. No, two to five, we want ideal optimum, not normal. Right? All right. Next one is a hemoglobin A1C test. Now sugar is sticky. It clings to your blood cells. [00:05:00] And they have a three month lifespan.
So what you're going to learn from a hemoglobin A1C test is how much sugar has been sticking to your red blood cells in the past three months. So it gives you a big picture of how well your body metabolizes and utilizes sugar. Now a normal A1C range here is going to be 4.8 to 5.4, but you really would love to be in the 4.5 to five and 5.5 and.
up is considered high. All right. So all three of those tests are important. Fasting, glucose, fasting, insulin, and your hemoglobin A1C. Now, of course, you also want to get your blood pressure checked. I mean, that's kind of an obvious one and an easy one. Normal blood pressure for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than one 20 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80 and elevated is one 20 to 1 29 over a number over that 80.
[00:06:00] So one 30 over 80 is considered to be hypertensive, but by the way, really where you want to be is more in the one 10 to 70 range. That's where you really want to think about getting to one 10 or 70. Now you probably know that if you have high blood pressure at more risk for other health problems, like heart disease and heart attack and stroke.
All right, next one, inflammation. The major symptom of being metabolically unhealthy is inflammation. So to measure that you're going to want to get a highly sensitive C reactive protein test. This is a great measure for your overall inflammation is called an HS CRP, and it can be used to evaluate your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Okay. So those are some of the tests that you can talk with your doctor about monitoring, getting in monitoring so that you can really see what's going on with your metabolic health. Now let's talk about. What you can do at home, because one of the main things we're talking [00:07:00] about here in terms of metabolic health is your glucose tolerance.
How well your body handles glucose or how well you bounce your blood sugar. Anytime you eat your blood sugar should rise slowly, not like this. And then insulin should increase to bring it back down to normal fasting levels. After that insulin should also return to its normal fasting level, but when insulin isn't working well, all sorts of things go sideways.
But the good news is that there are a lot of tools available. You can use to monitor your blood sugar and your metabolic health at home. So, you know, pretty much in real time, if you're having an issue, I'm going to get into those in a bit. Number two waist and hip measurements. Now this is a simple thing that you can do and that's to check your waist and hip measurements.
Try to do this once a week. You just measure the smallest part of your waist and the largest part of your hips, and then divide your waist measurement by your hip [00:08:00] measurement. Now, according to the world health organization, a moderate waist to hip ratio is 0.9 or less than men and 0.8, five or less for women and a waist to hip ratio of one or higher.
Increases your risk of heart disease and other conditions linked to being overweight. Now you don't have to obsess and do this every day because this is not going to change that fast, but if you find you're gaining weight around your waist, that's a very dangerous indicator of being metabolically unhealthy because waste fat belly fat.
Tends to be the most inflammatory belly fat is the most dangerous kind of fat because it develops in your abdomen and can surround internal organs. It puts you at greater risk for developing high cholesterol, inflammation, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and it boosts your risk of premature death, even if you're considered normal weight.
And then there's number three weight. Now, if you can step on a scale. I say, if you can, because I know for some people, the scale can be this [00:09:00] big trigger, but I would love for you to start to look at that scale as unemotionally, as possible. It is not your mean friend. Use it at this as this biometric device, it's giving you great information that you can use to heal and to make the right decisions.
Now here's one way to look. Okay. Without a scale, you may gain three to five pounds overnight and not even know it. Now ignorance is not bliss here, because if you see on the scale that you gained three to five pounds overnight, you know, immediately you're inflamed because you don't gain three to five pounds overnight from food.
You gained three to five pounds overnight from inflammation. And when you know, you're inflamed, you can use that information to make better choices. Next time you can look back and go, what food did I eat? That's hurting me. That didn't work for me. Or maybe it was an activity you did, or maybe it was a stressful event or maybe [00:10:00] overdid the exercise.
The bottom line is you'll be able to identify the things you did that are working against. And not helping you heal. So ideally you're going to disconnect emotion from the scale and stop allowing it to be your mean friend and begin to look at it as nothing more than a biometric device, you know, just like you would with a blood pressure cuff, it's just a device it's helping you really connect the dots between what you're eating, how you're living and how it's showing up on your.
Now if you have a body fat scale that looks at your total body water as well, even better that's a critical measurement, because it helps determine your body composition, how much of your body is fat and how much is lean body mass. You want to make sure that you are holding onto her building muscle as you're losing that body fat.
Now, if you find that you're losing weight, but you're not losing your waist, you could be losing muscle rather than fat. And by the way, that is making you [00:11:00] worse, not better. And that's why you really want to know both your weight and your waist measurement. All right. Number four, number four is monitor your blood sugar.
And this is great because you can now measure your blood sugar at home with something called a continuous glucose monitor or a CGM, or you can use a little prick monitor. But I really love that continuous glucose monitor because it lets you see in real time how, what you're eating is impacting your blood sugar.
So then you can make form smart decisions that are good for your metabolic health. And you'll see why I always emphasize eating by the plate, which you can check out in the links below the plate is made up of clean protein, which is so thermic and satiating anti-inflammatory fat choices, which don't trigger an insulin response response.
Plus. There are also super satiating, right? And delicious and fiber from non-starchy veggies and slow, low sugar impact carbs, which lowers the sugar impact of your meal and [00:12:00] slows down the release of blood sugar, a blood sugar level, less than 140 milligrams per deciliter during the two hours after you eat is normal.
And you really want it to be 120 or less. Now after two hours, a reading of one 40. To 1 99 indicates prediabetes in 200 plus indicates diabetes. So a blood sugar monitor can tell you, as soon as you've had that coffee with sweetener, bam, your blood sugar went up. Or instead when you eat a meal that was balanced, you can see immediately that it kept your blood sugar under control.
Then when you eat, you know, you're going to eat something or drink something that might impact your blood sugar, you can do a little hack, like little apple cider vinegar, or some lemon juice to water before. And you'll be able to see if it's going to help slow the rise in your blood sugar for that. It's really cool.
The continuous glucose monitor sticks on your upper arm, like right here. And it [00:13:00] stays there for a few weeks until you need to replace it. So, I mean, you take showers, you go to the gym, everything. It just sticks on there. Now another option is just do a little prick test after you eat. See what's going on with your blood sugar and in the morning to see what your fasting blood sugar stands.
Okay. Number five, blood pressure testing. Now, of course, this is another easy test you can do at home. You'll get it done at your doctor's office, as we talked about earlier, and they'll have that record, but when you get a blood pressure cuff at home and you can do it more often, you'll know if it's consistently high.
Cause sometimes when you go to the doctor's office, it's high because you're at the doctor's office, right? When you have poor glucose control and you're more insulin resistance, the chances are. That you're going to have issues with your blood pressure as well. And testing it at home is going to help you connect all of those dots.
So you really want to monitor your blood pressure because even being slightly hypertensive, remember I said, I want you one 20 over 70. So even as you start to go like, or a one 10 over seventies, you [00:14:00] start to go one 20 over 81, 25, you're going to start having risks for heart issues. And. Slightly elevated blood sugar puts you at risk, just like slightly elevated hypertension.
So we want to catch all of these things early. Okay. You probably figured I was going to say this cause you know how much I love to talk about sleep. Six is sleep now. I love to track sleep. I actually have two trackers on right now. I have oura and an apple watch. I've been known to do that with a garment as well.
I love to track sleep because sleep fixes so many things. That's what it's for repair and restore and you know, how good you feel when you got a quality night's sleep and getting more quality. Has a massive effect on your insulin sensitivity and your blood sugar control. And those things can happen really fast.
If you do some simple things to prioritize your sleep. So check out my other video on sleep for ways to do that. Cause poor sleep [00:15:00] can also be a reason you're not losing weight. Now, as far as tracking, it goes again. I've got my aura ring right here. I've got an apple watch. There's Garmin. There's all sorts of cool tools out there.
Just get one and use it. And of course it's ideal. If you can get seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but what's great about the tracker is it's not just about those hours. It's really about how much deep sleep you're getting because the deep sleep is what's really helping get rested and heal. Alright, there you go.
Six things you can do that you can measure and test to help you become more metabolically healthy. And remember the more metabolically healthy you are, the better you're going to feel, especially in terms of your energy and your focus. You'll be less inflamed, and it'll be easier for you to drop some weight too.
Don't forget to hit like and subscribe and join me next time. When I talk about what it means. To brown your body fat intriguing. [00:16:00] Right. See you soon
for more info on this and other health topics I cover or to rate and review. Find me on Instagram, Facebook and my website, And don't forget to subscribe to my show. So you won't miss a single episode. Go to Thanks again for being with me this week.


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