Have you ever heard the saying, “The magic happens in the middle”? This concept is all about the power of the in-between moments. It’s in these spaces where ideas are born, creativity flourishes, and true transformation occurs. When we give ourselves time, space, and openness, we allow these magical things to surface. On the flip side, when we’re constantly doing, striving, and reaching, we leave no room for this kind of magic.

This principle applies to our bodies as well. Just as our minds need breaks to foster creativity, our bodies need space between eating to function optimally. Allowing these breaks helps our insulin levels return to baseline, gives our digestive system a much-needed rest, and allows our bodies to heal and repair.

Understanding Insulin and Cortisol

You may have heard that insulin is a key player in our body’s health. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels by facilitating the uptake of glucose into our cells. When we eat, especially foods high in sugar or refined carbs, our insulin levels spike to manage the influx of glucose. However, constantly elevated insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, where our cells become less responsive to insulin, potentially leading to conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Behind insulin, another crucial hormone comes into play: cortisol. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone because it’s released in response to stress. It helps regulate metabolism, inflammation, and immune responses. However, chronic stress can lead to consistently high cortisol levels, which can negatively impact your health by increasing blood sugar levels, promoting weight gain, especially around the abdomen, and weakening the immune system.

The Power of Space

If we embrace the idea that “the magic happens in the middle” and apply it to our eating habits, we can achieve two major benefits: regulating insulin levels and managing cortisol production. Here’s how:

Regulate Insulin Levels:

By allowing time between meals, we give our insulin levels a chance to return to baseline. While some advocate for intermittent fasting, it’s important to note that for women, fasting beyond 12-14 hours doesn’t provide significant additional benefits and can sometimes be counterproductive. Instead, spacing meals out 4.5 to 5 hours apart without snacking can effectively reset insulin levels and promote metabolic health.

Manage Cortisol Production:

Taking breaks from constant activity and stress can help lower cortisol levels. Practices like mindful eating, stress management techniques, and ensuring adequate sleep can reduce cortisol production. When we’re not constantly in a state of “doing,” our bodies can better manage stress, leading to improved overall health.

Practical Tips for Finding the Magic in the Middle

Embrace Space Between Meals:

Aim to space your meals 4.5 to 5 hours apart. This allows your insulin levels to return to baseline and gives your digestive system a break. Avoid snacking between meals to maintain this balance.

Find Fun Ways to De-Stress:

Stress can really mess with your body, so make time for activities you enjoy. Whether it’s a dance class, gardening, painting, or playing with your pet, these fun activities can help lower your stress levels and boost your mood. Try different things until you find what truly makes you feel relaxed and happy.

Allow Room For Flow:

To truly experience flow, let go of constant planning and doing. Magic unfolds when we’re not busy or distracted. Take moments throughout your day to simply be, allowing creativity and inspiration to naturally arise. Or if you want to be radical, unschedule an entire week and be in flow and let life and inspiration happen.

Prioritize Sleep:

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Good sleep is magical because it allows your body to repair and heal while your brain sorts and organizes thoughts, experiences, and memories. This restful time is essential for both your body and mind. 

Let go of All or Nothing Thinking:

Avoid the trap of all-or-nothing thinking. You don’t have to be perfect for your efforts to be worthwhile. Embrace a balanced approach, especially in your health and weight loss journey. Have a plan and allow yourself some treats too. It’s about finding a sustainable and enjoyable middle ground, not striving for perfection.

Conclusion:

The magic truly happens in the middle. By creating space and embracing the in-between moments, we can significantly improve our health and feeling of well-being. Regulating insulin levels and managing cortisol production are two critical aspects of achieving lasting wellness. Remember, it’s not about constantly doing more; sometimes, it’s about letting go and allowing ourselves the space to play, create, rest and recharge.

Here’s to finding your magic!

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