If you haven’t figured it out by now, the human body is a fascinating organism.  It has the ability to do magical things without you even knowing it.  For example, when you go long periods of time without eating, your body relies on a stored form of fat known as triglycerides for fuel.  But I’m afraid the good news about triglycerides pretty much stops right there.

When levels become elevated and start circulating through the blood, it is coined in the medical world as hypertriglyceridemia.  A combination of hypertriglyceridemia, high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, low good cholesterol (HDL) and excess fat in the midsection equates to an even scarier condition known as metabolic syndrome.

Walking around with metabolic syndrome puts you at greater risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and atherosclerosis (hardened arteries).  That’s why it’s very important to nip this in the bud if your levels of triglycerides have gotten out of control.

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Although there are certain drugs that can be used to lower triglycerides, you are better served using them as a last resort.  A solid set of lifestyle modifications in this case would be your best medicine.  If you’re willing to put the time and effort in, you should have no problem lowering your levels and adding years to your life.

Leave the bottle on the shelf. 

Alcohol is well documented for its benefits when consumed in “moderation.”  Unfortunately, when it comes to high triglycerides, it does you no justice.  Since a high sugar intake spikes triglyceride levels, it is in your best interest to check alcohol off your weekly dietary list.  Alcohol quickly converts to sugar when consumed, and even a marginal amount can play a villainous role in your plan to decrease triglycerides.

I’d also avoid all sugary drinks in general like soda, teas, fruit juices and even those fake-sweetened beverages.  They may not be high in actual sugar, but they have a tendency to distort your hunger hormones and can cause you to eat excessive amounts of unwarranted food.

Choose safe instead of dangerous, and drink water as your main and only beverage!  Water is pure and clean, free of calories and it helps flush your system of impurities.  It also helps keep you hydrated, which is clutch when you exercise or are subjected to warmer climates.  I’ll be getting to exercise in a minute so hang tight.

Remodel your diet.

I already addressed the fact that excess calories from beverages are dangerous, but the same holds true with calories from food.  In particular, you want you watch your intake of simple carbs, and foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fat.  This means no more doughnuts, deep-friend foods, cheese fries, pizza, meatball hoagies, cake, cookies and processed baked goods.

I know that doesn’t sound very fun, but compare it to lying face-up on a gurney with defibrillation paddles glued to your chest to shock you back to life after suffering a massive heart attack.  That’s a lot less fun in my opinion, so consider the alternative. Oh, it just got real in here, didn’t it?

Don’t worry; it’s not as hard as you think.  Once you make some small steps, you will gain momentum and it will be easier each day.

Stick with a diet that is based around whole, clean foods with as little contaminants as possible.  Think in terms of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, cold-water fish, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy products.

How to decrease triglycerides2

Eat like a horse to promote weight loss. 

This is not a joke.  Horses eat multiple times throughout the day.  They are also lean, muscular and have high energy levels.  If you graze like a horse, you too will keep your energy levels high, and also stabilize your blood sugar levels and boost your metabolism.

A faster metabolism will lead to more calories burned throughout the day.  Since triglycerides are stored in fat, and fat is melted when weight is lost, your triglyceride levels will decrease by default.

Do not go more than three hours without having a small meal and balance each one with a portion of protein, carbs and fat.  Make sure you use complex carbs and healthy fat for these meals too.  For example, baked salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and a baked yam is a good balanced meal.  You are getting quality protein, complex carbs from the yam and a healthy dose of fat from the omega-3s that come from salmon.

Before I leave the food intake arena, I need to bring up caloric intake.  Ideally, you create a caloric deficit in your body by cutting back on the amount of calories you consume on a daily basis.  You don’t need to get fancy or excessive here.  Aim for a 250-to-500-calorie daily deficit and you should be good.

Burn even more fat by exercising.

Yep, it’s true.  Exercise DOES help you lose weight, and once again, this can help you reduce triglyceride levels.  But don’t waste time flailing around with complex workouts and programs that you downloaded from a fitness expert’s website.  It’s a lot easier to keep it simple.  After all, you’re not trying to enter a bodybuilding competition.  You’re trying to improve your health.

Do something a little more manageable like performing weight training three days a week and cardio three days a week on nonconsecutive days of each other.  By doing weight training, you’ll build muscle, which further boosts your metabolism.

Work all of your major muscle groups to get the best bang for your buck and feel free to hire a trainer who can show you proper form and technique.  I’m always available if you should need any further assistance too.

For cardio, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as it gets your heart rate up, causes you to break a sweat and makes you happy.  If walking satisfies those requirements, then walking it is!  Just be sure to do at least 30 minutes of cardio in your workouts.  Ideally, you work your way up to 60-plus minutes as you get into better shape.

OK, this has been fun, as usual, but I must go because I have some other fitness crime to fight.  Follow the above game plan and you should be out of threat in no time.  Always remember to act like you are already in possession of that which you want because where attention goes, energy flows!

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