Insulin Resistance

If you are developing stubborn fat around the abdomen, that is not shifting with exercise, then it's likely that you are probably becoming insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is a condition where cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin, resulting in the pancreas pumping out more to overcome the hurdle. 

We evolved without, refrigerators, supermarkets and convenience foods. We now eat all day long and our pancreas constantly pumps out insulin in order to process the sugar. Our ancestors ate perhaps one or twice a day, sometimes they went for days without food. Going without food for extended periods of time is totally natural because we can produce glucose without the need to ingest sugar. If you don't have sugary foods or drinks in your digestive system, your bodies glycogen storage starts to deplete and you start to burn fats as an energy source. This is a process called Lipolysis where fat cells separate into free fatty acids and glycerol. 

Prolonged high levels of insulin is very bad

Eating and drinking a sugary diet all day long results in your insulin levels being constantly high. Many cells in your body have insulin receptors including muscle cells, fat tissue and the liver. These cells often start to fail in their response to insulin, which would result in glucose levels rising. This cannot happen so the pancreas pumps out more insulin to compensate. When insulin is high for a long time, the body begins to ignore it. The cells will become resistant to it and no longer listen to what the insulin is telling it to do.

Being fat will not cause insulin dependency.  But being insulin dependent will make you fat. These are the symptoms of insulin resistance:

  • Fatty liver.
  • Brain Fog.
  • Belly Fat.
  • Bloating.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Sleepy after meals.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Cravings and hunger.
  • Dark pigment in different folds of the body.
  • Hunger between meals.

Most individuals with insulin resistance and Type II diabetes are able to reverse or dramatically mitigate their symptoms by taking the proper steps.

  1. Get your insulin production (carb  intake) problems under control. Lowering your insulin resistance and regaining proper insulin sensitivity can help reverse the process. Limit consumption of simple sugars, grains and processed carbs. Focus on healthy proteins, fats and green veggies, but also eat low GI/GL carbs.
  2. Get your fats in balance. Overabundance of Omega-6 fats is a contributing factor in diabetes. Pay attention to your intake of  Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats and try to get them closer to a 1:1 ratio. For many people, supplementing with a good quality Omega-3 oil can help while dietary adjustments are being made. Avoid Omega-6 seed oils and their sources. Eat fatty fish like salmon and sardines for the Omega-3s.
  3. Fix your Gut. Grains and toxins cause damage to the intestinal lining and facilitate leaky gut syndrome. Remove the grains, avoid toxins whenever possible and take a high quality probiotic to help the intestines heal.
  4. Exercise– Exercise  increases the muscles ability to use insulin and over time can help fix insulin resistance. Small amounts of high intensity exercise have been shown to have a better effect on insulin levels and weight loss
  5. Lose Excess Weight. Obesity and diabetes often go hand in hand and losing weight can help mitigate diabetes. The fastest way to lose weight is to start fasting or  intermittent fasting, eating well and doing daily HIIT exercises.
  6. Reduce Stress. Stress raises cortisol and can lead to hormone imbalance, insulin issues and increases risk for certain types of disease. Getting quality sleep every night can help reduce stress hormone levels and is great for blood sugar.
  7. Eat great foods full of micronutrients. Vitamins and minerals are vital for you bodies systems and fresh food should be the source. Supplements can also help your body heal and gain proper insulin reactions again. Try cinnamon, omega-3 fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid, chromium, coenzyme Q10, garlic zinc and magnesium.
  8. Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is one of the best ways of improving your fat metabolism and lower insulin resistance. Consume it with a meal, in a pill, or add a teaspoon per glass in water.
  9. Eat Fermented foods. Fermented foods are great, and even contain some vinegar naturally as well!
  10. Take potassium. This means lots of vegetables. When fat is burned, it needs to process in the liver. The greens will keep the fat flushed from the liver and is needed to prevent fatty liver. It will even get rid of the fatty liver that may already be present.
  11. Vitamin B1. This vitamin is found in nutritional yeast and will reduce the need for insulin to take its effect. If insulin is more efficient, then not much will be needed for it to take effect.
  12. Eat plenty of fibre. Always choose the higher fiber option such as juice with the pulp in it. This will help to buffer the insulin and can go a long way in preventing insulin resistance on it's own. Try eating high fiber vegetables like celery.
  13. Lowering cortisol + estrogen. Cortisol is the stress hormone that triggers insulin release. Find ways to relax and minimize stress. Estrogen is the female sex hormone, which also stimulates the release of insulin.
  14. Eat Vegetables. Vegetables are a great way of reducing fatty liver. They contain high levels of nutrients including phosphorous, potassium, and chromium, all useful for lowering insulin levels.