High blood sugar isn’t just a problem for diabetics; it could also explain why your body’s clinging to stubborn fat. Insulin resistance alone doesn’t mean you have diabetes, but it does mean your body just has a lot more insulin than it needs. Let me explain!
Under ideal working conditions, the body releases insulin in proportion to the amount of carbohydrates you consume. Insulin processes the sugars from carbs and carries them to your cells, which use the carbs for energy or stores them for later. When insulin accumulates, largely due to a diet that includes too many processed carbohydrates, high-sugar foods, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners, the body stores unused sugars as fat (especially in the abdominal area) instead of glycogen, the energy source used during exercise. What’s more, excess insulin can also block the use of stored fat as energy.
In fact, in a study published in Nature Clinical Practice Endocrinology & Metabolism, University of California researchers concluded that insulin revs up appetite by interfering with leptin, the hormone that signals satiety, and raising levels of dopamine, a hormone that tells the brain to seek rewards, often edible ones.
Signs that your pancreas is in insulin-production overdrive include excess belly fat, constant hunger and cravings, water retention, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. You’ll also feel less then optimal and often have heart palpitations, sweating, poor concentration, anxiety, fogginess, fatigue, and irritability—similar to what you’d experience after a high-carb “crash”—also go along with insulin resistance.
How to find balance!
No medication has been approved by the FDA to treat insulin resistance, although diabetes medications can help, however they work no better than diet and exercise. I find that many people start taking pills and they thing it replaces a healthy lifestyle. NOT TRUE and the side effects of the medications are awful, where as a healthy lifestyle has endless positive effects on your mind and body.
To keep your insulin levels in check, eliminate processed carbohydrates, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup, from your diet; include protein at every meal; and limit fruit intake to one or two servings of low-glycemic fruits, like apples or berries, per day. Eating breakfast within an hour of rising and skipping cereals and bagels in favor of a protein shake or omelet, they are better for controlling appetite and keeping insulin levels low throughout the day, as well as curbing late-day cravings.
It’s really very simple, but it takes effort to make healthy lifestyle changes. Trust me, it’s worth it to look and feel amazing!