The hidden secret behind fat loss is the hormone insulin. It plays a significant role in fat loss, but is often times overlooked. Without understanding the significance of Insulin it may be difficult to address Fat Loss effectively.
The Role of Insulin
- Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas in response to high blood sugar levels.
- When we eat carbs or protein the blood sugar levels in our blood increases. Insulin is then released to lower the blood sugar and to store excess glucose into your fat, liver and muscle cells.
How does insulin effect fat loss?
Insulin effects fat loss in terms of sensitivity. It all comes down to how effectively the body uses insulin to reduce blood glucose levels.
- Greater efficiently = Insulin sensitive
- Poorer efficiently=insulin resistant
Two types of insulin responses affect fat loss; Insulin sensitive and Insulin resistance.
Being insulin resistance means the body is insensitive to insulin. Meaning it needs to produce more insulin than it should to keep blood glucose levels stable.
As a result,
- Higher insulin levels = more fat storage because the body can no longer store glycogen. The excess glucose is then taken up by insulin and stored as fat.
Consequently, insulin resistance effects fat loss because when insulin is high, fat can’t be released and for fat loss to occur it needs low amounts of insulin.
Causes of Insulin Resistance
- Consuming excess carbs and fats
- Too much body fat
- A diet high in refined foods (white flour, sugar) and low fat dairy products
- Eating surplus amounts of fructose
- Diet high in gluten and lectins
Effects of Insulin resistance
- Diabetes; Pancreases needs to make more than normal amounts of insulin because we’re so insensitive to it. Eventually it gets exhausted and stops being able to release the hormone properly.
- Obstructs sleep
- Muscle soreness and pain
- Hard to control body fat
- Accelerates aging
- Causes thyroid problems
The body requires very little insulin to store carbs. Insulin sensitivity is increased when body fat is deceased.
Effects of being Insulin Sensitive
- Youthful appearance
- More energy
- Body burns fat readily
- Better sleep
- Less stress on the body
- Good overall health
10 Steps to improve insulin sensitivity
1. Daily dose of Vitamin D3
2. Exercise at least 3 days a week both weight training and aerobic exercises are crucial.
- Exercising drastically improves sensitivity of the cells to insulin. Your body maintains this increased sensitivity to insulin for at least 24 hours after a workout.
- Low-Intensity Sustained State (LISS) cardio improves insulin resistance by increasing uptake of glucose into cells.
- Weight Training increases release of growth hormone which increases insulin sensitivity.
3. Low carb- high protein diet is most effective for improving insulin sensitivity and reducing body fat.
- High protein diet prompted greatest change in insulin sensitivity.
4. Consume carbs efficiently (morning and post workout).
5. Eat slow digesting foods, when foods digest slowly the sugars take longer to hit the bloodstream and insulin is released more gradually.
- Examples of slow digesting foods
- Healthy Fats (cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil)
- Fiber (green veggies)
- Protein (lean meats)
6. Add Cinnamon to your daily foods to help control blood glucose levels.
7. Vinegar and green tea increase insulin sensitivity, improving the body’s ability to store carbs.
- Green tea helps reduce blood sugar levels
- Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity. Calories consumed are less likely to get stored as fat.
8. Keep body fat low, being lean can improve insulin sensitivity.
9. Avoid trans fats (veg oil)
- Get omega 6 from cold pressed oil
- Balance omega 6 with omega 3 (fish oil)
- Keeping the lipid layer strong and flexible improves cells sensitivity to insulin.
10. Eliminate liquid fructose from your diet COMPLETELY!
- Fructose is processed by liver and doesn’t stimulate insulin secretion in the way glucose does, therefore causing metabolic problems interfering with insulin and getting stored as fat.
- NO! soda, fruit juice, OR agave!
Moyer, J.D. (2015, November 1). What It Feels Like to Regain Your Insulin Sensitivity. Retrieved from http://www.jdmoyer.com/
McDonald, L. (2008). Insulin Sensitivity and Fat Loss. Retrieved from http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/
English, N. (2014, November 18). WTF Is Insulin and How Does It Affect Our Health and Fat Loss? Retrieved from http://greatist.com/
Examine. (2016). How do I increase insulin sensitivity? Retrieved from https://examine.com/