Insulin Sensitivity and Weight Loss
Have you gained weight lately?
Do you feel like your weight loss efforts are in vain?
If so, you might be dealing with insulin resistance. This hormonal problem may be the reason the scale isn’t shifting. According to health experts, increasing insulin sensitivity is the key to fat loss. A single workout session can increase glucose uptake by up to 40 percent in sedentary people. Just imagine how much you could benefit from regular exercise!
How Does Insulin Affect Your Weight?
Insulin affects your health on every level. This hormone plays a vital role in metabolism, muscle and fat storage, blood sugar, endocrine function, and cardiovascular health. Basically, it regulates how your body stores and uses fat and glucose. The secretion of insulin is increased by elevated blood sugar concentrations, Beta adrenergic stimulation, and gastrointestinal hormones.
This hormone helps the liver, fat, and muscle cells store glucose for later use. When you have insulin resistance, glucose builds up in your blood because your body can not use insulin effectively. As a result, the pancreas produces even more insulin, which leads to fat storage.
Insulin resistance can have different causes, such as:
- Chronic inflammation
- Visceral fat accumulation
- Prolonged stress
- Poor sleep
- High-fat and high-sugar diets
Eating too much sugar and junk food is often the culprit behind this problem.
Chronic stress contributes to insulin resistance too.
Although there are individual differences to insulin levels depending on your metabolic type, your diet and lifestyle habits have the biggest impact.
Simple Ways to Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Poor insulin sensitivity can affect your ability to lose weight. Over time, it may lead to diabetes, heart disease, high triglycerides, poor recovery, and fatigue. This condition also reduces athletic performance and makes it hard to pack on muscle.
The good news is that you can improve insulin sensitivity by making lifestyle changes. Exercise and diet are of utmost importance for keeping your insulin levels in check.
Healthy eating can significantly improve insulin resistance, regardless of your age or fitness level. It’s recommended to lower your daily carb intake, avoid junk food, and eat plenty of omega-3s. At the same time, limit omega-6 fats because they cause inflammation.
Don’t worry – there’s no need to eliminate carbs completely.
Just Steer Clear of High GI Foods – Like The Following:
- White Pasta
- White Bread
- White Rice
- Fruit Juice
- Table Sugar
- Soft Drinks
- White Potatoes
Stick to a low carb, high-fiber diet that includes non-starchy vegetables, protein, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Sprinkle cinnamon on your meals, drink mineral water, and get more magnesium in your diet. Green tea and pu-erh tea have been shown to lower insulin resistance too.
Exercise, especially strength training, is essential for improving insulin sensitivity. Working out enhances the ability of skeletal muscle to utilize glucose. It also causes fat loss, which further lowers insulin resistance. You also need to get plenty of sleep and avoid stress.
Poor sleep is a major contributing factor to diabetes, obesity, and low insulin sensitivity. Studies have also found that intermittent fasting can improve insulin resistance and decrease heart disease risk, so you might want to give it a try.