The correct diet and workout routine is often presumed to be the key to weight loss. Choosing the right program and nutritional plan can lead to rapid and successful weight loss. Still, there are plenty of people who go through every diet in the world, yet can’t seem to slim down.
Regular exercise is a cornerstone attribute to help tone your body and is good for general well-being. But what to do when you’re still not achieving effective weight loss?
One expert believes hormones, specifically insulin, could be the reason many people are continuously struggling to lose weight.
Insulin and Glucose
Under normal circumstances, the body produces insulin when glucose is released into the bloodstream from the digestion of carbohydrates in your food.
This “insulin-response”, triggers glucose to be taken into body cells. Here they are used to prevent the body from using fat for energy. As a result, the concentration of glucose in the blood decreases, and keeps within normal range.
However, in the case of Insulin Resistance, body cells are resistant to the insulin and are unable to use it as effectively. In this instance, more glucose is left in the bloodstream which in turn can lead to high blood sugar.
Insulin Resistance & Weight Loss
Australian dietitian Susie Burrell spoke to Daily Mail Australia to reveal her thoughts on weight loss and how it links with insulin resistance.
“Insulin resistance is a clinical condition in which the cells fail to respond normally to the hormone, insulin. As a result, the pancreas to control blood glucose levels in the body is no longer working as efficiently as it should.”
“When insulin is not working properly, the body is forced to produce more and more insulin to process the same amount of glucose that we consume in food. This is necessary in order to fuel our muscles and brain.”
“unfortunately, when it comes to weight control, the higher amount of insulin circulating in your body, the harder it becomes to burn body fat.”
“If you are suffering from insulin resistance, your weight loss program will provide minimum results.”
Do I Have Insulin Resistance?
How can you know if you have insulin resistance? Susie explained it can take months or even years for it to build up in your body, with symptoms going unnoticed.
Both fatigue and sugar cravings are signs, but the main thing to look out for is how fat is deposited on the body.
“Insulin likes to deposit fat around the abdominal area, which is why men and women with severe insulin resistance tend to have larger bellies.”
“A waist line measurement more than 80cm for a femail may be a sign that insulin resistance is a factor (depending on your diet and activity levels).”
How To Compensate?
First off, if you think you might be experiencing insulin resistance, visit your doctor. It is, in essence, a step before diabetes and is not to be taken lightly.
That being said, it is recommended those with insulin resistance include the following points in their regular diet:
1. Limit Carbohydrates
Research suggests that monitoring your carbohydrate intake remains a key strategy in achieving glycemic control. This could be done by a calorie calculator, specialised apps, etc.
Although all carbohydrates can be counted, it is recommended to focus on carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and dairy products.
It’s recommended to consume grains in their whole forms instead of flour form. Flour tends to increase insulin resistance. Choose flour made from 100 percent whole grains, or try coconut flour or almond flour for a healthier option.
2. Avoid Sweetened Beverages
For the first time, the American Diabetes Association’s nutrition now specifically advise to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. These include soft drinks, fruit drinks, iced tea, energy and vitamin water drinks. Such beverages contain sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates and other artificial sweeteners.
Instead of drinking sweetened beverages, stick with water, seltzer, normal tea and coffee. When it comes to adding sweeteners choose natural sweeteners like raw honey, pure maple syrup or agave nectar.
3. Eat More Fibre
Research suggest that diets containing more than 50 grams of fiber per day will improve glycemia in people with diabetes.
Consuming high-fiber foods like artichokes, peas, acorn squash, brussels sprouts and avocado help regulate insulin resistance.
Load your plate with fresh veggies as often as possible. They are high in fiber, low in calories, and contain an array of vitamins and minerals with anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Eat Healthy Fats
Individuals with insulin resistance are encouraged to select unsaturated fats in place of saturated and trans fatty acids. The impact of long-term intake of saturated fatty acids on insulin resistance is important. As people with diabetes decrease their intake of carbohydrates, they increase their fat intake, especially saturated fat from foods like baked goods and fatty beef.
People with insulin resistance should also increase foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically by eating at least two servings of wild-caught fatty fish every week.
This could include mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna, white fish and sardines.
5. High Protein Diet
A study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research found that, the consumption of higher amounts of protein during dietary treatment of obesity resulted in greater weight loss than with lower amounts of protein.
Dietary protein intake is of specific importance for people with insulin resistance and diabetes. This is because proteins are relatively neutral with regard to glucose and lipid metabolism.
Furthermore, they preserve muscle and bone mass, which may be decreased in people with poorly controlled insulin resistance.
Hope this helps and are able to give you some perspective and pointers on alternative dietries!
Stay Fit 🙂