In­sulin re­sis­tance – does your body hold on to fat?

New Zealand Fitness - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Tar­ryn Thomp­son

If you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing other symp­toms such as poor sleep, prob­lems with choles­terol, brain fog and in­abil­ity to fo­cus, sleepi­ness af­ter meals, poor skin, hy­per­ten­sion, or crav­ings – all can be signs of in­sulin re­sis­tance and could be pre­vent­ing you from achiev­ing your ideal body.

This is equally good for those who have never been se­ri­ous about health be­fore and also for those who have been se­ri­ous for a while now and want to be bet­ter and take your body to the next level.

What is in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity and what can you do about it?

One of the most im­por­tant health goals you should have in mind is to im­prove your in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity. So what is in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity? First, let’s dis­cuss in­sulin and its func­tion. In­sulin is a stor­age hor­mone. Af­ter you eat, your body con­verts the car­bo­hy­drates of that meal into glu­cose. This glu­cose en­ters the blood­stream and is used by all the cells of your body.

In­sulin is the hor­mone that stores the ex­tra glu­cose that your body doesn’t use. Your body has a lim­ited ca­pac­ity to store this ex­tra glu­cose (also known as glyco­gen). A typ­i­cal male can store around 500 grams of glyco­gen and fe­males around 300 grams. When your body can no longer store any­more, the ex­cess glu­cose is taken up by in­sulin and stored as fat.

In­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity has to do with how well your cells re­spond to in­sulin. Peo­ple that are highly in­sulin sen­si­tive re­quire very lit­tle in­sulin to store car­bo­hy­drates. There­fore, peo­ple that are in­sulin re­sis­tant (type II di­a­bet­ics), need larger amounts of in­sulin to move those car­bo­hy­drates around the body.

What this means is that when your in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity is high, you are able to eat car­bo­hy­drates with­out such a large rise in in­sulin. When in­sulin is kept low enough, fatty acids can still be re­leased. How­ever, once in­sulin gets too high, fat loss comes to a halt. Peo­ple that have bom­barded their bod­ies with high glycemic car­bo­hy­drates and pro­cessed foods over their life­times have be­come some­what re­sis­tant to the ef­fects of in­sulin. There­fore, when they eat car­bo­hy­drates, it causes a larger re­lease of in­sulin. This in­hibits the re­lease of fatty acids.

Bot­tom line: Higher in­sulin lev­els = more fat stor­age.

In my nu­tri­tion con­sult­ing prac­tice I spe­cialise in help­ing men and women with stub­born weight to lose, so there­fore I at­tract a lot of clients with this type of prob­lem.

Mod­er­ate and fre­quent ex­er­cise al­lows your backup tanks of stored sugar to de­plete.

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