Insulin is such an important hormone because it regulates our blood sugar. Basically, after eating something, the amount of sugar in our bloodstream increases. Insulin instructs the cells to absorb the sugar from our blood. It is released from the pancreas and has other “jobs” to do, especially during our weight loss journey. It stimulates liver, fat, and muscle cells to take in sugar when we’re digesting. But what happens when our cells don’t respond to insulin anymore?
When our fat, liver, and muscle cells no longer respond to insulin, this can lead to type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. This resistance is due to increased fat levels in our blood, as well as high sugar intake. This can also cause high amounts of fat storage, making it harder to lose weight and can lead to weight gain. So how can you make sure your insulin is working as it should? And what can you do to prevent insulin resistance?
This is the single easiest way to fight insulin resistance because losing fat tissue can increase cellular insulin sensitivity.
– Reduce sugar and free fatty acid intake.
Any high sugar beverages, snacks, fast food, etc. This can also reduce fat and inflammation, therefore improving insulin resistance.
– Eat well balanced meals.
According to MyPlate.gov, you should aim for 30% of your meal to consist of vegetables, 30% whole grains, 20% fruit, and 20% protein. Adding more veggies throughout the day is a great way to reach these percentages.
Create a sleeping schedule! Set a reminder in your phone for the time you want to start winding down / turning off screens in the evening, and another for when it is time to get into bed. Having a consistent sleeping schedule helps you to get quality sleep in addition to the proper quantity.
– Stop smoking.
Tobacco can cause insulin resistance in addition to harming your lungs. No bueno!
Insulin resistance may be reversed by following these healthy lifestyle measures. If you are experiencing strange weight gain/loss and believe insulin resistance could be affecting you, reach out to your doctor for screenings.
More on exercise and insulin resistance here!
More on the importance of sleep here!
More on overeating calories here!
More on genetic and environmental insulin resistance here!
Written by GUADS Summer intern Carla and edited by GUADS staff member Kate with contributions from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23720280/