Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness

What you need to know about insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance

09 Insulin resistance & sensitivity

Most people in the industry give us the same advice for weight loss “eat less-move more” and the reason this doesn´t work for most people is that getting in shape gets more complex, if we don´t understand how hormones work it will be harder to lose weight and keep it off. In most cases the ones trying to lose weight and get in shape have a lot of fat to lose and the chances of them being insulin resistant if really high, if we want results we need to improve insulin.

The hormone insulin is one of the most important when trying to lose fat and stay lean. Insulin resistant and insulin sensitivity will determine how efficient is your body at utilizing carbohydrates which can make your process simple or harder. Insulin is also related to diabetes which is a common diseases that affects more and more people.

Insulin sensitivity can be defined as the amount of insulin the pancreas needs to produce to move certain amount of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. Someone who is insulin sensitive can need only a small amount of insulin, while someone who is insulin resistant needs a lot of insulin to deposit the same amount of glucose.

Insulin sensitive is when less insulin is required to move a greater amount of glucose into the cells. Insulin sensitivity is the ability to take in and utilize carbohydrates efficiently for energy. People who is insulin sensitive can consume high carbohydrate meals and use the glucose for fuel with low amounts of insulin. That is why they can eat donuts, brownies, cakes every night and stay lean.

People who are insulin sensitive are more likely to stay lean even if they eat a lot of sweets; the carbohydrates they eat are taken up from the bloodstream to the cells and are use as fuel, people that is insulin resistant have to release a large amount of insulin to get some of that glucose into the cells, this blocks the breakdown of fat.

Insulin resistance is when the cells stop responding to insulin so all the glucose stays in the bloodstream and our bodies stop breaking down fat and instead we end up storing it. Those who are insulin resistant must use excessive amounts of insulin to do the job, which means that their blood glucose is higher. People who are overweight or obese are likely insulin resistant, reducing carbohydrates can improve insulin levels.

If you are insulin sensitive you can eat carbohydrates, if you are insulin resistant or diabetic, considering a low carbohydrate or ketogenic nutrition program can lower insulin and improve insulin sensitivity.

The more effective your body is at utilizing carbohydrates the easier it is to burn fat, to get lean and to stay lean, if insulin is high your body cannot breakdown fat and use it for energy, being insulin resistant which makes glucose in the bloodstream stays high won´t let your body use fat even on a low calorie diet.

The best ways to improve insulin resistant is by lowering carbohydrates consumption and intermittent fasting. You can use this strategies for a period of time until your insulin resistant improves and you lose some weight or you can adapt them to your life making them a lifestyle. Intermittent fasting have a lot more benefits for your health, to get all the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet the best option is ketogenic where fat intake is about 70%, protein 20% and carbohydrates 10%. (This macro nutrients vary from people to people).

People with obesity or overweight are more likely to be insulin resistant, their body is not efficient at using carbohydrates and some other hormones like cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, metabolism. Their body is not being as effective as it should so in this case they need to be more discipline in their diet by reducing carbohydrates for a period of time until they lose some weight and their body gets more efficient.

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