A growing number of women are becoming Insulin Resistant, and with just a handful of adjustments to our lifestyle and what we eat—we can feel good again.
Let’s begin with what we are eating.
We are eating the standard American diet (SAD) for the most part. SAD causes our body to rely on energy-depleting, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and sugary foods. But, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming these foods triggers pleasure centers in the brain involved in cravings and addiction. 1 This diet can lead to overeating, inflammation, rapid weight gain, fatigue, pain, and chronic conditions like insulin resistance, aka Metabolic Syndrome. 2-3 Metabolic syndrome is the fast-track to a cluster of diseases nobody wants to have. (Learn More on Metabolic Syndrome).
If you are overweight and predominantly sedentary, you may already have insulin resistance.
How did we get here?
When we eat a diet high in processed carbohydrates, are stressed and sleep poorly, live a sedentary lifestyle, and have chronic health issues such as cardiovascular disease, the body can become insulin resistant. When this happens, the peripheral tissue cells lose their sensitivity to insulin, and the pancreas begins to produce excess insulin. Unfortunately, this process leaves glucose and other nutrients not absorbed circulating in the bloodstream. When this happens, we pump out more and more insulin, become more resistant to its effects, and end up with insulin resistance. Eventually, the pancreas becomes overburdened and starts making less insulin. That’s when things go from bad to worse, and we can end up with serious blood glucose issues.
What can we do?
With these lifestyle adjustments, you can begin to feel like yourself again.
- Get moving
- Lose the muffin top
- Kick the sugar habit
- Get quality sleep
- Eat healthy, unprocessed foods
- Supplement with berberine and add a little MCT oil
- Incorporate Intermittent fasting
- Try a Ketogenic diet
The benefits of moving our bodies are vast, and even a modest amount of exercise can decrease our risk of insulin resistance. Including exercise in our daily routine will lower blood glucose and support keeping sugar levels optimal. 4
Lose the muffin top.
Fat accumulation around the abdomen is strongly correlated with insulin resistance. To calculate the level of abdominal fat, use the waist-to-hip method. First, measure the smallest part of the waist and then the hips at their widest part. Then divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. A waist-to-hip ratio of more than 0.8 in women indicates having insulin resistance. 5
Kick the sugar habit.
Studies suggest that sugar can be addictive due to the dopamine release. Sugary treats create a feel-good energy burst followed by an energy crash. The addictive potential of sugar can lead to long-term health effects like obesity and insulin resistance. 1
Get quality sleep.
Lack of sleep for even one night can increase insulin resistance by causing less insulin to be released after you eat. In addition, a sleepless night can increase ghrelin levels (the hunger hormone) and decrease leptin levels (the hunger suppression hormone). Getting the proper amount of sleep will reduce hunger and tend to crave and overeat carbohydrates. 6-7
Eat healthy, unprocessed foods.
Fuel your body well. Focus on the quality of your food. Organic, local, non-GMO, Wild-caught, and grass-fed. Stay away from packaged foods as much as possible and read the labels for hidden sugar, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Supplement with Berberine and C-8 MCT oil. Berberine is known to effectively improve insulin resistance by stimulating glucose intake by activating the AMP-activated protein kinase pathway (AMPK). Berberine combined with a reduced intake of carbohydrates and fats can lower insulin and glucose levels. 8
Studies also show that the replacement of dietary long-chain (LCT) for medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) can lead to increases in energy expenditure (EE) and satiety in humans. Furthermore, MCT oil can decrease food intake and lower body fat mass. 15
For an effective way to help manage insulin resistance and get into ketosis faster—practice intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is when we restrict our eating schedule to a handful of hours and fast the remaining time. For example, we fast for 16-18 hours and limit our meals to an 8-hour window. Evidence suggests longer fasts, 24-48 hours, may benefit autophagy and increase longevity. Autophagy is the body’s way of removing damaged cells to make room for new and healthy cells. By applying a low-carb, ketogenic diet, and periodic fasting, we can increase insulin sensitivity and, in many cases, reverse and stop insulin resistance from occurring. 9-10
The benefits of fasting include increased:
- blood ketones
- insulin sensitivity
- human growth hormone (HGH)
- cellular clean-up (autophagy)
Fasting should be cycled off and on to avoid slowing down metabolism. Prolonged fasting causes the body to decrease metabolic rate and hold onto body fat as a survival mechanism.
Try a Ketogenic diet.
A Ketogenic diet can help you balance your blood sugar, lose unwanted pounds and reverse insulin resistance. Furthermore, when the body is in a ketogenic state, the hunger hormone ghrelin is suppressed, insulin sensitivity increases, fat oxidation increases, and glucose/protein is spared for essential metabolic functions. 11 ,14 Bonus!
With a Ketogenic diet, we can also look forward to:
- Mental clarity
- Improved energy
- Anti-aging benefits
- Improved PCOS syndrome
- Less irritability, better mood
- Suppressed sugar and carb cravings
- Weight loss
- Increased muscle mass
- Supports healthy blood glucose levels
The origin of the Ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet was developed as a treatment for drug-resistant epileptic seizures. The diet was hard to adhere to, with a macronutrient ratio of 90% fat, 10% protein, and little to no carbohydrate. However, by following this diet, epileptic patients could control/reduce seizures, and some even became seizure-free. The exact mechanism of ketosis improving epileptic seizures is unknown, but researchers propose that ketones increase GABA production and decrease excitatory glutamate transmission. 12,13
Ketones and the brain.
Ketones are water-soluble, meaning they can pass the blood-brain barrier and impact the neuropharmacology of the brain. Nutritional ketosis allows the brain to maintain homeostasis by avoiding spikes and dips in energy and creates a stable environment for glucose, hormones, and neurotransmitters. 14
What are Ketones?
Ketones are an alternative fuel substrate generated from the oxidation of fat during periods of low glucose availability.
These Ketones include:
We can measure our Ketones levels via blood meter, urine analysis, or breath acetone meter. These tools help determine when we are in ketosis and burning body fat for fuel and energy.
How to implement a low-carb Ketogenic diet?
Now that we’ve touched on some of the key benefits, we can go into the basics of implementing the diet and not making it an overwhelming process.
Begin by focusing on what is easiest for you to eliminate. For instance:
- Soda and fruit juice
- Refined carbohydrates (all things white)
- Fast food
When you are ready to go full steam ahead, continue to eliminate the following:
- Grains, legumes, and potatoes
- Nut, seed, soy, and corn oil
- Alcohol (low carb versions included)
- Hidden carbohydrates (read the labels)
So, what can we eat?
- Meat, poultry, fish, and seafood
- Above ground vegetables
- Nuts and seeds (not all are low carb, so be careful here)
- Natural fats: olive, ghee, butter, avocado, coconut, and MCT oil
To improve weight loss results and support normalized blood sugar:
- Reduce your nut, seed, and cheese intake
- Make most of your fat intake come from protein-rich foods
- Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate!
- Stay active. Include both cardio and weight training
- Consider supplementing with Berberine and MCT oil
Remember — it’s the small, consistent steps and choices we make every day that can significantly change how vibrant we feel. And, when we feel well — WeBlume™