Insulin is produced by the pancreas.
When we eat foods containing carbohydrate they are broken down to glucose in the blood. The normal function of the hormone insulin is to transfer glucose from the blood into the liver and muscle cells, to be used as energy, and managing our blood glucose levels.
In people with insulin resistance, the muscles and the liver resist the action of insulin, so the body has to produce higher amounts to keep the blood glucose levels within a normal range.
‘The unfortunate thing when it comes to weight control is that the higher the amount of insulin that you have circulating in the body, the harder it becomes to burn body fat.
‘This means that if you have insulin resistance, you can be eating an extremely healthy diet, exercising as recommended and be physically unable to lose weight.’
Worryingly, as insulin is the central regulator of both glucose and fat metabolism in the body, when it is not working, the basic energy balance equation when it comes to weight loss, calories in versus calories out simply does not hold true.
So what are the signs?
As resistance builds up over many months or years, these signs and symptoms can be subtle before they become more noticeable over time.
Fatigue is common as glucose is not being taken to the cells as efficiently as it should be.
‘Sugar cravings are too common, as insulin and glucose levels fluctuate widely during the day.’
The most common sign, however, is the way that fat is deposited on the body.
Insulin likes to deposit fat around the abdominal area, which is why women (and men) with severe insulin resistance have a large belly.
Tips for Reducing Insulin Resistance
* Include 30 minutes of physical activity on all days of the week.
* Eat at least five serves of vegetables and two bowls of berries each day.
* Do not eat any grains or legumes
* Eat a high good fat diet ie salmon, olive oil, linseed oil and coconut milk
* Eat a high good quality protein diet like wild fish, organic eggs and game.
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