So, you’ve finally committed to losing weight. Yay you! But how? There are so many conflicting messages to digest, all linked to a different program or product. Should you count calories? Reduce carbs? Increase protein? Drink shakes? Buy pre-packaged meals? Exercise a million hours each day? Fast? Feast?
It’s enough to send you directly to the freezer to the mint choc chip ice cream!
Before even attempting to choose the program that’s best for you, I recommend that you take the time to understand the principles of weight loss.
Starting with insulin. Yes, insulin.
Insulin is one of the most misunderstood hormones. Too much of it can cause weight gain, and too little of it can cause serious health problems.
Today I want to help you to better understand insulin so you can counteract its fat-building effects and achieve your weight loss goals.
Let’s get to know insulin a little better.
Insulin is our body’s main anabolic hormone, meaning it promotes “building” in the body (e.g., the storage of fat), rather than breaking things down. It is produced and stored in the pancreas. When you eat starches, sugars, and other carbohydrates, they’re digested to simple sugars in the intestine.
The pancreas senses the sugar and releases insulin into the bloodstream. The job of insulin is to signal the muscle to absorb the sugar. In a perfect world, you would eat just enough carbohydrates to meet your body’s needs.
But we live in a world filled with processed foods (aka foods high in sugar and carbs) so that’s not always an easy task.
If you eat too many carbs, your pancreas releases a tonne of insulin that tells your cells that lots of sugar is on the way. Incoming sugar!
Simply put, eating too many carbs (and not burning them) causes the production of fat in fat cells.
Over time, with repeated overeating of carbohydrates, your cells start to ignore the insulin.
As a result, your body will have to release even more to have the same effect. It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to insulin resistance (and eventually Type 2 Diabetes). It can also cause your blood vessels to clog, leading to strokes, heart attacks, blindness, and kidney failure.
Naughty old insulin!
So, how can we better manage our insulin to lose weight, I hear you ask? Excellent question!
The key to successful weight loss is to control your insulin levels, aka, keeping them as low as possible.
The most simple and effective way to do this is to reduce your carbohydrate intake. Do this, and your body will make and release less insulin, reducing the build-up of fat. Winning!
How else can you reduce the build-up of insulin?
- Get good sleep! Yes, sleep deprivation causes an increase in blood sugar and results in more insulin secretion. Sleep is super important for weight loss.
- Move more! Yes, regular cardiovascular exercise causes your body to immediately use these sugars, which bypasses and suppresses insulin and reduces fat storage.
- Oh, and do not, I repeat, do not eat just before bedtime. Especially carbs! Fun fact – we burn most of our fat while sleeping … unless we overwhelm our body with sugar. Too many carbs before bed will negatively impact your opportunity to burn fat while sleeping. Not winning.
So yes, it all comes down to understanding your carb tolerance so you can create a healthy lifestyle (and diet) to best manage your insulin and weight.
I’m a big believer in this approach to weight loss, which is why Loz Life has chosen the Dietflex program for our clients.
We have a team of qualified coaches ready to teach you all about insulin and carbohydrates, and to be your cheerleader and accountability partner on your weight loss journey.