On an average week, I would see 3-5 clients with insulin resistance – the clinical condition in which the hormone that has the role of regulating glucose and fat metabolism in the body (yes, your ability to actually burn body fat) is not working very well. Insulin resistance (IR) is becoming increasingly common, a result of inactive lifestyles, extreme stress and a highly processed, high carb diet. The reason that I see so many women with IR is that the diet and exercise regime required to successfully manage IR, and to achieve significant weight loss is extremely specific and hence the reason I have recently penned my latest e-book – Is Insulin Resistance making you fat? – available here: http://www.shapeme.com.au/weight-loss-ebooks/is-insulin-resistance-making-you-fat/.
For many years we have been taught that when it comes to weight loss, calories in must be less than calories out and cutting back on your food intake, coupled with plenty of exercise is the key to long term success. Unfortunately when it comes to IR, this may not be the case. For those with IR, if calories are too low weight loss will not occur; if you do not do the right type of exercise at the right intensity you may not lose weight – in fact you may gain it and the balance of carbs, proteins and fats as well as calories and the timing, type and intensity of training all has to be spot on to effectively induce fat loss in someone who has IR.
Not to sound too negative, the good news is that when you do get these variables right, individuals with IR can lose weight. In this ebook, we talk about the reasons that weight loss is hard when you have IR and how to get the right balance of your macronutrients. We talk about the type of exercise you should be doing, how often you should do it and how to get the right balance of walking, cardio and weights training. We talk about managing your fatigue and hunger; whether you should quit sugar and whether shakes are doing more harm than good. It is the bible of managing your IR long term
So, how do you know if you might have IR? If you know that you eat well and exercise and just cannot seem to lose weight; if you have >20kg to lose and a waist measurement >90cm and if you are fatigued, craving sugar and have a family history of Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, it is a good idea to see your GP and ask for a Glucose Tolerance Test with insulin levels to check for insulin resistance. If you have it, you will be lad that you did.
PLUS, today, for my fabulous followers, I have an exert from my new ebook, just for you!
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is a clinical condition, and as such needs to be diagnosed by a medical doctor and refers to the inability of the natural physiological concentrations of insulin being secreted by the pancreas to regulate the process of glucose homeostasis. This means that every time carbohydrate based foods are eaten, extra insulin is being secreted, which may be also acting to prevent fat loss.
What is most useful for us to now know and understand is that extra insulin floating around on a daily basis is linked to sugar cravings, fluctuating energy levels, fatigue, fluid retention and bloating as the body’s natural metabolic processes have been significantly disturbed. Since all of these symptoms are rather general and common, particularly by women, you can see that they are often overlooked.
As you would imagine, the weight consequences are less likely to be so. Basically, if even a degree of insulin resistance is present, the body will be in “store and build” mode, meaning that it will be building muscle mass and also storing as much fat as it can – great for body builders, but not such a great outcome for women who are keen to have as small as body as they possibly can.
All of a sudden we start to understand why our arms are the size of our legs, why boot camp is turning us into bigger versions of our former self, why we never seem to be able to lose weight – insulin resistance may be present.
Some, including many medical professionals believe that insulin resistance is simply a lifestyle disease, caused by eating too much fat, too many carbs and not moving enough to allow the muscles to process glucose well. To a certain extent, this is true. Gaining weight and not moving your body are both closely related to insulin resistance but, they do not change the fact that once insulin resistance is present, weight loss will be made so much harder than it already was. It also means that the right balance between diet, exercise and often medication will need to be achieved in order for fat loss to even be able to occur. Very specific management is required from both a diet and exercise perspective. In most cases, a low fat diet and a bit of walking is simply not enough to retrain a muscle that has been in storage mode for some time, to be reprogrammed to burn fuel, including fat well.
Signs that you may have a degree of insulin resistance include being >20kgs overweight, having distinct abdominal weight, as insulin tends to deposit fat around the tummy, feeling constantly tired, bloated and craving sugar. Having a family history of Type 2 diabetes, large babies, taking the contraceptive pill and heavy, painful periods can also be signs.
While there are no current statistics on the number of Australian women affected by insulin resistance, given that 60% of Australian adults are overweight or obese, and that up to 2 million people have diabetes, it is likely to be not only be relatively common, but on the rise, rapidly.
So, if you have any of these symptoms, or know someone who does, it is time to take yourself off to your GP or endocrinologist and ask for a glucose tolerance test, with insulin levels to see if you have a degree of insulin resistance which may be making fat loss difficult. And most importantly, finding this out is also likely to prevent you from getting Type 2 diabetes in 5 or 10 years’ time.
To purchase Is Insulin Resistance Making You Fat? click here.