So you have insulin resistance – why are you not losing weight?
Weight loss is difficult at the best of times. Not only does it require focus and commitment, but nagging hunger, especially in the early stages of changing your eating habits is challenging to deal with. If you also have insulin resistance, it becomes even harder. Insulin is perhaps the most powerful hormone in the body. It controls fat metabolism. This means if your insulin is not working properly, your ability to successfully burn body fat will be impacted. Welcome to the world of insulin resistance. So if you have IR, and are having trouble successfully shifting the kilos, here are some of the reasons why.
1. You are not getting the right amount of carbs
Carbohydrate is the primary fuel for the muscles and for the brain. Insulin breaks down carbohydrate and allows it to be burnt as energy. As such when insulin is not working well, as is the case with IR, it makes sense that we need to cut back on our carb intake. This is where is becomes all about the balance – too little carb will halt fat metabolism, as will too much and unfortunately there is no magic number for all people. Your carbohydrate needs will differ depending on the degree of IR you have; your activity levels and how much weight you have lost already.
2. You are getting too many calories
When we cut back on carbs we have a tendency to eat larger serves of protein rich foods and overdo the good fats courtesy of nuts, oils, spreads and avocado. While carbohydrate control is important with IR, so too is calorie control. The number of calories you need will also differ based on how much activity that you do. Individuals with IR will also need fewer calories than a person with IR as their cells are less efficient at burning fuel.
For more on what you need to know about diet when dealing with insulin resistance, click here.
3. You are exercising but not moving
Often when we get the gym we are so proud of ourselves that we then actually sit down more and burn fewer calories throughout the day than if we had gone to the gym. While exercise that gets your heart rate up and works the muscles is an important aspect of managing IR, so too is being on your feet and moving at least 10000-12000 steps each day.
4. You are eating at the wrong times
Insulin management requires regular amounts of carbs and proteins spaced throughout the day. This means that small breakfasts and lunches followed by an evening of snacking, even if you calories remain controlled will not support weight loss.
5. You need medication
For some people, no matter how much they diet and exercise their insulin remains elevated. High insulin levels will block fat loss which is why some people will need medication to help manage their insulin levels. To determine if this is the case you will need a GTT with insulin levels ordered by your GP.
Try on of our Shape Me insulin resistant recipes, such as our Spring Lamb with Walnuts & Beetroot, here.