Insulin…a wonderful little hormone or fat storing machine?

Most of you know that I am a complete nerd and have been hacking my body for years. That means that I have worked hard to figure out how “MY” body reacts to specific foods and have made healthy changes. We all respond differently to certain food groups so it’s important for you to do the same thing. But, lets start with the basic stuff.

Insulin is a wonderful little hormone that regulates how our body uses and stores glucose and fat. Our cells rely on it for energy and it has an important role in the body. If we don’t have enough or can’t respond to insulin then we become resistant or diabetic. But, all of us are on a mission to avoid that, right?

Insulin signals the liver, muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood and use it for energy. If we have enough insulin on board from food then insulin signals the liver to take that extra glucose and store it as glycogen for future use. Did you know the liver can store up to 5% of it’s mass as glycogen? Once that capacity is full then insulin signals fat cells to take that extra glucose and store it in fat as triglycerides and make it harder for our body to breakdown fats.

Without insulin our cells cannot take glucose from the blood and use it for energy.

With insulin resistance our body is less able to take up glucose from the blood.

What you eat and drink play a key role in controlling this process. Anyone can be insulin resistant. Refined carbohydrates found in processed foods, white breads, bagels, pasta, sodas, sugary sweets, and many other things on the Standard American Diet (SAD) contribute to this. When we eat processed foods, our body requires more insulin to metabolize it and our cells become less responsive. As we get older we become less sensitive to these changes.

To help balance insulin, consider a whole foods diet with fresh vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats. Limit fruit to no more than 2 a day. Veggies are free foods, fruits aren’t. That apple is like an intravenous injection of fructose that takes a b-line to the liver telling your body to store fat!!

You CAN get enough healthy carbs from non-grain sources like vegetables.

Healthy fats are important to help insulin resistance. These fats include tuna, salmon, cold-water fish, eggs, avocado, grass-fed butter, and flaxseed.

Exercise will help insulin levels stay normal, maintain hormonal balance, and regulate metabolism.

Consider limiting your eating window to an 8 hour period. This will give your body time to look to fat stores for energy instead of continually suppling it with glucose from food. If you don’t eat your blood glucose levels will take a chill pill and then your insulin levels will decrease. There are tons of studies supporting this. Hit me up if you want the references. In order to burn body fat your insulin levels need to be very low. You can get there with short term fasting (eat in an 8 hour window and fast the other 16).

If you want to use your body fat as fuel you need to challenge the FDA and media with all this eat every 2 hours to maintain your metabolism garbage that is out there. Do a little test run yourself and see how you do.

For more information and support check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/homefitnessjunky or http://www.anitakellam.com_6454

About anitakellam

Wife-Mom-Health Care Provider-Fitness Junky- Gluten/Dairy Free Foody, Aspiring Techno Geek My name Dr. Anita Kellam, DNP, FNP-C. I am a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and maintain a practice in rural Montana. When I was a kid I was a competitive swimmer and even swam at the master's level until I had my first child. I have spent the past 15 years pursuing my professional degrees, raising 3 children and devoting myself to my family. Over the years I saw the pounds slowly creeping up. Once I completed my doctoral degree I made the decision to improve my health and fitness. Beachbody has provided excellent tools that helped me turn my house into a gym. It has been an amazing resource to help me achieve my goals and I am addicted to the products. I would love to help others on their journey to be in the best shape of their lives no matter what age or fitness level. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or like me on my webpage www.anitakellam.com.

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