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by Christina Wilson

 

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance develops when your body gets too used to high blood sugar levels and becomes less sensitive to insulin. Insulin is the key that allows glucose to move from the blood into cells where it is used for energy. With insulin resistance, it takes more insulin to complete this process. To make up for insulin resistance, the pancreas secretes more insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Over time, however, your pancreas may no longer be able to produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance. This can lead to higher-than-normal blood glucose levels. Over time, this can lead to pre diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Nutrition and lifestyle tips to avoid or reverse insulin resistance

​Exercise 🏋️‍♀️

The number one way to increase our insulin sensitivity is with exercise!

Include strength training where you are lifting weights. Weight lifting significantly increases insulin sensitivity by increasing non-insulin-dependent glucose uptake, which allows your muscles to replenish glycogen without insulin.

Include exercise that burns through glycogen stores (glucose storage space). This could include HIIT, sprints, intense cycling, swimming, CrossFit-like workouts, or training fasted.

Move throughout the day and avoid being sedentary. Break up every hour of sitting with 5 minutes of activity, such as a quick set of pushups and lunges. 

Manage weight

If you are overweight or obese, even losing just 5% of your weight can significantly improve insulin sensitivity.

Diet

Focus on whole foods with minimal processing.

Find your carbohydrate threshold. and optimize your carbohydrate consumption. Eat the amount of carbohydrates that will be right for you. This mount will differ for everyone. In general, a moderate amount of low glycemic, high fiber carbs may work best.  The more physically active you are, the more carbohydrates you will be able to tolerate.

Intermittent Fast

Fasting between 14-16 hours allows your insulin levels to drop.  The most efficient way to fast is to move your last meal of the day to to around 6 pm. Our cells are most insulin-sensitive earlier in the day.

Including vinegar, cinnamon, bitter greens and vegetables, green tea, and turmeric in your diet can improve insulin sensitivity.

Manage Stress & Optimize Sleep

Too much stress can encourage insulin resistance. Reducing stress helps to reduce inflammation, helps regulate hunger, and can help to keep your glucose levels stable too. Getting adequate sleep is good for overall health but can also help increase insulin sensitivity by reducing stress and mitigating inflammation.

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Christina Wilson
Christina Wilson

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