What is insulin resistance – and how do you combat it?
If you have tried low-fat diets, counting calories, and endless hours of exercise without success…you are not alone.
The problem isn’t you. It’s the information you’ve been given. Institutional dietary guidance is often flawed, outdated, and can actually contribute to higher insulin levels and weight gain.
The traditional recommendations for weight loss – “eat less, move more” and "calories in, calories out” have consistently failed in scientific studies.
Weight loss, it turns out, is not a willpower problem – but it is, in fact, a hormonal problem. The good news is that we can help you manage the hormones that prevent you from losing weight.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps blood glucose (sugar) enter cells where it’s used for energy. It is this critical hormone that regulates metabolism. When blood glucose levels rise after eating, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood. By shuttling glucose into the cells, insulin effectively lowers blood glucose to keep it in the normal range.
What is insulin resistance?
When we eat foods that spike our blood sugar levels (hello carbs), insulin is released to move the sugar into the cells for energy and into our liver and muscles to be stored as glycogen – where storage is very limited. All of the excess sugar that is not needed immediately is stored in the body as fat – where storage capacity is unlimited.
The problem is that chronically elevated blood sugar levels (often the result of constant snacking and higher carb meals) lead to insulin resistance. The insulin itself is fine, but our tissues are resisting its effect. Our cells have developed a higher tolerance to insulin, and it takes more and more insulin to move the sugar where it’s needed.
When your insulin levels are elevated, it’s impossible to burn fat. In short, insulin resistance causes your fat cells to take over and you feel out of control because, despite your best efforts, you can’t seem to lose weight.
How do you fight insulin resistance?
Eat the right foods. Here at MealMD, we believe that food is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. The fuel you put into your body matters. We can help you make healthier choices that not only help you manage your hormones and combat insulin resistance, but also leave you feeling full and energized.
Research has shown that a diet of highly processed, high-carbohydrate foods has been linked to insulin resistance. The problem is that our bodies digest highly processed, high-carbohydrate foods very quickly. This causes your blood sugar to spike and puts extra stress on your pancreas to produce a lot of insulin, which, over time, can lead to insulin resistance.
Part of the reason why the "calories in, calories out” method of weight loss doesn’t work is because calorie counting puts all food on a level playing field. Meanwhile, we know that 100 calories from chicken will produce a much smaller insulin response than 100 calories from candy. So, what you eat matters as much or more than how much you eat.
MealMD has been specifically designed to battle insulin resistance, promote weight loss, and restore a healthy metabolism. Our program replaces refined carbohydrates with nutrient-dense vegetables that are slow to trigger insulin. In addition to our carefully selected carbs, we embrace healthy fat and protein to help keep you full and satisfied.
Get active. Making time for exercise is beneficial for both your mental and physical health. But did you know that exercise can also dramatically reduce insulin resistance in both the short and long term?
Regular exercise builds muscle that can absorb blood glucose. Plus, physical activity opens up an alternate gateway for glucose to enter muscle cells without insulin acting as an intermediary, which reduces your cells’ dependence on insulin for energy. A single session of moderate-intensity exercise can increase glucose uptake by at least 40%. While this doesn't reduce insulin resistance itself, it can help you improve your blood sugar control.
Lose weight. Given what you now know about how insulin affects your ability to burn fat, this might seem like unhelpful advice. But hang in there.
Excess weight, and especially excess belly fat, cause your body to be less efficient at managing blood sugar and insulin levels. In its test group, the MealMD program achieved an average weight loss of 7% in customers starting weight in only 8 weeks' time. an average of 7% of their starting weight in the first 8 weeks. Reducing those fat stores up front helps to reverse insulin resistance and makes it easier to continue losing weight. As your tissues regain their normal response to insulin, blood sugar levels return to normal, and stored fat can be accessed for energy.
MealMD is not a diet, but a lifestyle that helps reduce your blood sugar and insulin levels, all while keeping you satisfied! So enjoy our three meals a day, avoid snacking, and try to go at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast to open your fat stores and maximize weight loss. We think you’ll be amazed by the results. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.
See the MealMD Difference
If you’re ready to start feeling better, looking better, and regaining control of your overall health, MealMD is the chef prepared, doctor designed health and wellness meal plan for you. We provide three ready-to-eat meals a day, six days a week and an evidence-based curriculum and coaching to help you achieve your health goals. We take the guesswork out of eating right so you can enjoy perfectly nutritious meals without the fuss. Reach out to get started!