De-Bunking the Insulin Hypothesis Part II

Part 2 of this series on Insulin looks more closely at Insulin Resistance and how that impacts upon fat loss...

So what is ‘Insulin Resistance’?

Insulin Resistance is a state where the body’s cells refuse to allow any more glucose to enter. This usually occurs because there is just too much insulin being produced (usually because of a diet high in processed foods and high in sugar). Because the cells aren't accepting insulin, there is less glucose being transported into cells. This means that more glucose stays in your blood. 

The good news is, one of the best ways to improve insulin sensitivity is resistance training. So, one of the most important strategies is to ensure you are training a MINIMUM of 3 times per week.

Lifting weights is an extremely effective way of improving insulin sensitivity

Lifting weights is an extremely effective way of improving insulin sensitivity

So another question you might be asking right now is: why is my diet so low in carbohydrate if carbohydrates don’t make me fat?

So the amount of carbohydrate any individual gets in their nutrition plan is a function of a number of factors, including: -

-Body Fat Level

-Carbohydrate tolerance

-Food preferences

-Timescale

-Training type

-Training goals

 

There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. There are however, essential fatty acids and essential amino acids (proteins). Carbohydrates only really become necessary for those who tolerate them well, are leaner individuals who have active lifestyles and/or have demanding training schedules. Also, the lower your overall calorie intake, the less room for manoeuvre in terms of allocating calories towards carbohydrates. If your calorie intake is low, once you have factored in your minimum protein and fat requirements, there simply may not be too much extra to allocate for carbohydrate. In other words, your diet will be low carbohydrate by default, not because low carb diets confer any kind of special benefit.

So what to take away from this?

  • Insulin is neither inherently a good or bad thing - it is merely a hormone produced by the pancreas to try to maintain blood-sugar homeostasis.
  • Insulin isn't just stimulated by carbohydrate in the diet - protein also causes insulin to rise rapidly.
  • The amount of carbohydrate in your diet is a function of a lot of different factors
  • Becoming leaner will help improve the hormonal profile of your body - fat loss is key
  • Think about fat loss in longer terms (daily or weekly) rather than ‘am I burning fat at this moment?’. There are always going to be periods where fat gain outweighs fat loss.