Sometimes a struggle to lose weight can indicate insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a physiological condition where body cells fail to use insulin effectively. It's a condition not many people are aware of, even amongst trainers and nutritionists yet it results in high blood sugar levels and makes weight loss difficult. In many cases insulin resistance is only picked up once Type 2 Diabetes or pre-diabetes is diagnosed. Symptoms include brain fogginess and an inability to focus. They also include intestinal bloating caused by high levels of undigested carbohydrates, sleeplessness after eating, and difficulty losing weight.
Many factors contribute to the onset of insulin resistance, but the most important one is diet.
Studies show that dietary fat is the driver of insulin resistance. An American study showed that after three weeks of a high fat diet (59% fat, 20% carbs) subjects had significant levels of insulin resistance. This is because high fat diets tend to result in a high calorie intake that exceed the energy needs of a person. The left over energy is stored as fat in the body.
Long term intake of energy dense foods (like carbohydrates) can lead to insulin resistance. Foods that contain fructose, glucose and sucrose provide 60% of calories consumed by people on a typical diet. This leads to disrupted leptin signalling which causes overeating. Eating a low carbohydrate diet and carbs with a low glycemic index means the body can more easily digest food and use it as energy throughout the day.
Animal protein has high contents of purine which causes blood PH to be acidic. This creates high levels of uric acid causing inflammation and toxins that increase the chances of insulin resistance. This is a reason to feel cautious when considering an extreme high protein diet. The best way to prevent insulin resistance is to follow a well balanced diet (25% Carbs, 25% Protein and 50% high fibre fruits and vegetables). Then to make sure you are excercising and getting proper treatment and management techniques. Supplementation will also help. The following options are recognised as beneficial in treating and managing insulin resistance.
- Metagenics Metaglycemix medical food and tablets: studies find this supplement helps manage Type 2 Diabetes, balancing blood sugar levels and correcting insulin resistance resulting in weight loss.
- The Metagenics Ultra Meal Original: this medical food is used in supporting people with insulin resistance, Type 2 Diabetes, central obesity and weight loss problems. This can be used as a meal replacement.
- Vibrant Health Glycemic: found to help correct insulin resistance, manage Type 2 Diabetes and assist weight loss by reducing cravings.
- MNI Antagolin: helps balance blood sugar levels, reduce appetite and assist with weight loss.
DID YOU KNOW? Many people mistake intestinal bloating, central obesity and other gastrointestinal problems as gluten intolerance. Often what they're suffering from is insulin resistance caused by an inflamed gut that isn't metabolising energy dense foods (high calorie and high carbs) properly. Hormone imbalances, environmental toxins and stressors can cause similar symptoms. If the aggravating factor isn't gluten intolerance then changing diet doesn't help.
Somila Camagu is a qualified sport scientists with a BHSc in Human Movement Science (Hons). Her greatest joy in life is learning from all the different people she meets and having the chance to teach others what she has learned about natural supplementation.