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What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance is the best described as the cell’s inability to respond and react to insulin. This is best explained through the following example;

Say you consume a hamburger with fries and a sugary pop alongside an apple pie. All the sugars from these foods when they enter the bloodstream raise the blood sugar levels. To lower these blood sugar levels, the Pancreas kick into gear and release Insulin. Like any other hormone, insulin is a chemical messenger that informs the various cells in your body to start consuming the sugar available via the blood. And thus reduce the blood sugar levels to optimal levels of 70-100 mg/dL.

However, the cells refuse to react to the insulin, the chemical messenger, informing that it ought to consume the glucose available.

To counter this refusal, the Pancreas starts pumping more insulin to trigger the cell’s consumption of glucose. Over a period of time, this increase in insulin production and increased resistance of the cell results in an abnormal amount of pressure on the pancreas and thus weakening the pancreas and thus its ability to produce insulin.

How Do I know if I have Insulin Resistance?

There are several ways of determining if you have insulin resistance. Here are 3 ways to determine it;

1. If you just consumed food and you still feel hungry when you should be satisfied.

Explanation: When you consume food, there is an ample supply of glucose in the bloodstream to feed the cells. However, due to insulin resistance, aka, the cells refuse to acknowledge the signals from insulin. The cell continues to feel and stay starved and thus the body continues to crave more food and/or desire more sugar.

2. Around 2-3 PM in the day and after lunch, if you feel sluggish, there is a very strong possibility that you have insulin resistance.

3. Visceral or belly fat is a sign of insulin resistance.

However, one of the best ways to determine if you have insulin resistance or if you have a different body type is by answering the 85 questions on Fantastic Life.

Insulin resistance is metabolic syndrome and a precursor to diabetes. It can be reversed but requires a change in lifestyle, diet, exercise. Fantastic Life helps you with determining what those changes are and how you could track the impact of those changes on your body on a daily basis.

How to curb sugar cravings?

Here are 8 tips that you can try to follow to curb the sugar cravings and help with insulin resistance;

  1. No sugar: Sugar stimulates insulin, the more the insulin in the body, the higher the chances of it resulting in insulin resistance. Foods to avoid are;
    1. Cakes
    2. Doughnuts
    3. Bagels
    4. Starchy carbohydrates
    5. Rice
    6. Wheat-based foods
    7. Oatmeal (if you must consume oatmeal in moderation)
  2. Stop Alcohol
  3. Stop sugary drinks as that is the direct injection of sugar into the bloodstream
  4. Cortisol: If you lead a stressful life as we all do in today’s times, the body produces cortisol continuously. This increase in cortisol automatically raises the blood sugar levels in the body. And when the blood sugar levels increase, the body is forced to produce insulin to normalize the blood sugar levels. Thus, if you lead a stressful life, make a conscious effort to part take in stress-reducing activities such as;
    1. Meditation
    2. Dancing
    3. Reading
    4. Yoga
  5. Sleep: Sleep has been known to help reduce and reverse insulin resistance.
  6. Exercise: Exercise is known to increase insulin sensitivity which is the opposite of insulin resistance. Hence, moving the body is important. Exercises such as walking, running, biking ought to help.
  7. Consume spices such as turmeric and cinnamon as they help regulate blood sugar levels
  8. Healthy Fat: Add some healthy fat to the body. More than 55% of Protein is anti-ketogenic in other words, it gets converted into sugar. Hence, find a balance between Fats, Protein and Carbohydrates. You can again rely on Fantastic Life to help guide you on what the right levels are and which foods you can eat and which foods you can consume to balance insulin, cortisol, and the other hormones.

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