In my last post, I shared with you how important it is to understand insulin and its role in weight loss.
Being overweight or obese is a hormonal issue, not a will-power issue.
Once you understand this, you will find it much easier to lose weight and keep it off for good.
Once I understood how important insulin’s role is in my own weight struggles, I could not believe how easy it was to get to my goal weight and maintain it.
No counting calories. No crazy, insane workouts.
Do calories matter when it comes to weight loss? Sure. Is exercise important for our health? Absolutely.
But we do not need to put all of our focus on calories and exercise to achieve the weight we want.
We have been putting all of our attention on the wrong thing. Shift your focus from calories, fat grams, and 90 minute spin classes to, instead, focus on your insulin.
When insulin is elevated, fat loss will not happen.
This is why, when someone has type 2 diabetes, and their doctor puts them on insulin, they gain weight. Every time. Then their doctor tells them to lose weight to help control their diabetes. So they count calories and run till it hurts, and how much weight do they lose? Not much, if any.
Then their doctor accuses them of lying on their food journals and about how much they exercise. It’s a no-win situation. The patient is never helped to get to the root cause of their high blood sugar to begin with. The patient feels defeated, guilty, and hopeless.
Type 2 diabetics are not deficient in insulin (at least not until many years later when their pancreas finally stops producing). Type 2 diabetics have TOO MUCH insulin to begin with. And then they are given MORE insulin via injection on top of that, just to get their blood sugar down to normal levels. Again, they are NEVER told how to naturally lower their blood sugar, which as a result, lowers their insulin. It is insane!!!
But back to weight loss…
How do we keep our insulin from getting too high so that we can tap in to our fat stores and finally lose the weight?
There are many insulin triggers and I’m going to list a few so you know what to work on so weight loss becomes easier.
What Triggers Insulin
Sugar is a big one.
Any time you eat sugar, insulin gets released in order to get that glucose out of your blood stream and in to your cells. So cut way back on the sugar you’re eating. Read labels. Four grams of sugar on a nutrition label equals one teaspoon of sugar. If something has 16 grams of sugar in it, you’re eating four teaspoons of sugar.
Refined carbohydrates and grains make your insulin go up.
Cakes, cookies, pies, bread, pasta, crackers, chips, pretzels, cereal, rice, white flour, and muffins all get converted to glucose in the blood stream, and then “hello high insulin.” It’s not that you can never have dessert again, but you probably consume too many refined carbohydrates right now. Cut back on these and you will lower your insulin.
Frequent eating triggers insulin.
When insulin is elevated, there is no fat loss going on. Try eating just three meals a day without snacks. I know this sounds hard! I used to be a snacker before I realized the importance of keeping my insulin low in order to achieve weight loss. Eat meals that contain 75% non-starchy vegetables, cover those vegetables with healthy fats and have a moderate amount of protein. Eating this way will help you go longer between meals so you don’t need to snack. Try it!
Artificial sweeteners trick your brain.
As I mentioned in my last post, these sweeteners make your body think sugar is coming in, so as a result, your pancreas releases insulin. But there is no real rise in blood sugar, so that insulin is going to hang around until it finds some glucose. This makes you want to eat more just so insulin can do its job. So those calorie-free diet sodas, sugar-free gum, and little pink, blue, and yellow packets of sweeteners trigger insulin. Yes, even all-natural stevia! Remember, when insulin is elevated, there is no fat loss going on.
I don’t like to tell you what you can’t have, but I feel strongly about education.
The more you know, the better you do. So I have to explain the facts, and sometimes this means we need to change things up in order to achieve our health goals.
We have become so dependent on sugar and refined grains, thinking they are harmless treats we give ourselves. The fact is we have given a hall-pass to sugar but become so scared of healthy fats. This is based on misinformation from the food industry and ill-informed health care workers.
It is time to pull back the curtain on what we are eating, how often we’re eating, and how they both affect our health and our weight.
Since I prefer to tell you what to HAVE (instead of telling you what to limit), in my next post, I share what to ADD IN so you can naturally lower your insulin.
There are many things you can do to tame that insulin and help your body start to lose weight naturally.
So tell me, are you a snacker? How do you feel about changing things up and dropping the snacks?
I give my clients lots of tips on how to make meals more satisfying so they don’t need snacks.
-Caitlin Russel MS RDN CLT