Let’s talk about what you need to know in order to help lower your insulin levels so that weight loss can happen more naturally and sustainably.
We know that sugar, refined grains, and yes, even too much protein, will trigger insulin release.
Having a healthy insulin response is important. However, most of us are walking around with chronically elevated insulin levels and this is why weight loss is so difficult.
Once you understand overweight and obesity are hormone-driven and not due to lack of willpower, you realize the power is now in your hands. You have the knowledge to lose weight once and for all!
Isn’t that a good feeling?! I remember the day I discovered this. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to truly know what I was doing wrong and where to make corrections so that I no longer struggle with my weight.
Now, I’m able to focus more on my family and my calling. I feel so free and happy that I can share this knowledge with you!
So let’s talk about what you can add in to your life to help lower your insulin and improve your insulin resistance so that you gain control over your health again.
How to lower insulin
Eat a low-carb diet.
There are many definitions of low-carb. What one person tells you is low-carb is too high for someone else. I’m not the carbohydrate police. I do encourage clients to figure out their carbohydrate tolerance through experimentation. I have found what works for me, but that amount may not be ideal for you. Some days I eat more carbohydrates than others, but most days, my carbohydrates range from 30-50 grams.
For someone coming from the standard American diet (“S.A.D.”) where they consume about 300 grams per day, consuming only 30-50 grams is a big change! It took me some time to figure out what works for me. I don’t count carbs but for some folks, it helps in the beginning to count carbohydrates in order to get a handle on how many they are eating. Most of us have no idea how many we are having until we start to track it.
Eat a healthy, low-carb diet.
Some followers of low-carb eating promote what I consider not a healthy way of eating. They promote lots of animal protein, unlimited saturated fat, and no mention of fiber or vegetables. A healthy, low-carb diet includes about 10 cups of non-starchy vegetables per day – think lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
Then add some healthy fat to your vegetables like olive oil, avocado, nut and seed butters, and ghee (clarified butter).
Then have some protein like wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, wild turkey, cage-free chicken and eggs. Three to five ounces of protein per meal is reasonable. The amount that’s right for you will depend on your body size.
Intermittent fasting is a powerful therapeutic tool to use not just to lower your insulin, but for overall health.
Whenever you don’t eat, you’re fasting. You fast overnight after dinner until breakfast. You doctor asks you to fast before many medical procedures and tests. Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Hippocrates, and Plato all practiced and advocated periods of fasting. Humans have evolved through periods of feast and famine. We ate when there was plenty of food and we hunted and gathered when we were hungry. Sometimes there was not enough food but our body did not collapse without food.
In fact, the body produces hormones and chemicals to help us think more clearly and move more efficiently so that we can find our next source of food. Open your mind to fasting. It is not the same as starvation which is involuntary,when you don’t know when your next meal will be. With fasting, it is completely voluntary and you can end your fast at any time. After 12 hours, 18 hours, 24 hours, 42 hours, or after 3 days. You control when you end your fast.*
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) may help lower insulin because of the acetic acid it contains.
You may be familiar with pH which is a measure of how alkaline or how acidic something is. Every part of your body has different pH levels. Your stomach is very acidic (that’s a good thing!) so it can break down the food you eat so you absorb nutrients from the food. When we experience acid reflux and take an antacid, we lower the acidity of the stomach. This may help us feel better temporarily but over the long-term, we create an alkaline environment where it should be acidic.
Taking in some acidic ACV when reflux happens will help the valve between your esophagus and stomach know to close, eliminating the possibility of stomach contents coming back up to irritate your esophageal lining. Also, when we are chronically stressed, we have high levels of cortisol. This makes your body more alkaline that it should be.
Taking in some ACV mixed with water before your meals will help you digest your food more completely, and help you absorb minerals better. ACV may also help lower insulin because it interferes with carbohydrate absorption. More studies are needed, but anecdotally ACV has been shown to help with weight loss.
Naturally lowering your insulin level is important because this allows your body to become sensitive to insulin again.
Many of us are insulin resistant and we don’t even know it. Your doctor can check your fasting insulin level, or a better test is c-peptide hormone.
Taking steps to increase your insulin sensitivity will help lower your weight and reduce your risk of developing diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Find the ways to improve your health that work for you.
What steps do you plan to implement (or what are you already doing) to change your health once and for all?
-Caitlin Russel MS RDN CLT
*Intermittent fasting is not recommended if you are pregnant, nursing, have an eating disorder or are a child. Talk with your doctor prior to fasting if you take medication for conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure as your need for these medications may decrease as you practice intermittent fasting.