By reversing insulin resistance naturally through diet, fasting, and nutritional support, you can restore insulin sensitivity, achieve your weight loss goals and increase energy levels. Insulin Resistance has many symptoms, with fatigue and an inability to lose weight as primary insulin resistance symptoms. Below are my top tips for learning how to reverse insulin resistance naturally.
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Have you ever wondered what causes extreme fatigue after eating?
If you have ever wondered “why pasta makes me tired” after eating or “why do I feel tired after eating,” you may be experiencing symptoms of insulin resistance. After eating a high carbohydrate meal, you have all this glucose available in the bloodstream. Yet, due to the cells being insulin resistant, the glucose cannot get inside the cell to be utilized by the mitochondria to make energy, leaving you feeling tired after eating even though there is plenty of glucose available.
Digestion is also an energy-demanding process and requires cells to be insulin sensitive with micro-nutrients available to turn glucose into the body’s usable form of energy known as ATP.
What causes insulin resistance
A primary cause of insulin resistance is overeating food, especially sugar, refined carbohydrates, and fruit juices, as these are all foods that spike insulin. These processed high sugar foods are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing blood sugar imbalances.
Even though fats have the least impact on stimulating insulin, fats are high in calories. Overeating any food, including calorie-dense fats, can lead to insulin resistance, so fasting is one of the most effective ways to reverse insulin resistance naturally.
A fatty liver is also an underlying cause of insulin resistance, as insulin resistance first develops in the liver.
How insulin resistance causes weight gain
The liver does its best to maintain normal blood sugar levels. The liver will uptake glucose out of the bloodstream with insulin as a transporter for glucose and store it as glycogen. But when the liver glycogen stores are full, the liver cells will become insulin-resistant as there is no more room for glucose to be stored in the liver.
Insulin resistance first develops in the liver as the liver is responsible for storing and releasing glucose to maintain blood sugar balance. If the liver has become fatty and the glycogen stores are already full, the liver cells will become insulin resistant.
Instead, the excess sugar will be stored as fat as long as fat cells are still sensitive to insulin. When the liver is fatty, even fats can contribute to insulin resistance as they are the most calorie-dense foods and can further put stress on a fatty liver.
Insulin is just a hormone that transports glucose. Insulin resistance develops when excess glucose is already inside the cell and no more room for more glucose; thus, the cells down-regulate their receptors for insulin and do not respond to insulin’s signal for wanting to drop glucose.
When the liver is fatty and glycogen stores are at capacity, people start to gain weight as the body converts the glucose into fat for storage to maintain normal blood sugar levels. At this stage of insulin resistance, weight gain increases as the body does its best to maintain normal blood sugar levels which is a good thing. Excess glucose floating around the body is very damaging as glycated proteins speed up the aging process.
Insulin Resistance and Fatigue
Another symptom of fatty liver and insulin resistance is fatigue. Tiredness is a symptom of fatty liver, especially when the liver is overwhelmed with glucose and fat yet lacks the micro-nutrients needed to convert those fuel sources into the body’s form of energy.
Feeling nauseous and tired also indicate that the liver is fatty, and struggling as nausea is a classic symptom of the liver crying out for help. The liver’s detoxification pathways require a diverse range of micro-nutrients. Mitochondria also depend on vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, CoQ10, and magnesium to make energy. Eliminating all processed foods from the diet and eating only nutrient-dense foods with lots of vegetables and color is vital for cleansing the liver and increasing energy levels.
Supplements to reverse insulin resistance
The liver needs nutrients and the opportunity to utilize the fat and glycogen stores already in the liver. When fat and glycogen stores become depleted in the liver, the liver cells will become responsive to insulin. When glycogen storage is available in the liver, sugar will be stored as glycogen instead of fat in adipose cells.
An easy way to deplete glycogen and fat stores yet provide the body with nutrients needed to detox utilize glucose, and transport fat is by using seeking healths, optimal prenatal protein powder. Mix half a scoop into 1 cup water 1 cup nut milk. Adding in 1 tsp of cinnamon can help to lower blood sugar levels and reverse insulin resistance naturally.
You can use this shake as a meal replacement for any meal but preferably for breakfast, as utilizing the shake while practicing intermittent fasting will help the body lose weight faster. Depending on your health and weight loss goals, you may want to use this shake two times per day while practicing extended periods of fasting.
Seeking Health’s Optimal Prenatal protein powder also contains chromium, an essential mineral for improving insulin sensitivity, blood sugar balance, and carbohydrate metabolism. It also includes the active forms of B vitamins necessary for glucose metabolism and L-carnitine, which help transport fatty acids for energy.
Another essential nutrient for preventing fatty liver is phosphatidylcholine which is in seeking healths Optimal PC. Phosphatidylcholine helps to transport fat out of the liver via the gallbladder while also improving bile flow, which is vital for eliminating toxins and fat from the liver. Getting fats out of the liver and preventing fatty liver is essential for restoring the liver’s insulin sensitivity. Having a clean liver free of fat build-up also increases the liver’s ability to store more glucose as glycogen in the liver.
The best diet for insulin resistance to lose weight
A beneficial diet for insulin resistance and weight loss is a diet full of fresh vegetables that include all the rainbow colors, such as leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. These foods are low in calories yet full of micronutrients needed for carbohydrate metabolism and liver detox support.
The best foods to lower insulin production are non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, red pepper, tomato, etc.
These vegetables are low in calories and contain fiber that slows down glucose absorption in the bloodstream. The slow release of glucose requires less insulin and does not cause excessive blood sugar spikes. Vegetables are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants to cleanse the liver and combat inflammation.
Including small amounts of healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, and seeds will provide satiety and have the least impact on triggering insulin levels.
Eating too many processed fats and saturated fats increases insulin resistance; therefore, they should be limited.
Eating clean protein in the form of grass-fed beef, chicken, wild-caught fish, and eggs is great in small amounts.
Consuming lots of plant-based protein from vegetables and legumes is the best protein source for reversing insulin resistance. Plant-based protein sources are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Plant protein is low in calories and high in fiber which is essential for weight loss with insulin resistance.
Only eat the fruit in its whole food form and include high antioxidant fruits such as berries.
A list of foods that spike insulin are:
- fruit juice
- soda pop
- refined carbohydrates in breakfast cereals
- cookies, etc.
If it is found in a box and doesn’t have color, don’t eat it. Also, read your labels 5 grams of refined carbohydrates equals 1 tsp sugar.
It is processed sugar and refined carbohydrates that lead to insulin resistance, especially when eaten in excess. Packaged refined carbohydrates did not exist in our ancestor’s diet. These foods are relatively new to the modern diet and are a HUGE contributing factor to insulin resistance.
Not all carbohydrates are equal; unprocessed whole vegetables are great, processed, refined grains are bad. It is essential to start somewhere, and the first foods to reduce/eliminate from the diet to reverse insulin resistance naturally are refined carbohydrates and sugar.
Processed fats and saturated fats indirectly impact insulin levels and can increase insulin resistance. Therefore saturated fat and any processed oils should be limited.