What you eat:
Insulin gained its notoriety for its role in lowering blood sugar. When blood sugar is elevated, insulin is released to escort that sugar to safer places. This is “good” because extra sugar in the blood wreaks havoc on the body, causing rapid aging and deterioration. This is “bad” because that safer place is either tucked away in your liver (which leads to insulin resistance and fatty liver disease) or the fat cells scattered around your butt, thighs, arms and belly (which can lead to fractured confidence, frustration, and a sense of failure).
And while the claim to fame is in the lowering of blood sugar, you must understand this is not happening in a vacuum. Insulin is intolerant of competition. So… In order to lower blood sugar, insulin blocks the use of any other fuel source (that means fat burning is completely shut down until the sugar has been cleared from the blood).
If that weren’t enough, insulin needs a safe house to put that sugar, so it signals your body to make more fat cells so that it has a place to put the sugar being shuttled from circulation.
Finally – and this is really getting into the weeds, but it might just affect you personally – insulin needs salt to move that sugar into the safe house, so it tells the kidneys to hang on to extra salt, which in turn, means you hang on to water.
On the benign side, this makes you look puffy. On the problematic side, it can do a number on your blood pressure. And you can’t outsmart the kidneys with salt restriction. They’re too smart for that and will hang on to any little bit before it slips through their filters. Plus, salt restriction makes food taste like cardboard.
Notice that it all begins with elevated blood sugar. This is why WHAT YOU EAT is the ticket to lowering insulin.
When you eat:
Less well-known is that even protein causes insulin to go up. In fact, some say that in response to protein, insulin will go up about 70% as much as it will go up in response to sugar (and here, we treat all carbohydrate, except fiber, and sugar as the exact same thing).
To keep this in practical terms, what this means for you is that unless you’re eating pure fat – which is not at all common – your insulin is on the loose anytime you chew and swallow.
To make it even more simple, understand that the exact same amount of calories consumed in two substantial meals a day is far better for weight loss than the exact same amount of calories spread out over six small meals a day because of the impact of eating on insulin.
Yes. I am saying that you have been getting two pieces of flawed advice for the last forty years. The first was to reduce your calories and exercise more. The second was to have small, frequent snacks throughout the day.
It’s no wonder that 2/3 of Americans struggle to lose weight. It’s not your fault. You are not flawed, nor are you doomed to failure.
You were simply fed terrible advice for decades. And now you are free.
While insulin is famous for its role in blood sugar management, the cumulative impact it has on your body is to keep your fuel sources locked away in storage, making the experience of “having energy” and the ability to lose weight nearly impossible.