As stated in the previous blog, insulin is a crucial part of our metabolic set up, with small amounts of it being vital for our basic functioning. Problems arise when we produce too much of it too often. The more insulin we produce, the less sensitive we become to it and then we have to produce even more of it and so the cycle repeats leading to more and more fat storage.
To recap on the function of insulin:
We eat, sugars are moved from food and into the bloodstream, body likes to keep blood sugar at a particular level and achieves this by means of the pancreas producing insulin which behaves like a key allowing sugar to move from the bloodstream into muscles, liver and fat stores.
There are ways we can help our bodies produce less insulin and, in so doing, store less fat.
- Drink water before every meal or snack. This dilutes the concentration of sugars from the food in the stomach meaning that the blood sugar spike will be lower and less insulin will be produced.
- Eat foods low on the Glycemic Index. These foods are naturally lower in sugar and produce a lower insulin response.
- Always add protein. This works because proteins are broken down slowly meaning that the stomach will have a slower rate of emptying than if it only contained carbohydrate. Instead of snacking on just a few oatcakes, have a glass of water with couple of oatcakes and a small handful of nuts.
- Add Cinnamon. Cinnamon naturally increases our sensitivity to insulin which means that we do not have to produce as much. Add it to your porridge, sprinkle it on yoghurt.
- Drink green tea. Green tea inhibits the enzyme amylase which is responsible for breaking starchy foods down into the simple sugars that are then absorbed into the bloodstream. Less simple sugars are produced, less insulin is produced, less fat is stored.
- Exercise. Muscular movement during aerobic exercise causes sugars to be pulled from the bloodstream into the muscles, replicating the job of insulin meaning that the body can produce less of the hormone.
- Mini Fast. Fasting increases insulin sensitivity. If you generally eat a healthy diet but still need to lose a few lbs then occasionally skipping your evening meal or breakfast, to increase your mini fast overnight, is perfectly safe and will help you achieve your goal. Doing this once or twice a week has been shown to allow digestive organs time to recuperate as well as accelerating fat loss. Mini fasts like this do not impair the metabolic rate and have actually been shown to increase the effectiveness of our whole metabolic being. Drink a large glass of warm water with lemon juice instead of the meal you would ordinarily have.