Insulin Sensitivity and Fat Loss

Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter

With all the confusion out there about diets and what systems works best for fat loss, you're left wondering what really does work.There is however, no confusion that a large percentage of the UK population is insulin resistant. This means that they don't handle rich starchy carbohydrate foods well, they have fluctuating blood sugar levels that are out of control and have far too much body fat.

So are you someone that feels great and full of energy after eating a high carbohydrate meal or are you someone that stores fat quickly and gets an energy crash that leaves you feeling tired and bloated half an hour after eating. If you are the latter, you more than likely produce too much insulin which is causing your blood sugar to crash leaving your feeling tired and hungry.


If you’re new to fat loss you may have never heard of the terms insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance. If you have heard of them, you might be confused with what they really mean. They describe your body's ability to produce insulin (which is produced in your pancreas ) and deliver glucose (sugar) into your muscles and other cells. If your cells are resistant to a high amount of glucose arriving, it will take a lot more insulin to get the job done. If your body is sensistive to glucose it means that it will be delivered into your cells a lot more effectively. 

Being insulin sensitive is one of the key ingredients to achieving a perfect body composition and plays a large part in what we teach our personal training clients. If you are insulin sensitive, you will develop alot more lean muscle tissue have more energy and you will drop a lot more body fat. Here is some information which will help you understand why it's important to get and stay insulin sensitive.

After you eat a meal containing carbohydrates your body breaks them down into glucose.Glucose stimulates the release of insulin in the pancreas which transports the glucose into the cells for energy. Getting blood sugar into our cells is important but it can also cause you problems. Your body stores the glucose in your muscle cells or in the liver, however any surplus that is not required can get stored as fat. .

Therefore when a person eats too many carbohydrates and they do happen to be insulin resistant, insulin levels remain constantly high and you will store more as body fat. Another consequence of this is that you will produce more free radicals which causes oxidative stress in the body and accelerates the ageing process.

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Now, exercise and resistance training help makes your cells more sensitive to the effects of insulin. If your muscles are more insulin sensitive than your fat cells, the nutrients you eat will get sent directly to your muscles and not directed to your fat cells. A bonus of this happening is that your muscles will develop alot quicker and you will drop alot more body fat. Timing of your carbohydrate intake is a process you need to understand and you can read all about this in my carbohydrate cycling article .

Bearing in mind all of the above, isn’t it easier to understand why leaner and more muscular developed individuals handle insulin better, look younger and have a lot less overall body fat.

The body fat reading at your sub scapular (shoulder blade) site is a great indication if you are insulin sensitive or insulin resistant. If your body fat reading is above 10mm at this site you can nearly always suggest that you will struggle to handle starchy carbs like white rice, pasta and white bread. You also need to monitor your body fat reading on your hip. This is a site that reflects how many carbohydrates you eat. As you lower your intake you will notice this site go down very quickly.

So how do you make the change if you know you are insulin resistant?

The first step you need to take in helping yourself move towards being insulin sensitive is to remove starchy carbohydrates like rice, pasta, cakes and bread. These heavy starchy carbs need to be replaced with lean protein, healthy fats, berry fruits and fibrous vegetables like broccoli, kurly kale, spinach and cabbage.This will allow your body to use up a lot of its stored glucose and will prime your body to use fat as a primary fuel source. Starchy carbohydrates do have their place in fat loss but you must use them at the right times of the day like around exercise. A good saying that I once heard  is that you must earn your carbs!!

If you are not already, you should start taking an Omega 3 Fish oil supplement. Omega 3 fish oil helps fat loss by turning on the lipolytic genes (fat burning genes) and help turn off the lipogenic genes (fat storage genes). Fish oils increase serotonin levels, which is the happy neurotransmitter and they also help with depression and anxiety.

By making these simple steps you will be well on your way to reducing your overall body fat levels and becoming insulin sensitive.

Would you like to know the methods we use to help our personal training clients at M10 lose body fat and change their shape? Pick up your copy of the M10 Blueprint today.

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