Have you been diagnosed with insulin resistance? Are you trying to get your blood sugar under control before it turns into a bigger problem?
Then you’re among the 40% of adults who also have this condition.
When you have insulin resistance, your body doesn’t respond normally to insulin and you’ll experience weight gain.
People may not know they are insulin resistant but they notice that even though they are eating well and reducing calories they are not able to lose weight.
This can be a tell-tale sign that you may have insulin resistance resulting in the hormone belly.
The good news…. An insulin resistance food plan and intermittent fasting can get you back to where you need to be!
If you’re wondering how an insulin resistance diet and fasting can help you with your weight loss goals and lower your blood sugar, then you’re in the right place.
Read more to learn all about insulin resistance and which foods can help you reach your ideal weight.
What Is Insulin Resistance?
To better manage your insulin resistance, it’s first important to understand how it occurs in the first place. When you have insulin resistance, the cells in your fat, muscles, and liver don’t respond normally to insulin.
They also aren’t able to use the glucose that’s in your blood for energy. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin and over time your blood sugar levels start to rise.
Insulin resistance and weight gain are a problem for many people. When excess insulin builds up in your cells, sugar can’t get into your cells to be used for energy and your body instead stores it as fat. Insulin resistance also slows your metabolism down, making it difficult to lose weight. Insulin also increases inflammation in the body which can contribute to heart disease amongst many other issues. When insulin is higher it blocks the body’s fats cells from releasing stored fat making weight loss almost impossible.
There are also certain genes that make people more prone to insulin resistance so understanding your DNA will help to identify the strategies that your body needs based on your own DNA.
I use DNA testing as part of my weight loss programs where we suspect a hormonal imbalance with insulin and other hormones.
Signs of Insulin Resistance
It’s difficult to tell if you have insulin resistance by how you’re feeling. You’ll need to have a blood test to check your blood sugar levels. A fasting glucose level of over normal levels can indicate insulin resistance.
Signs of insulin resistance include:
- Blood pressure of 130/80 or higher
- More prone to carrying increased body fat in the midsection. A waistline of over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men
- Skin tags
- Patches of dark skin (acanthosis nigricans)
Often times your triglyceride and cholesterol levels will also be elevated when you have insulin resistance.
If you don’t change your diet and let your insulin resistance go untreated, you’ll be at risk for complications such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and problems with your eyes.
Insulin Resistance Diet Plan
By modifying your diet, you can prevent the onset of diabetes and lose excess body weight at the same time. Diet choices are one of the most important things when it comes to the management of insulin resistance. This goes beyond just decreasing caloric intake and increasing calories burned with exercise.
Losing even a small percentage of belly fat can improve your insulin resistance and eating the right foods can eventually help you to reverse it.
The most important thing about an insulin resistance diet plan is recognizing which foods increase your insulin levels and which foods keep your insulin levels stable.
Foods That Spike Insulin
In general, you’ll want to avoid or reduce any foods that will increase your blood sugar, which ultimately spikes your insulin levels. It’s important to remember that regular consumption of foods that contain moderate to high amounts of sugar is basically the fuel that drives your insulin resistance.
You should eliminate or greatly reduce your consumption of these foods:
- Desserts like cookies or ice cream any high sugar “treats”
- White bread or refined grains with a low fiber content like crackers and chips
- Processed foods and snacks such as frozen meals and granola bars
- Bottled sauces, packaged foods – read the labels for hidden sugars
- Processed meats like hot dogs or bologna
- Pop, Juices, any sweetened drinks
Alcohol, especially grain alcohol and beer, can also worsen insulin resistance. It’s also a source of high calories which can negatively affect your weight loss.
Foods That Don’t Spike Insulin
When you’re looking for foods that are ideal for an insulin resistance diet, you’ll need to choose foods that have a low glycemic index. When food has a low glycemic index, it slowly increases your blood sugar levels after you eat it. This results in your insulin levels spiking less overall.
Foods to add to your diet plan include:
Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, and blueberries. Avoid the higher sugar fruits such as bananas, grapes and pineapple, dried fruit and fruit juices. Avoid eating fruit on it’s own, have it with something else such as a protein, a fat or high fiber food item to slow down the breakdown of the sugar in fruit.
Nonstarchy vegetables like asparagus, cucumber, mushrooms, and broccoli are a fantastic place to start. You’ll also want to add dark greens, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and some starchy vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes, or squash but limit the starchy ones to a few times/week.
Next is whole grains found in brown rice, oats, quinoa, and buckwheat, teff. Ideally only a few times/week or at the most a small serving 1/day.
Also, include healthy proteins such as lean beef or pork loin and poultry which includes skinless chicken, turkey, and eggs.
Nuts and seeds are a wonderful source of nutrition. Try hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds.
For beverages, try to stick to black coffee, lots of water, and unsweetened tea.
Weight Loss Programs for Insulin Resistance
You can also look at a weight loss program such as my FastLane Weight loss program that uses Intermittent Fasting in it that’s specifically tailored to help people with insulin resistance. The intermittent fasting along with the food plan is ideal for stimulating your insulin receptors so your body becomes better at handling insulin and it is able to finally burn the fat that has been stuck in your fat cells.
When you combine healthy foods that don’t increase your blood sugar, along with the fasting your body will become more efficient in using energy and metabolizing fat.
I also incorporate DNA testing for clients so we can specifically identify the genes that could be contributing to their challenges losing weight which include genes affecting breakdown of carbohydrates and insulin resistance.
Start Your Insulin Resistance Diet Today
Remember, you don’t have to let your insulin resistance get the best of you. An insulin resistance diet that includes fasting not only decreases your risk of developing diabetes, but also makes you more energized too.
It’s not easy to change your eating habits, but over time you’ll find it becomes much easier to make it a natural part of your life.
Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Click here to book a short call with me to see if this plan is right for you.