What Does Insulin Resistance Mean?

So you’re here to find the answer to this question: What does insulin resistance mean? It simply means that your body stops responding to the insulin it makes. Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, body fat and liver start resisting or ignoring the signal that the hormone insulin is trying to send out—which is to grab glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells. 

what does insulin resistance mean?

Glucose, also known as blood sugar, is the body’s main source of fuel. We get glucose from grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and drinks that bring break down into carbohydrates. (Which is one reason why so many people these days have considered the keto diet.)

As insulin resistance develops, your body fights back by producing more insulin. Over months and years, the beta cells in your pancreas that are working so hard to make insulin get worn out and can no longer keep pace with the demand for more and more insulin. And with years of insulin resistance, your blood sugar spikes, and that’s when the trouble begins!

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What Does Insulin Resistance Mean, and What It Does To Your Health

Insulin resistance raises blood sugar levels which leads to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, prediebites, type-2 diabetes, and even cancer! Another result of insulin resistance is a non-alchohlic fatty liver, which leads to liver disease. Yes this is very scary, but there are solutions to prevent this and treat it. First, let’s get into what causes insulin resistance.

The Cause of Insulin Resistance

It can be from bad genes, but eating a bad diet, lack of exercise, age, weight gain, not getting enough sleep, and even smoking causes it too.

Signs That You May Be Insulin Resistant

what does insulin resistance mean?
  • You have a large belly. Experts say that you could be insulin resistant if a waist that measures 35 inches or more for women, 40 or more for men (31.5 inches for women and 35.5 inches for men if you’re of Southeast Asian, Chinese or Japanese descent)
  • Can’t lose weight. As said earlier, an insulin resistant body cannot transfer glucose to the cells. So this means that excess levels of glucose build up in the blood and has nowhere to go. As a result, the body turns this extra energy into fat and stores it for later.
  • High blood pressure. Readings of 130/85 mm Hg or higher, or taking medication to control high blood pressure
  • High blood sugar. Levels of 100-125 mg/dl (the prediabetes range) or over 125 (diabetes).
  • Low HDLs. Low-density lipoprotein levels below 50 for women and 40 for men – or taking medication to raise low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
  • High triglycerides. Levels of 150 or higher, or taking medication to treat high levels of these blood fats.
  • High fasting blood sugar (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood sugar). Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes.

Prevention

what does insulin resistance mean?

You can prevent insulin resistance by:

  • exercising regularly, at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
  • eating a good diet, like paleo or keto (both stay away from the high carb diet)
  • not smoking/quit smoking
  • sleeping at least 8 hours a night
  • intermittent fasting

There are so many people don’t realize that food in the U.S. sends more people to the ER than anything else. We can let food be our medicine, or we can choose it to be your poison. And if you choose food to be your medicine, so many problems (high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, etc.) can be addressed and improved by changing the way you eat. 

Foods to avoid:

  • Any and all processed foods – chips, ice cream, cookies, pie, etc.
  • Trans fats – vegetable oils, and anything with vegetable oil
  • Any and all sugary foods and drinks.
  • Fast food (sorry!)

Foods to eat:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Lean organic meats
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Organic condiments (healthy salad dressing, mayo, etc.)
  • Stevia, or another organic sweetener

How To Reverse Insulin Resistance

  • Eating healthy
  • Exercise
  • Intermittent fasting
  • No snacking

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

IF reduces blood sugar, insulin, and improves insulin resistance. What is intermittent fasting? Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you think! It simply means that you shorten your eating window a little bit. Let’s say that you eat breakfast the minute you wake up. Instead of doing that you wait a few hours first. You may being thinking there’s no way you can do that! Well I want you to know that it may be hard at first, but your body will get use to it. There are 3 different intermittent schedules you can use.

  1. There is the 16-8 fast, and it’s the best and the easiest. What you simply do is that you fast for 16 hours and have an eating window of 8 hours. For an example, let’s say you had your last meal at 6pm. You ate a well balanced very filling dinner, you are satisfied and don’t need any more food. You don’t snack before bed, you go to sleep, and in the morning you don’t eat at all until 10am. That’s your 16 hour fast! You then eat a healthy big breakfast enough to fill you up. Then you wait four hours to eat again, and you have a healthy filling lunch. Then four hours later you have a healthy filling dinner. If you want dessert, then have it right after dinner. Don’t wait till later, because that’s breaking your fast. And it’s important to break your fast the right way, with the right foods or drinks.

Foods to Break Your Fast:

  • apple cider vinegar drinks
  • bone broth
  • avocados
  • kimchi
  • veggies
  • bullet proof coffee

2. Now on to the next fast. The 20-4 fast. This is obviously harder then th 16-8 schedule, and is recommended after you get used to the 16-8 fast. You’ll fast for 20 hours instead of 16. And have two meals instead of 3. And it’s up to you if you want to try this one. Listen to your body and do whatever works.

3. The 24 hour fast. This is the next step up, where you only eat one meal a day. All lot of people don’t prefer this one, and I’ve tried it too, but I don’t like it, because I get too hungry and end up thinking about food too much. I have tried all three, and prefer the 16-8. But everyone’s different. If you choose the 24 hour diet, your meal should be big enough to satisfy you. It should be a big but healthy meal.

If you do choose this one, I would suggest to break your fast with a lemon, apple cider vinegar drink. I know it sounds gross, but there are recipes that make it tastey. And here’s one:

Lemonade Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon stevia
  • 2 cups of cold water

Mix together and serve cold.

Why should you worry about how to break a fast?

Your intestines and gut have adapted to the abstinence of food, thus preserving digestive processes. So, to not put too much stress on your gut or to not cause excess inflammation, you can’t just start eating whatever.

When breaking a 24 hour fast, break it with the apple cider vinegar drink and wait 30 minutes before eating so it doesn’t upset your gut.

Tips for controlling hunger:

  • You can drink black coffee or tea. If you add anything to them though it could break your fast. 
  • You can even drink water and add some cheyenne pepper to it to help with hunger pangs, if needed.

Eat fatty, satisfying meals: While you don’t need to be keto to try intermittent fasting, eating fatty foods will make fasting a lot easier and sustainable. Keto foods are healthy and satisfying, so you won’t be hungry during your fasting window.

Note: It’s important not to snack because this keeps your blood sugar raised all day. And when you do break your fast, it’s best to break it with foods that don’t spike your blood sugar incredibly high. 

Conclusion

So now you should know the answer to that question. What does insulin resistance mean? Insulin resistance is a terrible ailment that leads to diabetes, heart and liver disease, and so much more. The cause of insulin resistance can be from a whole mix of things, poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, age, and more. Eating better and exercise together can prevent this. Intermittent fasting, especially the 16/8 approach, is completely safe and beneficial and can reverse insulin resistance. More and more people are becoming insulin resistant. If you want to prevent this you should take action today. It would keep you from the doctor, and could even save your life!

Attributes:

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, registered dietitians, or nutritionists. Nutritional information is researched and provided a courtesy.

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