One of the biggest problems with insulin is that it stops your body from burning fat. When insulin levels are high from eating too many sugars like processed carbohydrates you are pretty much locking in the fat in your fat cells and not letting it out to be burned off.
There have been books written about the ill effects of insulin and how it is more important than calories for losing weight. Chronic high insulin levels do lead to weight gain and a number of other health issues like obesity, insulin-resistance, diabetes and heart disease. Nevertheless, we all need optimal amounts of insulin to help store the foods we eat in our muscles, liver and fat cells.
Insulin is a very important storage hormone and it is not all bad. In fact, it is critical for good health. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps lower blood sugar by storing it. All the problems with insulin start when there is too much sugar in the blood from eating too many empty carbohydrate calories. When your eating sugar and processing carbohydrates all day long and not instantly burning them off with activity your body has to remove all the excess blood sugar (excess calories) and store them. The body can store sugar in the muscles and in the liver in the form of glycogen. But if your glycogen levels are full (and they quickly can be if you’re eating a lot of carbohydrates) your body will store the excess sugar calories as fat in your fat cells.
When insulin levels are consistently high there is no way you will be burning fat because you’re programming your body to store sugar not burn fat. Just like insulin is a storage hormone, there are other hormones like glucagon that help release fat from your fats cells so it can be burned off. The problem is if your insulin levels are always high you will never produce enough releasing hormones like glucagon to burn fat. Look at it like this; if you’re always making the hormones to store sugar and fat and very rarely making the hormones that release fat into the blood stream to be burned, you have a big problem.
What’s good about insulin is you can control it by not eating too many processed carbohydrates. You can program your body to burn fat by taking the empty sugary calories out of your diet. Most of the carbohydrates in your diet should come from a variety of vegetables, fruits and a limited amount of unprocessed grains depending on your activity level.
Insulin can help you or hurt you. Stop eating the junk and improve your health and keep insulin working for you.
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This is the strategy I teach my personal training clients to have a 20-something body, regardless of their age.
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Best – Mike Cola