For those who are not sure what insulin resistance, also known as metabolic syndrome, is – it is when your body basically refuses to burn fat because your metabolism is all messed up.
This often occurs when people bounce from fad diet to fad diet or stop eating at all in the hope of losing weight.
Christine explains this awesomely (I think I discovered a new word!) and mainly I think because she has lived through it herself.
Once an out of shape 50 something Christine now looks fantastic from implementing the stuff that she will soon share with you:
Metabolic syndrome AKA Syndrome X is a combination or grouping of cardiac risk factors resulting from insulin resistance (when the body’s tissues do not react normally to insulin).
A person with metabolic syndrome has a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.
How would you like to be told that? I was. Lovely.
The most common fat distribution with this syndrome is the apple shape with upper body fat including a waist that pretty much equals hips and chest. A tube. That was me two years ago. Sitting on a time bomb perhaps.
The main causing factors are obesity with aging.
Waist circumference is noted to be a significant factor which indicates fat around your organs.
Research studies observed that upper body obesity appeared to lead to diabetes, hardening of the arteries and many other conditions.
The World Health Organization Clinical Criteria for Metabolic syndrome is (for the full list check out Christines blog cause it gets technical:
Insulin resistance, identified by 1 of the following:
• Type 2 diabetes
• Impaired glucose tolerance
Plus things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other factors.
Increased waist circumference may be a warning to check for the syndrome but remember that even slimmer women can have insulin resistance (these are most likely the ‘fat-thin’ people whose ratio of body fat to lean muscle is high).
This syndrome can be prevented and reversed.
When we eat highly processed foods insulin levels get a massive spike so they can remove the sugar from the blood and to get it into the cells.
For a period of time it works, but if your insulin spikes too often from a diet rich in high carb foods, particularly simple carbs (all the bad ones like cereals and fast foods), that cause excess insulin secretion, your cells respond by decreasing their reactivity and reduce the number of insulin receptors on the cell surfaces.
End result is bad news and your body can’t get rid of the glucose you consume – meaning high blood sugar.
And Basically cells are not able to receive enough glucose for energy which they need to function adequately.
Many women with insulin resistance have carbohydrate craving, fatigue, and weight gain.
Fatigue because the cells are starving for energy because they can’t get enough glucose; craving because your body is trying to get more carbohydrates for energy and weight gain because the sugar is not able to be adequately be utilised and is stored as fat.
And it just results in a never ending cycle.
Eventually the capacity to generate insulin properly is taxed and leads to type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is a major factor in metabolic syndrome.
Why is this happening?
In ancient times our ancestors were hunters and gatherers obtaining and eating whole foods and getting lots of exercise in the process of daily living and survival.
I for one sit on my butt all day and I was used to grabbing whatever I could eat, wherever I could – at fast food places or grazing around the office eating refined carbohydrates, preservatives pesticides, trans fats, toxins, and high fructose sugars. No wonder my insulin manufacturing system was wearing out.
Can you reverse this trend?
You are not going to do it with drugs or surgery though.
You are going to do it much more naturally. (But please do not discontinue any medications without consulting your doctor.
Once you reverse the condition your testing will reveal that you no longer need certain medications).
During the process pf losing all my weight I found out how carb sensitive I was. I made sure to decrease my carbs, make them complex carbs and always have them earlier in the day as well as fill up on fibrous carbs.
Avoiding anything white such as starches – like potatoes, white rice, and sugar.
I discovered on the rare occasion that I had bread or flour products that wheat had been causing my irritable bowel symptoms all those years. TaDa! Epiphany.
The best way to eat for most people is – simply. Eat as close to the ancestors diet as possible – avoid processed foods, eat natural whole foods. (sound familiar?!)
The most important features to healthy nutrition are: eat 6 smaller meals each day, eat a combination of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fibrous carbohydrates and you can’t go wrong.
You are on a great journey to a new healthy lifestyle. I have been on mine for at least two years and I am still enjoying my journey. I have essentially become a hunter gatherer again with good nutrition and exercise.
Nowhere in the plan did I have gastric stapling, bypass, bands, fad diets, packaged diet foods, diet shakes or diet drugs.
Do things that way and you will not be healthy, you will retain your bad habits and you will have an unhealthy weight loss where your skin will not keep up.
Do things naturally with nutrtion, cardio and resistance training, sensibly and gradually losing weight, and your skin will keep up – natural plastic surgery.
I no longer have syndrome X, metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance – whatever you want to call it.
Everything is perfectly normal and healthy. I am not taking any medications.
But I stay this way by eating clean 90% of the time and making exercise a permanent part of my life. (Another tip in my line of thinking!)
If you reduce your weight to at least within 20% of your ideal body weight and incorporate at least 20 minutes of vigourous exercise per day into your lifestyle you can significantly reduce your risk factors.
Thanks Christine for an awesome and informative article. I’ve only borrowed bits and pieces from Christines masterpiece and if you want to read the full article, be sure to check out the metabolic syndrome article on her blog.
Great information there for people to take into account.
I tried to simplify the article as much as possible but the take home messages are in bold and italics – eat clean to stay lean!