Diabetes – Insulin – Weight
Insulin is a fat storing hormone to put it simply! So why does it sound far-fetched to say that insulin causes weight gain?
Just look at how the body’s fat storage system works and you will see it makes perfect sense that insulin causes weight gain. But what we do not realize is the same is true for the opposite – using the right amount of insulin and getting your blood sugar levels under control can cause weight loss.
It’s a really simple concept! In my case I eat low carb or keto and limit my carb intake, which in turn limits my insulin needs. So there is no extra insulin floating around trying to store anything.
How insulin works?
Eating carbs causes the blood sugar levels in the body to increase like crazy. In order to get your blood sugar levels back down to the normal range, the pancreas releases insulin or in our case we give ourselves insulin.
Insulins job is to get our blood sugar levels under control by assigning those carbs from we eat to either be used right away as energy or by storing it is fat to be used for energy at a later stage.
Why does insulin make us fat?
The huge problem is when the carbs aren’t immediately used as energy they get stored by the insulin as fat in the body’s cells. In a perfect world our bodies would use that fat for energy later but in the real world, we are going to again before it gets used up. This repeats every time we eat and all that fats just keeps adding up. Does that make sense to you?
What are the dangers of high insulin and fat storage?
On top of having Diabetes Type 1 and your pancreas already not producing insulin, you could also become insulin resistant to the insulin you give yourself. This is one of the reasons it is so important to get your blood sugar under control at all times.
So how do I manage my insulin and blood sugar levels?
Learn what carbs are High GI and which are Low GI
The Glycemic Index (GI) is how fast your blood sugar rises after eating a specific food. The glycemic load is a measure of the total amount of carbs your body absorbs from a food, regardless of timing.
Do your research, ask your doctor or dietitian or ask Google if you must.
As soon as you are in the know about which foods are High GI – avoid them!!!
Avoid high GI foods or Carbs
Avoid at all cost!!! These are usually foods that are high in refined carbohydrates such as white bread, cake, cookies, processed foods, and sugary soft drink, etc. See the little list on foods to avoid I have put together to make it easier for you.
Me personally, I avoid most fruits as well as red and orange vegetables, there are a few exceptions. I have also put together a another list on what you can eat.
Eat smaller meals and limit snacks
Stick to a schedule so that you can plan what to eat in advance and not get caught off guard and have to grab junk food. Pack yourself lunch for work or plan what you are going to eat for the week and try and stick to it. Be as healthy as you can and if you fall off the wagon, get right back on with the next meal.
Try to stick to a smaller meal so that you don’t have to give yourself extra insulin which then will store all your food.
Planning goes for your snacks as well. Be very mindful of your snacks – why not try a boiled egg and some cucumber sticks or slices?
Exercise is important
I can not stress how important exercise is. Exercise helps your cells become more responsive to insulin and in turn you will use less insulin, and then that helps you manage your weight. Everything works hand in hand with each other when it come to diabetes type 1.
I personally aim for 3 weight/resistance training sessions as well as 2 cardio training sessions a week. For my cardio, I joined my local hockey club and practice with them twice a week in the evenings.
Nothing is impossible unless you don’t try at all.
So try a low carb lifestyle with plenty of exercise and you are already on your way to a healthier version.
Remember there is only one of you, so look after yourself!