Reversing Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance - aka ‘the silent killer’ affects about a third of the over 50’s population. Why wait for it to develop into prediabetes and eventually Type 2 Diabetes when reversing insulin resistance is possible? How many, after surviving a heart attack or a stroke and are living with devastating aftereffects, wished they had paid attention and reversed the situation when they could have? Let’s have some backbone and not so much wishbone, right?

Respect Reverses Insulin Resistance

What we need most is to respect our wonderfully designed bodily mechanisms and understand how hard our body will have already fought for us by the time we figure we ought to do something. Every time we’re tempted to eat a slice of bread or bite into a muffin just out the oven, spare a thought for our hard-working pancreas and the excess glucose and cortisol already at flood stage in the veins.

Insulin Resistance Reversal tips

1. SMOKING –  is an addictive habit. Stop. Get help, be brave and quit.

2. MOVE – for anyone not in the habit of exercising, walking will do the trick. Start with 10 minutes twice a day adding 5 minutes when that’s easy. Walking 30 minutes twice a day is better than nothing. Seriously, even if we’re in a wheelchair, we can figure out ways to get the heart pumping a little and swing our arms about – do it to music and have fun.

3. SLEEP –  has important metabolic recovery value. Lack of sleep spikes insulin levels and worse, the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin spikes also, which has a domino effect of stimulating more cortisol and weakening glucose tolerance. We’re not suggesting addictive sleeping pills if there’s still a struggle to sleep so contact us for healthy alternatives.

4. STRESS …. less – we understand it’s not realistic to eliminate stress. Again, spare a thought for our intricate systems. Concerns are a part of life, but latent, ongoing anxiety is like rocking in a rocking chair – we’re moving, sure, but are we getting anywhere? The ‘flight or fight’ response generates high levels of glucose – for the anticipated emergency, but for that, it must suppress the insulin countermeasures, which just mean trouble for insulin resistance candidates. Watch this site for future articles on ways to reduce or combat stress.

5. BANT – yes, join the banting bandwagon, it’s legit. Dietary fat is broken down into fatty acids and bile salts, so we’re ok there. Animal protein increases insulin so, keep portions tiny – the size of the palm of the hand is a good rule of thumb. Banting, more accurately the low carb, high fat, moderate protein way of eating, eliminates all refined sugars and carbohydrates – say goodbye to white bread, pasta, sugary drinks and yes, to alcohol. Let’s see, alcohol on one hand, a stroke on the other… weigh…weigh… weigh, which one wins?

6. FAST – by this we mean stretching the hours between our last meal at night and our first one of the day. So, if we stop eating at 7pm, then waiting 12 hours till 7 am will effectively have lowered the insulin levels. Some successfully lengthen the fasting hours from 7pm to noon the next day –  a great lifestyle habit and a winning formula. Fasting works for everyone. Some habitually fast on certain days of the week. Athlete’s train in a fasting state because it neither lowers the metabolic rate nor results in any muscle loss.

Perhaps insulin resistance is not always our fault

In a paper published by Goran MI, Dumke K, Bouret SG, Kayser B, Walker RW, Blumberg B. (Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2013 Jun 4), astounding findings were reported that let some us off the hook regarding a struggle with metabolic rate, appetite control and our insulin performance.

Title: “The obesogenic effect of high fructose exposure during early development.”

"High fructose exposure during critical periods of development of the fetus, neonate and infant can act as an obesogen by affecting lifelong neuroendocrine function, appetite control, feeding behaviour, adipogenesis, fat distribution and metabolic systems. These changes ultimately favour the long-term development of obesity and associated metabolic risk."

So, there we have it, we could have been compromised in utero! The lesson? Watch out during pregnancy not to consume an overload of fructose in the diet for one thing. For another, if we are predisposed to struggle with insulin resistance, it isn’t doom and gloom either. Knowledge is power. Directing what we fuel our bodies with is our indaba, we can do so with informed choices and wise eating habits that protect our health and stave off illness.

Whether we are working on reversing insulin resistance or warding off full-blown diabetes, it comes down to self-understanding and self-mastery so that we don’t beat up needlessly on ourselves, but deal with gentle wisdom in cooperating with our brilliantly designed body systems.

Link for quiz to check insulin resistance tendency:


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