The hormone insulin plays a central role in weight loss. It is no coincidence that they also call it the “fat storage hormone”.
But what exactly is insulin? And how do your blood sugar levels influence weight loss? What can you do to control your insulin levels?
In this blog post you will find the answers to these questions! !!! Attention !!! This article incl. the recommendations mentioned is intended exclusively for people WITHOUT diabetes, who are not dependent on medically prescribed insulin.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone secreted in the pancreas in response to food. Its primary function is to help the body process carbohydrates.
The process usually works as follows:
- You have a meal.
- Your digestive organs break down ingested carbs into glucose which then enter the bloodstream.
- Your blood sugar levels rise. This is the signal for your pancreas to produce insulin.
- Insulin transports sugar from your blood to your cells, where they use it for the production of energy.
Important to know: If you consume more sugar than needed, your body stores it in your fat cells with the help of insulin! Let’s take a closer look.
Which role does insulin play when it comes to successful weight loss?
Every time you eat something, your body inevitably produces a certain amount of insulin. Permanent eating and snacking causes your body to constantly produce insulin.
Important side note: When your body is producing insulin, it is not burning fat!
This means: If you eat large amounts of carbs, your body receives the signal to convert the glucose in your blood into fat.
In other words, the higher your insulin levels, the more eagerly the body pursues its mission to store fat.
In the long run, this can cause your cells to respond less to insulin. They become resistant. In this case your pancreas can barely keep up with insulin production while blood glucose levels remain high.
This can have far-reaching consequences for your health. Sooner or later, insulin resistance can develop into serious diseases. Examples are diabetes, high blood pressure or severe obesity.
How to positively influence your insulin metabolism with intermittent fasting
When you fast, you give your body a regular break from eating. This allows blood glucose and insulin levels to normalize. Once glucose is depleted during fasting, your body draws its energy from body fat.
This means that with intermittent fasting, you effectively help your body burn fat.
Studies have even shown that regular fasting not only helps you lose weight but can also increase insulin sensitivity. This means that the body can use insulin more effectively and needs to produce less of it.
One mechanism, for example, increases the number of cell receptors and causes them to become more sensitive to insulin. Thus you effectively prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Intermittent fasting is sometimes even used as a therapy for prediabetes!
Here’s how you can additionally counteract an increased insulin production:
- Keep your last meal BEFORE you start fasting low in carbs. By doing so your body will switch to fat metabolism more quickly.
- Cook with fresh, unprocessed ingredients.
- Choose whole-grain alternatives for bread, pasta, and rice. Or go for (pseudo-) cereals like millet, amaranth, and quinoa.
- Eat fruit in moderation and increase the proportion of vegetables.
- Eat your carbs preferably after exercising. Usually, by then, your glucose stores are depleted.
- Avoid quickly fast-digesting carbs from white flour products, french fries, chips or sweets during your meal periods. These particularly increase insulin secretion.
- Make sure you get enough sleep and avoid stress. Good sleep is important to keep your blood sugar in the low range.
- Exercise regularly. The best effects are seen when combining cardio and weight training.
Intermittent fasting is your way to escape the “insulin trap”
As you can see: Intermittent fasting is a simple and effective way to increase the insulin sensitivity of your cells. This way, you prevent the development of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
In combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can effectively increase your success in intermittent fasting.
Ready to get started? Find the right fasting plan for your goals in the BodyFast app.