This post was written by Nick Garcia, HN. He believes that everyone can achieve a healthy lifestyle and the body of their dreams. That’s why he is dedicated to helping people eat real food, exercise smart, and transform their habits using simple strategies anyone can do. Follow him on Facebook or subscribe to his Youtube channel.
Insulin resistance could be the reason you are having trouble losing weight. If you have a love/hate relationship with carbs, read this article to find out if you have or are at risk for insulin resistance.
Do you have insulin resistance? It’s hard to simply answer yes or no, even with a proper diagnosis.
Diagnosing Insulin Resistance
Before providing you the insulin resistance self-test, there are a few ways your Dr. can provide diagnosis insulin resistance. These tests aren’t always conclusive and many times provide false-positives and/or false negatives.
Let’s take a look at 4 tests you could have your Dr. prescribe:
1. Waist Circumference
A relatively simple test that determines if you have a waist measurement greater than 35 inches.
2. Fasting Glucose Levels
One of the most common tests done that measures glucose levels after you’ve fasted for a few hours. If your blood sugar is higher than normal (75-100 mg/dl) you could have insulin resistance.
3. Fasting Insulin Levels
In this test, levels of insulin are measured in the blood after fasting, instead of glucose. A fasting insulin level higher than 10 uIU/ml is an indicator for insulin resistance.
4. Glucose Tolerance Tests
A complicated test that requires many blood tests throughout the day. This test is done if diabetes or hypoglycemia is suspected. Make sure your insulin levels are also tested if your Dr. suggests this particular test.
The problem with most tests, is they don’t reveal the entire picture and false-positives and false-negatives are very common.
The best way to begin your self-diagnosis for insulin resistance is to run through a quick symptom questionnaire, like the one below.
If you score high, then you probably have insulin and blood sugar issues that you should have addressed.
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Read through the self-test list of health conditions and put a check by any items that apply to you.
21 Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
Do you have no or have you ever had any of the following?
- A family history of diabetes, overweight problems, abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides, heart disease, or stroke
- Frequent cravings for sweet or salty, crunchy snack food
- The need to eat often or eat excessive amounts of food
- A difficult time losing weight even if you exercise or cut back on your food intake
- A problem with weight gain even when eating small amounts of food
- Weight gain mostly around your waist
- Skin tags (small, painless, flappy skin growths) on your neck, chest, breasts, groin area, or underarms
- A history of irregular menstrual periods, especially skipping months
- A history of polycystic ovarian disease
- High triglyceride levels
- Low HDL-cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) levels (less than 35 mg/dl)
- High LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) levels (more than130 mg/dl)
- High or borderline high blood pressure
- Waist measurement of more than 53 inches
- The feeling that you are addicted to carbohydrates
- The feeling that you have no willpower when it comes to dieting
- Jitteriness, difficulty thinking, headaches, nausea that goes away when you eat
- Afternoon fatigue
- A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher
- You are least 15 pounds overweight
If you marked a check beside 3 or more of these questions you are likely to have insulin resistance. The more checks you have, the more likely you are affected.
The Causes Of Insulin Resistance
There are several reasons for excess insulin, but these are the main culprits:
- Consuming too many nutrient-poor carbohydrates – the type found in processed foods, sugary drinks, and sodas; foods containing high-fructose corn syrup; packaged low-fat foods; excess use of sugar, fake honey, etc…
- Insufficient protein intake and/or poor quality protein intake
- Inadequate fat intake and/or poor quality inflammatory fat intake
- Low fiber consumption
- Inactivity, lack of good quality exercise
- Catabolism (anything that causes muscle loss, like over-exercising, under-exercising, excess cortisol, stress, etc…)
- Sluggish liver and/or excess toxins
- Aging, excess oxidative stress/free radical production
Besides turning you into a walking (miserable) fat-storing machine, excess insulin will also make you feel sick. Heart palpitations, excess sweating (or lack of), poor concentration, weakness, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, irritability, and impaired thinking and cognitive function.
Not to mention, if you have even the slightest bit of resistance to insulin, it will be almost impossible for you to lose unwanted fat.
There is hope!
The Solution to Insulin Resistance
Since insulin resistance is associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease it’s a good idea to immediately address your symptoms of insulin resistance.
Even the most severe cases of insulin resistance can be alleviated and even cured with the right lifestyle transformation program.
I suggest my clients take a “metabolism audit” to address any metabolism or hormonal imbalances, which 90% of the time correct any insulin problems.
Balancing insulin levels is as simple as these 3 steps, assuming you don’t have access to a holistic nutritionist or are part of a program like my 3-Week Metabolism Diet clients.
We need to calm your pancreas and detox your liver by adding in the right anti-inflammatory foods and eliminating the inflammatory carbohydrates and fats that are negatively impacting your cells.
We restore metabolically active tissue by incorporating the right metabolic exercise and balancing your macronutrients.
We address any non-nutrition and exercise related habits that lead to poor choices, like lack of quality sleep, excess stress, smoking, alcohol, etc…
As simple as the process sounds, it’s far from it, as you probably already know. You must constantly be fine-tuning and be assessing your current state of health. Soon, you’ll be able to cross off the early warning signs of insulin resistance as you being making better choices and transforming habits.
Insulin resistance is nothing to ignore since it can quietly or not-so-quietly destroy your quality of living and cause not only weight gain, but worse (cancer, diabetes, and heart disease).
The three-step plan will give you the tools you need to act and reverse insulin resistance.
If you’re ready to reverse insulin resistance and take control of your metabolism in 21 days, join us over at the 3-Week Metabolism Diet.
The key takeaway? Eat balanced meals with the right kinds of and amounts of carbs, fats, and protein to lose weight without deprivation and avoid the health hazards associated with insulin resistance.
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