Lesson #4: Hormonal Reset #2 – Insulin



Insulin is a hormone in charge of how you derive energy from the foods you eat. Your body runs on glucose, and insulin controls where that glucose goes. When serving you properly, insulin takes the glucose from the occasional chocolates you eat and stores it in the cells of the liver and muscles as glycogen—a storage form of glucose that can be broken down readily when you need fuel. 
You are filling up your glycogen tank with the fuel it needs to run,
 BUT… you can only store a small amount of glycogen at any given time. When you eat a sugary food of some sort every day, there may not be room left in your tank to store the glucose as glycogen. 
Then insulin will be transforming from a fat-burning hormone into a fat-storage hormone once the glycogen storage tank is full. Day in and day out, you are stuck converting carbohydrates into fat instead of using it for the fuel you desperately need, and storing the fat in your liver, waistline, and other organs.

Insulin resistance is the most common hormonal reason I have seen in my years of training clients for slow metabolism and weight gain. To see if you fit into this category, check off which symptoms apply to you or have occurred in the past six months.

Do you crave sweet foods? Do sweet foods calm you down?

Have you tried to stop eating sweets but found you couldn’t? Is it difficult to stop eating carbohydrate-rich foods?

When you go without eating for more than three hours, do you feel shaky, anxious, or irritable?

For women, is your waist measurement 35 inches or greater (at the belly button)? For men, greater than 40 inches?

Do you have difficulty losing weight? Do you gain weight easily, maybe even aggressively?

When you skip a meal, do you feel fatigued and/or cranky?

Do you exercise less than three times per week?

Have you been told you have low HDL (good) cholesterol and/or triglycerides?

Follow these simple yet powerful rules to reset your insulin,

 1.  Eliminate sugar and sugar substitutes. Avoid these because they raise your blood sugar: white table sugar, honey, agave, brown sugar, sucralose (Splenda), maple syrup, and molasses. The only sweetener (if any) is stevia. Limit carbohydrates to only the slow carbohydrates that don’t spike your insulin, such as sweet potatoes, long grain brown rice, yams and quinoa. Stay away from hidden sugars in ketchup, salad dressings, sauces, and packaged cereals. If sugar is one of the first six ingredients, avoid it. Stay off the liquid sugar, including soft drinks, diet soft drinks, juice, and alcohol.

2. Eat 250gm of vegetables, some cooked and some raw. For those of you who are losing steam around eating vegetables, I urge you to keep eating three to four cups  For instance, eat a protein and salad rich meal for breakfast or make a frittata with eggs and spinach. Have a salad plus a serving or two of green vegetables at both lunch and dinner. That’s seven servings! The easiest way to accomplish this task is to lightly steam a pot of vegetables, such as broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, and red bell peppers, every few days and have them on hand to make a salad for lunch and dinner. Aim for lowglycemic vegetables with low starch, not corn (a fruit when fresh, and deemed a grain when dried) or other starchy vegetables. Choose vegetables that are dark, because dark vegetables are low in glycemic index and high in important nutrients. Often it’s more affordable to have a box of organic vegetables bought from your local farmers market. One good tip is To take some greens (kale, spinach, rocket) when you purchase, chop them finely, and store them in a bag in the freezer. Then, as you steam some vegetables add the greens near the end, or add them to salads and veg smoothies.

3. Eat protein at each meal, approximately 4 to 6 ounces of fish or chicken, beans, or quinoa. Fill up on legumes, especially the white kidney bean, which contains a carb blocker. Aim for a total of 100 to 125 grams of protein each day. 

Food List: Lentils (fast cooking!), black beans, pinto beans, white kidney beans, fish (cod, salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines), and free-range, pastured, or organic chicken, organic eggs, pasteurised eggs. 

4.  Eat at least every 3 to 4 hours. the goal is to reset your insulin level. And if you feel like you need snacks, it might mean you’re not getting enough protein at meals. If you feel hypoglycemic before four hours have elapsed between meals, drink 8 ounces of filtered water and set a timer for twenty minutes.

5. Eat probiotic foods. Fermented foods contain natural probiotics, or healthy bacteria, that can take your health to the next level. Not only do they add good bacteria into your stomach and your gut, they’re also powerhouses when it comes to detoxification, especially of heavy metals.¹¹ Nearly every culture has a version of a fermented food: yogurt, kefir, miso, and fermented vegetables, including sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi.

Kimchi. In Korea, the average consumption of kimchi is 40 kilograms per year! The lactic acid that is produced during fermentation of kimchi stops the growth of bad bacteria and is useful in the prevention of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and gastrointestinal cancers. One recent study showed that kimchi improved fasting glucose and cholesterol levels.¹² Nutritionally, kimchi is low in calories and carbohydrates but contains high amounts of fiber, vitamins A and C, and minerals such as calcium and iron.