Ale's Lifestyle Confessions

Living Life One Step at a Time

    Using Intermittent Fasting to Reduce Insulin Resistance 

    Insulin is a hormone that is produced by your pancreas. it helps your body by regulating the amount of glucose that can enter into your bloodstream. The glucose is then stored into your muscles, fat and liver. Without a good insulin regulation, your body would not be able to store the glucose you ate into your muscles and liver and furthermore it cannot make any fat in your body. Instead, the fat in your body will have to break down and produce keto acid, which is a really bad thing. 

    Your body releases the insulin from your pancreas when you eat. This is because your blood glucose level rises when you eat. This leads to insulin being secreted so that the sugar can be stored as energy to be used later on. Some people are born without the ability to make insulin or lack the ability to produce enough insulin. These people are known to have type 1 diabetes. For those people who lose the ability to use their insulin properly, they are known to have type 2 diabetes. Those with type 1 diabetes will have to use an insulin pump for their rest of their life to survive. However, for those with type 2 diabetes, something that happens to many people, it is possible to reduce the problem or prevent it by happening through having a good healthy diet and losing weight. 

    Studies have shown that intermittent fasting has the ability to help reduce insulin resistance. Intermittent fasting is when you spend a period of your time not eating and another period of time eating. It does not require you to eat anything specific or avoid certain food. However, it is ideal to eat a healthy diet regardless of whether you are doing intermittent fasting or not. The general trend is to do the 16/8 intermittent fast. This is when you are eating within an 8 hour window and not eating anything or drinking anything with calories for 16 hours. This generally means either skipping breakfast or dinner, but you can also squeeze in breakfast, lunch and dinner within an 8 hour window. Another popular choice is the 5:2 diet. This requires you to eat normally for 5 days in a week and for the other 2 days you only eat around 500 to 600 calories. Ideally, you would want to spread out the 2 fasting days in the week. 

    Insulin is affected differently by different types of food. Carbohydrates have the ability to raise your insulin levels the highest whereas protein raises insulin but leaves your blood glucose levels stable. Fat has the ability to not raise insulin or blood glucose levels. This is why there is a lot of people following the keto diet trend nowadays. Foods that helps increase your insulin levels will therefore encourage more weight gain in your body. This is why people suggest a healthy balanced diet in which it is lower in refined carbs and sugar. Eating a diet high in that will lead to your body increasing their secretion of insulin to help break down the glucose. 

    Not only do you have to consider what you are eating, you should also understand that when you are eating impacts how your insulin is raised. Every food you eat has a chance of raising your insulin levels. If you eat food constantly, your body will develop a resistance to insulin. The more you need to raise your insulin, the less the effect of insulin will have. Insulin resistance simply happens when there is too much insulin in your body. The body will have to raise your insulin levels and therefore it will lead to a higher resistance and therefore the body will raise it more. In the end, the high insulin levels will lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

    There has been evidence that intermittent fasting has the ability to improve type 2 diabetes and lower insulin levels. Increasing the duration of your body in low insulin levels can help decrease your insulin resistance. Because your insulin level increases after you eat, it is evident that when you are fasting, your insulin levels will decrease. Nowadays, we are constantly bombarded with the need to eat, whether it be by television or just your neighbours. Because we eat often, we aren’t given enough time for our insulin to decrease and stay low.  

    Therefore when your body is in the intermittent fasting stage, your insulin levels lowers and reverses the fat storing process in your body. It can also decrease ghrelin, which is your hunger hormone. During our fasting stage, our body will use the fat cells and release the stored glucose to let our body process it as energy. 

    Intermittent fasting is definitely a great way to help decrease insulin resistance. However, you need to keep in mind that what you eat is also equally important if you want to be healthy, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and lose weight. You should always try to avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar. Instead, you should try to eat food such as vegetables, whole grain, beans, lean protein and healthy fats. I personally prefer to eat unprocessed food or if you have to, aim to get something that has the lowest amount of ingredients. Make sure you read the nutritional label and look at the serving size, these can be quite deceptive. You could get an app to help you fast, I find that it is easier for me when there is something physical that I can look at to know how long I have been fasting, when will I hit my fasting goal or even just data to see how I have been doing so far with fasting. 

    Fasting is not the one thing that will help lower your insulin. In my opinion, it is one of the best way. But if keeping to a time period of eating is difficult or just something that does not fit with your lifestyle, you should always see what works for you best. Consult a doctor and formulate a plan together. A goal that you can manage and help you reach your ideal healthy body. 

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