You’re most likely familiar with this hormone but perhaps not in relation to its role in keeping those excess pounds firmly attached to your waistline.
So, what makes you fat? Excess levels of insulin .
How can one hormone keep you from shedding the weight and keep you packing on more. There are two ways that you increase the levels of insulin in your body.
- You can increase the levels of insulin in your body by eating too many fat-free carbohydrates at any one meal.
- You can increase the levels of insulin in your body by eating too many calories at any one meal.
And in the past 15 years, Americans have done both simultaneously. This is why we have become the fattest people on the face of the earth, even though we are eating less fat than we were 15 years ago ( A Week in the Zone | Dr. Barry Sears).
As Dr. Sears states “think of it this way: the best way to fatten cattle is to raise their insulin levels by feeding them excessive amounts of low-grain fat. By the same token, the best way to fatten humans is to raise their insulin levels by feeding them excessive amounts of low-fat grain, but now in the form of pasta and bagels.”
How do both of the above cause insulin to make you keep and gain weight? Carbohydrates are powerful stimulators of insulin secretion and excess calories the body can not immediately store will be converted to fat and sent straight to your hips, stomach or other problem areas for storage. And if that isn’t bad enough, the same high levels of insulin that cause you to store fat will also block the release of that stored fat for energy. Thus, making and keeping you fat.
What can you do to control your insulin levels so you don’t add to your waistline?
- Limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat at any given meal, especially “empty” carbohydrates like pasta, bagels and snack foods like chips and cookies.
- Don’t over-indulge in the calorie department. Limit calories to under 500 calories per meal.
- Eat a balance of healthy carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats at each meal.
- Choose low-glycemic carbohydrates over carbohydrates that have a greater impact on your insulin levels (high-glycemic carbohydrates)
Approximately 75% of Americans produce excess insulin because they eat a diet high in carbohydrates. Too much insulin commands the body to save food energy stored in fat cells for a time when no food is available. Yet for most of us, we never really experience a shortage in the food department, especially in the carbohydrate form.
Don’t let excess insulin keep you from achieving your weight loss goals. Start eating a healthy diet that balances protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats and make sure that your carbohydrate selections are not ones that will spike your insulin levels.