Can insulin resistance be making you fat?

I don’t want to put any pressure on you, but there are 28 days left of this month before September 1, otherwise known as spring day.

The day is marked by joy and celebrations. It also marks a day of stress shared by millions of South Africans because it means less clothes and more exposure.

Some of you have been good gym bunnies but for the rest, the big woolly jackets have been your baby blanket of security. You know deep down that this winter, like the last, was filled with enjoyment and overindulgence.

But today is also the day you make a conscious effort to change for the better. But first you need to understand the ground rules. The older you get, the more you seem to be putting on weight and you don’t know why. You could be insulin resistant.

A simple way of checking, according to Professor Tim Noakes, is to reach down to your love handles or thighs and if you can grab a handful, then you are probably insulin resistant.

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, regulating the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is commonly known as “table sugar” or can be found as a syrup used in the food industry.

One the most important functions of insulin is to regulate the delivery of glucose into cells to provide them with energy. When you become insulin resistant, the cells cannot take in glucose, fatty acids and amino acids.

Your cells are literally rejecting the nutrient source needed to energise the cells, causing an increase in blood glucose levels.

If the cells are not taking in the glucose for your daily activity and sport, the body tries to reduce the spike by storing it as fat around your abdominals and thighs.

Have you ever wondered why when you eat a high carb meal like pasta, you are so tired after eating it? That is your body’s way of saying you have too much glucose in your bloodstream and it’s about to deposit the excess as fat.

Other symptoms of insulin resistance are an inability to focus, intestinal bloating, weight gain, increase in blood pressure and even depression.
The good news is it can be reversed by cutting down your carb intake by 80% to 90%. Focus on organic fruits, nuts, vegetables, proteins and balance with a 45-minute moderate to high exercise program three to four times a week.

Sean is a sports scientist and director of Advanced Sports Performance. Share your comments and opinions on his




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