A lot of people think that losing body fat is only a direct response from caloric restriction and exercise. It’s very far from the actual truth. Hormones, such as insulin, regulate hunger, metabolic rate, food cravings and energy levels. The energy that you consume and burn is dependent and impact each-other.
The thermic effect runs a bit like this
The body has an inbuilt thermic system, and depending on the food you consume, you will burn energy to digest and absorb it. When you eat a meal of just protein, your body burns 25 per cent of the energy that the meal has supplied. When you eat fat, it will only burn 0–3 per cent, and carbohydrates are 5–15 per cent. As you can see, protein consumption is key to enhancing your bodies thermic response.
The number of fats, protein and carbs will dictate how hungry you are and the number of calories you will consume during the day. Foods higher in protein will enhance satiety because of their ability to release gut hormones that decrease your hunger. Protein also causes a higher elevation of insulin, without a blood sugar spike. Both of these combined will produce a cessation of appetite.
Now, let’s get to the insulin factor.
The pancreas secretes insulin. The primary role of insulin is to regulate the number of nutrients within the bloodstream. When you eat a meal, the amount of sugar in your blood will increase. The body will replenish glycogen first, storing excess glucose as fat if glycogen stores are too high.
Cells can become resistant to insulin, therefore are not binding to it. If this is the case, the body will keep circulating more insulin to lower blood sugar levels. Harmful levels in the blood can cause harm by damaging your organs and most definitely lead t diabetes.
What causes all of this to happen.
Eating the wrong kinds of foods frequently: The answer is quite simple. Eating the wrong foods and eating more than what your body requires in calories. It has been said that insulin resistance may be a protective mechanism for fat cells that have grown beyond their capacity – which inhibits more fat from being deposited into them.
Inactivity & lack of muscle mass: Our muscles require more glucose than other tissues. Active muscles burn their stored glucose for energy, and to re-fill their reserves. This keeps the blood glucose levels in balance. When you train with weights, you automatically increase insulin sensitivity. You can also enhance your glucose sensitivity by intense HIIT. This can even reverse diabetes.
Too much stress and elevated levels of cortisol: cortisol is our response release when we are physically and mentally stressed. This is also a key component of influencing how our bodies regulate blood sugar. Cortisol does free up glucose stores to get through any stressful events (think, the flight of fight response). When we experience stress too often, and at extremely high levels, our bodies are continually raising blood sugar, that means that our insulin levels increase. Too much of this, the pancreas becomes run down, and insulin resistance can develop.
The dreaded belly fat: So many people have this issue, and it’s caused by the increase of visceral fat, surrounding our primary organs. This fat releases chemicals signals that stop insulin from binding with cells.
Five ways you can increase insulin sensitivity and finally lose body fat.
- Cut down on your calorie intake. Opt for whole-foods and give all processed and refined foods the middle finger.
- Try fasting. There is no better or more effective way to become insulin sensitive and decrease your risk of body fat and diabetes than fasting. It also makes your metabolism flexible, and you will be able to consume more carbohydrates.
- Aim to put on muscle mass. Lifting weights will slowly increase your insulin sensitivity and decrease your body fat stores. Be patient with this process, and make sure you train with weights correctly, as well as change your diet.
- Stay active. Try to not sit down for prolonged periods. Get outside and walk, stay active and move as much as you can. We need to keep busy to stay healthy. It doesn’t have to be vigorous, just enough to get your body moving.
- Stressless. It’ sIt’s very important to manage your stress levels, get enough sleep daily. You could try yoga, meditation or even just getting into nature and breathing fresh air. Find ways in which you can feel more centred, relaxed and calm.
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