The great majority of people with belly fat have a condition called insulin resistance. It’s a pre-diabetic situation where the body’s cells are rejecting insulin or blocking it.
What happens, in short, is the pancreas keeps secreting so much insulin to lower consistently high blood sugars that eventually the cell is “full” of insulin. It doesn’t need anymore. So the sugar in the blood stays high. This triggers the pancreas to make a lot more insuiln four to five times more. As a result, insulin is lower in some places (cells, brain, muscles, blood, etc.) yet higher in other places in the body. It’s very similar to talking to someone with ear plugs, who doesn’t hear you until you start shouting. The feedback circuitry for insulin “doesn’t hear” the insulin, so a signal is sent back to the pancreas telling it to make more.
People with insulin resistance have four to five times more insulin in their bodies even when they are fasting.
These are the symptoms of insulin resistance:
- Cravings for sweets
- Not satisfied after eating
- Can’t go long without hunger
- Mood improves with eating
- Tired after lunch (or meals)
- Impaired eyesight
- Worsened memory
- Belly fat
- Liver fat
- High blood pressure
- Fluid retention
- Frequent urination at night
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) Insulin resistance is what causes your weight to plateau at a certain level. Handling insulin resistance is the only way I know to fix a stuck metabolism.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
The higher levels of insulin lead to the creation of more androgens (male hormones), causing PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in females; this in turn can result in weight gain, insulin resistance, facial hair and acne. It’s interesting: if you research PCOS, you will always find insulin resistance as a symptom; but PCOS and insulin resistance are only loosely associated by most sources. What they don’t realize is that insulin resistance is causing PCOS. This is why PCOS disappears when insulin resistance disappears; try it and you’ll see for yourself.
High Blood Pressure
One of the side effects of insulin resistance is high blood pressure. This is due to a potassium deficiency. You see, insulin controls the intake of potassium into your cells. Potassium is the key mineral that relaxes the arteries, keeps them elastic, prevents sodium from causing excess fluid, and keeps the blood pressure low. People who are salt sensitive are really potassium deficient. Compounding this problem by adding a diuretic further depletes potassium, the very thing that could correct this sensitivity. Adding a good amount of vegetables to your eating plan raises potassium and lessens the need for insulin, thus lowering its resistance.
What Spikes Insulin
- Sugar and hidden sugars
- Concentrated low-fat or lean protein
- Large amounts of protein eaten in a meal
- Combining protein with sugar
- MSG and hidden MSG (modified food starch)
- Frequent meals (snacks)
- Stress (cortisol)
- The insulin drug (when you are a diabetic)