A sign that a you might be dealing with a hormonal imbalance is insulin resistance symptoms. Reliance on a highly refined carbohydrate diet not only makes you fat it increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and ultimately cancer.
Scientists have shown that refined carbohydrates and sugars trigger the secretion of dozens of hormones that tell your brain you are in need of more food (more about those to follow). Not only that, when you bombard your systems with refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, many of our favourite cereals, mashed potatoes, and high fructose corn syrup, your body’s ability to deal with this overload of sugar becomes sluggish.
When you eat foods high in refined carbohydrates, as most North Americans do, insulin levels increase in order to remove sugar from the blood and deposit it into your cells. This works well for the most part but if insulin spikes too often from a diet rich in refined carb foods, your cells respond by decreasing the number of cell receptors and your reactivity to the insulin. Eventually this prevents glucose from getting into your cells, depriving them of their energy source.
“ …WHEN YOU BOMBARD YOUR SYSTEMS WITH REFINED CARBOHYDRATES… YOUR BODY’S ABILITY TO DEAL WITH THIS OVERLOAD OF SUGAR BECOMES SLUGGISH..”
This is why many women with insulin resistance experience carb cravings, fatigue, and weight gain. Your cells may be starving for energy even though you just finished a plate of pasta. Eventually your cells send another message, “feed me, I’m hungry”. It’s a cycle I see many clients endure until I can help them balance their sugar levels throughout the day – utilizing the naturally occurring sugars from dairy products, vegetables, and whole starchy carbohydrates, balanced with a proper amount of healthy fats and protein.
Insulin Resistance Causes Belly Fat Weight Gain and Other Hormone Imbalance.
Here’s what happens to your other hormones:
- Your estrogen increases causing further weight gain and estrogen dominant conditions.
- Your satiety hormone stops working making you feel hungry even after a Big Mac and Fries.
- Your cortisol spikes leaving you sleepless, exhausted and moody as heck.
You can’t have a discussion about hormone health without addressing insulin. You can take hormones and herbs or exercise like crazy but you won’t lose belly fat until your insulin levels are balanced. I know it sounds scary but you can do this. Here are a few things you can do to get started balancing your insulin.
5 Nutrition fixes for INSULIN RESISTANCE:
1. EAT A FIBER–RICH, WHOLE FOODS DIET: Aim for 40-60 grams of fiber every day – beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains (not whole wheat), some fruits, and lots of vegetables.
2. BALANCE YOUR MEALS TO PROMOTE BLOOD SUGAR AND HORMONE BALANCE: Start by limiting sugar, processed foods, and limiting your total fat intake to 30%. Fructose is the big one to avoid. It is half of a sucrose molecule and the sweetener of most sugary drinks including fruit juice.
3. GET MOVING: Though not a nutrition fix exercise needs to be mentioned here. It can help lower blood sugar and reduce weight. Exercise also helps the cells become more sensitive to insulin. You don’t have to complete a triathlon to get fit. Do something you enjoy such as gardening, walking, running, swimming, or dancing.
4. LEARN THE GLYCEMIC LOAD OF COMMON FOODS: Glycemic Load is different from the Glycemic Index. It takes into consideration portion sizes of specific foods. Here is a good resource to help you estimate the glycemic load of foods. If you are going to use the Glycemic index, reach for foods that are lower than 55.
5. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: Eating omega-3 fatty acids can in many cases reduce insulin resistance. They can also lower blood triglycerides, which are often high in insulin resistant people.
If this sounds overwhelming you are not alone.
There are two ways to help yourself today.
Get your Free EBook to Find Out What Steps to Take to Balance Your Hormones.
Does this sound familiar? You just woke up from another restless nights sleep.You look in the mirror and think that you just can’t face another day feeling this tired. You hate that weight has suddenly appeared around your middle yet feeling possessed you just cannot stop eating carbs. Guess what? It’s not you, it’s your hormones. Start your journey to better health today by clicking on the picture to the right to immediately receive your FREE EBook.
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Hormone Hangout with Nutrigal is a closed Facebook community of women looking for nutritional solutions to the hormone-related changes of perimenopause and menopause such as weight gain, insomnia, fatigue and mood changes. It’s a community of women supporting women through frank & fun conversation. Just click the link above to join the conversation.
Kelly Greer aka Nutrigal