Your weight to height ratio is termed your Body Mass Index (BMI), which provides a useful reference for metabolic health. The other main variable is body composition, made up of muscle mass, skeletal anatomy, adipose tissue (fat) & fluid. Maintaining a healthy weight & body composition promotes resilient metabolic efficiency & extends your quality of health.
We are all familiar with insulin’s ability to transport glucose out of the blood into the cell for mitochondria energy. Did you know that insulin also has a hormonal role, which acts like a fat-burning switch. When insulin is elevated it signals the body to store energy in the form of fat, regardless of how much energy might already be stored on the body. Adversely, if we keep insulin below this threshold consistently enough, it will signal the body to burn fat to convert to cellular energy … so simple, yet so profound!
The two main factors that spike blood glucose & thus insulin are carbohydrates & stress. All carbohydrates will spike blood sugar, due to metabolising so quickly. This is accelerated even further with high glycemic carbs, such as; fruit, grains & starchy veg. There are also extreme hyper-glycemic foods & drinks in the form of alcohol, fruit juice, chocolate & processed sugar.
Enter the hero macronutrient that doesn’t spike insulin … healthy fat. When we reduce something in the diet, we need to replace it with something else. Healthy fats like, olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, cacao butter, fish oil & animal fat become your secret weapon to curb cravings & hunger.
Now over to the other side of the equation … stress. The degree of how much impact stress has on insulin is often overlooked. When you consider how many different forms of stress we need to deal with everyday in order to get through this modern life. As a result our adrenals are stimulated to produce cortisol, which spikes blood sugar to raise energy for the ‘flight or fight’ survival state.
The take-home message is … the better you get at keeping insulin low, the more weight you lose.