Avoiding insulin resistance and keeping blood sugar stable are just as key to our health as supporting the thyroid (which I discussed in my last blog). Insulin, one of our premier fat promoting hormones, is a response to overconsumption of carbohydrates including sugar without enough fiber or fat.
So, what can you do to get a grip on your insulin levels to enhance weight loss and prevent fat gain? Try these 10 tips…
1. Sprinkle sesame seeds on salads and stir-frys. Drizzle the oil on veggies and grilled fish.
When you do use sesame seeds, buy them unhulled to retain high levels of calcium. Soak the seeds overnight and toast them to remove oxalic acid which binds to the calcium rendering it bio-unavailable. Drizzle toasted sesame oil on cooked foods and raw veggies. The oil helps to curb the output of insulin to halt fat storage and prevent uncontrolled blood sugar swings that result in cravings and chronic fatigue.
2. Take omega-3 fish oil every day.
Or, eat fatty fish at least twice per week. Aim for 1,000 to 4,000 mg daily.
3. Fiber up!
Getting enough fiber is critical for blood sugar balance. Both soluble and insoluble fiber slow glucose uptake and prevent the highs and lows you can experience from sugar consumption. Aim for 2 tablespoons of chia or ground flax seeds daily.
4. Be carb conscious.
If you are already insulin resistant then keep carbs somewhere between 20-50 grams per day, according to your individual needs. Lowering your carb intake helps to lower your insulin levels, enabling your own body fat to be burned as fuel.
5. Count on chromium—a key mineral for blood sugar regulation.
Chromium is the “forgotten” mineral that helps deliver glucose to the inside of cells. And, it can often significantly curb sugar cravings. It is commonly deficient in our diet unless you live on beer and pepper (the highest sources of this trace mineral). Look for the picolinate form, found in my Fat Flush Weight Loss Formula.
6. Get the sugar out!
This means limiting all sources of natural sugars from fruit—especially fructose. That’s why two servings of fruit per day is my recommendation. Even natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and brown rice syrup can play havoc with blood sugar. Experiment with different types of stevia and sugar alcohols like xylitol (from birch), erythritol from non-GMO fermented corn and Lakanto, a mixture of monk fruit and erythritol.
I also like the amino acid glycine. Then, there’s D-ribose—a type of sweet “essential carbohydrate” which feeds muscles and provides energy. Many of these sweet substitutes are ideal for people with metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance. They are highly recommended for pre-diabetics or full-blown type 2 diabetics. Use these to sweeten your tea or in cooking—wherever you used to use the white, pink or yellow stuff. If you are extremely sensitive to sugar, even these alternatives can induce cravings, so a little goes a long way!
7. Berries are better.
Blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and wild blueberries are low in fructose, high in fiber and chock full of a type of antioxidant known as polyphenols which help break down fat and interfere with the production of new fat cells.
8. Drink filtered water with apple cider vinegar.
As I wrote in my Fat Flush Plan, studies have found that taking about two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water before any meal significantly reduces blood glucose levels by dramatically slowing down carbohydrate digestion. In fact, apple cider vinegar would work great as a prescription for fixing your blood sugar regulator. It is a powerful cleansing and healing elixir that is a naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic which fights germs and bacteria. Do “drink your apple a day the vinegar way” to give you a healthier, stronger and longer life.
9. To increase insulin sensitivity, do some strength training.
Work out with weights at least two to three times per week for at least 30 minutes.
10. Snooze to lose!
Getting less than 7 hours of sleep at night is statistically correlated with obesity. This is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it! Avoid blue-light emitting devices (smartphones, tablets and TVs) for an hour before bedtime for the best sleep.