The Carb Sensitivity Program-- Part 1 Insulin Resistace

11:30Whitney Hills

I had been meaning to read The Carb Sensitivity Program from women's health guru Natasha Turner for months, and finally got around to it. Any women dealing with hormone imbalance, poorly controlled diabetes or having trouble losing weight, should give this one a read. I'm super excited to share some of the more interesting points from the book with you.

"Consistent efforts to maintain health allows one to occasionally stray off course without consequence." I love this quote because it's so true! Being active on a regular basis (5 days a week is really the best option, especially if you can lift weights on at least 4 of them) will allow you to eat a bit more, or stray from the typical routine. Building muscle allows you to burn more calories throughout the day, and exercise will help with insulin control and hormone balance. This means you can eat treats without paying too badly for it, and they can even be incorporated into your meal plan.
** obviously one needs to be very diligent when dieting to get very lean, for me to compete there are not many screw ups allowed

"Long term health consequences of hormonal disruption are really scary." Wake up there! Type 2 diabetes is terrifying and will disrupt your life in a VERY BIG WAY. So is kidney disease, cirrhosis, and amputation. If you want to live a normal, long life, it MAY BE TIME TO START WATCHING WHAT YOU EAT.  Changing your diet and life is fucking difficult. But so is amputation, so suck it up.

"Optimal insulin balance is the most important factor in living a vibrant, strong and healthy life." Right. I just said that above. Natasha and I are on the same page.

The Three most important factors in improving hormone balance and your health:
-Improve sleep (Did you know that sleep deprivation affects leptin levels which make us excessively hungry when tired??? Get to bed!)
-Discover your current state of carb sensitivity (see the book or google if interested!)
-Take the proper supplements to balance hormones. Again see the book for more detail, Natasha is a naturopath and recommends specific supplements. I think magnesium, chromium, fish oil, vitamin D, and a greens supplement are a good place to start. Excessive insulin can cause magnesium loss, one of the most important minerals, and one that is deficient in up to 90% of the population!

-The food guide is very outdated, carb heavy and potentially dangerous. I agree. The scary thing is that I was taught the Food Guide in my Clinical Nutrition degree, and was appalled. Scary, I hope they've changed that.

So let's talk about insulin a bit. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas in response and in proportion to the amount of carbs/sugar consumed. It is a powerful, fat storing hormone and all carbs trigger the release of insulin. Why is it so important? Over time, excessive amounts of insulin in the blood, caused by the over consumption of carbs, can predispose one to diabetes and insulin resistance. It can also eventually cause the destruction of body tissues and organs, including bone, muscle, blood vessels, brain, and liver. It can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, osteoporosis, liver disease, heart disease and stroke. It can even cause accelerated aging during a process called glycation-- where sugar molecules attach themselves to our precious collagen. Scary huh? Overeating can actually destroy your brain cells and age our faces.  Putting that chocolate bar down yet?

But here's the cool thing. Get this. Carb Sensitivity is 100% preventable and potentially 100% reversible. So why not act now? 80% of Americans by 2020 will have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Guess what? That's not a cheap disease to have either.

Are you one of those people that I mentioned that have a tough time dropping the pounds? Feel like your in a cycle of dieting and just can't shake the weight? Well insulin and carbs may be the culprit. If you've been over consuming sugars, or in a state of hormonal inbalance, you may be very carb sensitive and resistant to insulin. This means that your body can't utilize the sugars in your blood. Carb sensitivity/insulin resistance is also seen in individuals with PCOS and those with high stress levels or diseases related to high cortisol like Cushing's disease.

How do you know if you suffer from Carb Sensitivity? Here are some signs.
1. Crave carbs often
2. A Sweet Tooth
3. Feel sleepy or foggy after a meal
4. Bloating after a meal
5. Experience high levels of water retention/puffiness
6. Large appetite/food obsession
7. Fat accumulation around mid sections
8. Burning feet while in be
9. Difficulty losing weight

On that note, we will take a breather for today.
In the next blog we learn about how to take action against insulin resistance.

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