There's a lot of information out there about insulin resistance, and sadly a lot of it isn't true. I know it can be overwhelming to try to find the right answers when all you want to do is feel better, finally.
So, let's clear up some things up and get to the facts on how to actually treat your insulin resistance. Here I'm sharing 6 common facts that are actually myths about insulin resistance, so you can get to the root of it and start feeling better today.
Myth: You have to eliminate all carbs to lose weight with insulin resistance.
I'm sure you've heard this one before -- carbs are bad and should be avoided at all costs if you want to manage your blood sugar. In fact, you should just eat keto. If you didn't know, I'm not the biggest fan of keto for insulin resistance (read more here).
The all-or-nothing mindset that all carbs are bad does not serve anyone, and it's not true! One, if you totally deprive yourself of carbs, you're setting yourself up to binge on them later. Also, certain carbs are rich in fibers that are great for your gut and insulin resistance.
When it comes to carbs and insulin resistance, all carbs are not created equal. Some will spike your blood sugar a lot higher than others. Also, eating carbs all by themselves will spike your blood sugar. Instead focus on reducing refined carbs and sugar and look at glycemic index of food to see how it will impact your blood sugar. Also, pair carbs with protein and fat to help slow the speed at which the carbs were broken down into sugar in the bloodstream.
I have several resources on the best carb options for those with insulin resistance. Check them out below:
10 Best Carbohydrates for Insulin Resistance at Whole Foods and here
Myth: Eliminate every food that makes you bloat
If you have insulin resistance I know you feel me when I say that some foods make you feel EXTREMELY BLOATED. There are a lot of different reasons to be bloated, food intolerance, stress and anxiety, and IBS to name a few. Frequent bloating are signs of inflammation in the gut. You may think of gas and bloating as, "not big deal" but it's actually your body telling you something isn't working properly in the gut, or the food you are eating is causing inflammation.
If you do bloat after eating a certain food, your first reaction may be to totally cut that food out, however unless you have a true allergy or severe intolerance cutting out the food isn't always the best route. In fact, bloating may be a sign you actually need more of that food.
If you’re bloating on healthy foods, it means you’re lacking the digestive enzymes necessary to break down these foods because you aren’t eating them frequently enough. If you completely cut out a food, your body stops producing the enzymes needed to break down that food.
Bloating after eating healthy foods could also be a sign that your gut needs some attention.
So instead of cutting out a food, keep eating it in small quantities and gradually increase. The other option is to eliminate that food until you can strengthen your gut and add the food back in.
Gut health plays an important role in improving insulin sensitivity, so taking time to improve gut health is important. And paying attention to bloat is feedback from your body that something could be off. Here are some additional resources for gut health and insulin resistance:
Myth: Eat three meals and two snacks a day to manage blood sugar
Wrong, wrong, wrong. This actually feeds the insulin resistance all day long. If you have insulin resistance, one of the worst things you can do is snack.
Hear me out on this one, when you eat, the pancreas pumps out insulin to get blood sugar into the cell. Over time, cells stop responding to all the insulin-they've become insulin resistant. The pancreas keeps making insulin to make the cells respond. Eventually the pancreas can’t keep up and blood sugar keeps rising.
Every time you eat the pancreas goes to work. When you have insulin resistance it's important to give the pancreas a break between meals instead of constantly signaling it to work hard.
I teach my clients to put the focus back on meals! Have 2-3 meals a day that are filled with protein, fat, and fiber so you stay full for hours and don't need snacks.
Not sure how to build a meal that will keep you full for hours? Here are a couple ideas:
My Go-To Breakfast to Prevent Insatiable Hunger and Cravings
Myth: If you eat in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight
Despite what you may have been told, losing weight is so much more than calories in and calories out. Believe me. I see so many women who are exercising a lot and eating in a deficit who are not losing weight. That's because weight loss is about is about blood sugar control and hormone balance. That doesn't mean that calories don't matter, it just means that they aren't the main focus.
Instead of focusing on burning more calories than you're eating (which actually can cause more stress on your body and further the blood sugar issues), work on balancing your blood sugar and hormones in a deficit. I know that sounds like g tasks, so here are a few resources to get you started.
Myth: Weight loss is all about willpower
Does this sound familiar? - You decide to be more disciplined with your diet, and you stick to it for a couple of days, but then the cravings kick in and you just can't resist any longer. So, you give in... and then feel like a failure.
Let me be clear - you are not a failure! If you’re dealing with cravings and insatiable hunger, how are you supposed to have willpower all day? It's not a badge of to ignore hunger, and it will backfire on managing your insulin resistance and losing weight.
To manage cravings and insatiable hunger, do these instead:
Don’t skip meals
Reduce refined carbs and sugar
Eat protein, fiber, and healthy fats with each meal
Also, check out how I honor my cravings while still feeling good.
Myth: Eating less is better (aka. 1200 calorie diet)
We need to stop glorifying the 1200 calorie diet! That's what a toddler needs daily!! As grown women, we need to eat enough to help our bodies function properly (including hormones, which impact blood sugar and weight).
As I previously mentioned, eating in a calorie restriction doesn't always lead to weight loss. In fact, your body will adjust to the low calorie intake and your weight loss will plateau. Not to mention the cravings are worse with restrictions and it makes insulin resistance worse.
If you're feeling stuck with your weight loss and insulin resistance, I've got you. The C.O.N.T.R.O.L. Method is my self-paced program that was created to help you gain a better understanding of how to eat for insulin resistance in a balanced sustainable way! Inside, you’ll create the perfect customized plan for you, discover what foods are making you feel bloated, and understand what you need to do to gain control of your blood sugar, so you can finally start to see consistent weight loss results!
There you have it! I hope this post helped cleared up some things for you and gives you hope for feeling good again. Let me know which myth surprised you and as always, reach out if you need more guidance.
If you’re confused on how to lose weight with insulin resistance or design a plan that is focused on blood sugar control, we can help you! Our self paced online course will teach you everything you need to know about losing weight with insulin resistance. It includes your 150 recipes revamped for clean eating, and my signature PFF Method of blood sugar balance.
Click here to inquire learn more about my signature weight loss program, The C.O.N.T.R.O.L. Method