You can’t lose weight, you’ve tried every diet and nothing works. You’re beyond frustrated and are wondering if you need to trade your rusty metabolism in for a new model. Will there ever be a solution to your metabolic challenges?
YES, and there’s now solid research that shows the answer is controlling your hyperinsulinemia – AKA high insulin levels. What exactly is hyperinsulinemia? Let’s start with a brief physiology lesson.
Every time you eat your pancreas secretes insulin to allow the food you just ate get into your cells for nourishment. A large percentage of our population (estimated now at 40%) over secrete insulin every time they eat. This over secretion is usually based on genetics and/or lifestyle. Combine that with frequent eating or “grazing” and you end up with your body being exposed to high levels of insulin multiple times a day…which increases the likelihood of you “storing” fat rather than “metabolizing” it.
We were not meant to eat multiple times a day. Combine an overabundance of insulin release when eating with many meal or snacks and what do you get? A sluggish metabolism in which your weight goes up, stays stuck and never goes down.
The solution? Exposing your body to less insulin! This requires limiting the TIMES you eat and the TIMING of how you eat.
This type of eating is not about calories. It’s about less exposure to insulin – hence not snacking – and consuming food only a few times a day within a specific timeframe. You’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting but it’s really about choosing the timeframe of your meals mindfully and eating those meals only 2 or 3x/day versus 5 or 6x a day. You can actually eat more during those times (hence not about calorie control). The theory of “eat frequently to stimulate your metabolism” is anecdotal, not based on science and is actually contrary advice to those with hyperinsulinemia.
How do you go about it? What is the roadmap for easing into this new way of eating? Here are some ideas:
- Eating only every 4 hours (no snacking) and keeping your meals in a 12-hour window
- Once your body is used to not snacking ease into eating within a 10-hour window
- Then consider eating 2 meals within an 8-hour window a few times a week
- If you have type 2 diabetes, very high cholesterol or triglycerides (or a lot of weight to lose) consider a 24 hour fast. Jason Fung, MD, author of The Obesity Code and The Diabetes Code exquisitely outlines the safest ways to fast so it is well worth your read. Many cultures and religions incorporate fasting for mental and physical health so this practice is not new.
How does time restricted eating and fasting benefit you? It helps your pancreas “rest” (less insulin) AND it “empties” your liver of sugar which increases metabolism, fat loss, while lowering cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and incidence of fatty liver just to name a few. It’s like a rooter router for your liver and pancreas and a reset for your metabolism…with no medication required. In fact, this type of practice can result in LESS medication since it is treating the cause and not the symptom.
You may be thinking “I’m not sure I can do this.” It may be challenging at first but after a while your body will start to get used to it and actually prefer it. AND the benefits are far reaching as less exposure to insulin means:
- Your metabolism will start to work better – hence fat loss and much less of a struggle with your weight
- Your energy will be more even-keeled (less highs and lows)
- You will be less hungry and MUCH less attached to food and eating
- Inflammation will decrease which results in multiple benefits – lower blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, less pain from arthritis, etc.
Basically, you are regulating the insulin your pancreas secretes– which in short lowers all forms of inflammation in the body resulting in healthy weight loss, improved health and well-being AND much less frustration. The metabolic challenges are no longer a mystery and the answer lies in you finding your balance of eating versus fasting. There is no exact formula for your roadmap and getting support along the way with a clinician who can help is key to your long-term success.