Trying to control sugar cravings without addressing insulin resistance is like learning to swim without getting in the water: you’re only going through the motions, not developing any lasting change.
Because insulin resistance instigates carb and sugar cravings, it is pointless to try to curb these cravings until you correct the insulin resistance – which develops after years of poor eating habits. Signs and symptoms of insulin resistance include:
- hormone imbalances that contribute to
- PMS, PCOS, and facial hair in women
- thinning hair, “man boobs,” and erectile dysfunction in men
- low thyroid
- inability to lose weight
- abdominal fat
- migrating aches and pains
- desire for sweets after a meal
- rising cholesterol and triglycerides
Five Steps To Reverse Insulin Resistance
You need both diet and lifestyle changes that bring your physiology into desirable condition, just as dressing meat or dressing a mannequin makes it suitable or fit. You can remember the acronym DRESS for these needed changes: Diet, Relaxation, Exercise, Supplementation, and Sleep.
Diet: Eat whole foods that are high in fiber and low in sugars and flours. Get plenty of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and detoxifying foods. That means eating lots of colorful fruits and vegetables; plenty of high-quality protein, especially fish; a variety of legumes, nuts, and seeds; and an abundance of omega-3 oils from seafood, flax, chia, grass-fed meats, dairy, and eggs.
Relaxation: Your stress hormones raise blood sugars and therefore trigger insulin resistance, so it is essential to practice relaxation daily, even hourly, using breathing exercises, acupressure, meditation, guided imagery, exercise, recreation, journaling, gratitude, and other techniques.
Exercise: More movement of all kinds will benefit you. Even a walk after dinner each evening is helpful. Interval training has the added benefit of increasing the efficiency of your calorie burning so that you burn more when you are not exercising. But recent studies show that resistance training with weights is most desirable for reducing insulin resistance.
Supplementation: The following nutrients have been clinically shown to be helpful in controlling blood sugars and moderating insulin resistance.
- B Vitamin Complex, especially B-6, B-12, and biotin to protect against diabetic neuropathy and enhance insulin sensitivity
- Magnesium because most individuals with blood sugar dysregulation show magnesium deficiency
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid, a powerful anti-oxidant that helps with glucose conversion
- Omega 3’s to help nutrients get into the cell that otherwise would be blocked by insulin resistance
- Berberine to lower blood sugars
- Chromium to lower insulin levels
- Cinnamon to imitate the action of insulin
- Vitamins C and E to serve as anti-oxidants
Sleep: Even one night of sleep deprivation may increase insulin resistance by as much as several months of a poor diet. As few as four days of sleep deprivation in a row causes significant metabolic disturbances that reduce total body insulin sensitivity. So while diet and exercise are certainly critical in optimal health, sleep is just as critical.