If you’re still hungry after meals, craving sweets, you’re more tired than you used to be, you have hormone trouble, and you’re putting on stubborn weight, you may want to look into insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is not something to ignore. If you’re experiencing the above symptoms, it’s important to take care of yourself to keep it from turning into full-fledged diabetes. But how do you take care of yourself when you think you’re insulin resistant?
It’s not as hard as it sounds. Use these steps to claim your health back.
Make an Appointment with your Doctor
First things first — don’t diagnose yourself. Make an appointment with your doctor to have your insulin levels checked. Bring a list of your symptoms and why you think you might be insulin resistant. Get proper testing.
Testing may not give you the full picture of your insulin status. Since your body always tries to correct itself, if your cells aren’t accepting insulin, your body will pump more insulin to the cells to try to correct it. This may regulate your blood sugar levels for a while, but not forever. Eventually, the cells will become more resistant, causing higher blood sugar levels.
If your test results come back normal but you’re still experiencing symptoms, keep the conversation going with your doctor.
Listen to your body and decide for yourself what needs to happen or if you suspect insulin resistance, adopt a healthy lifestyle right away to try to reverse it.
Lifestyle Changes that Could Benefit Your Insulin Levels
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day
You must get enough exercise every day if you feel like you’re insulin resistant. Exercise is one of the quickest ways to reduce your blood sugar levels. Even 30 minutes of walking every day can help.
Try to switch up your exercise routine. Walking, running, swimming, lifting weights, yoga, and cardio classes are all great ways to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Research shows that resistance training is particularly beneficial for insulin sensitivity.
Eat a High Protein Diet
Protein is one nutrient that when used strategically can have a favorable effect on your blood sugar levels. According to the DRI, the average adult should eat 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That means, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume 54 grams of protein a day.
That’s a base level. Your needs may increase based on your activity levels
Eating a diet high in protein doesn’t mean only eating meat or cutting out good carbs. It means eating a balanced diet with enough protein to regulate your blood sugar levels. While red meat, chicken, and fish are great sources of protein, other options include:
- Egg whites
- Low-fat dairy
Cut out Sugar
Sugar has the opposite effect on blood sugar levels than protein. Eating processed foods with refined sugar causes your blood sugar levels to spike. High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of insulin resistance and also increase your risk of diabetes.
Rather than consuming foods high in refined sugar, stick to whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Be careful with your fruit consumption though, as too much fruit can cause your blood sugar levels to spike too.
If you aren’t sure which foods to cut out, commit to shopping only the perimeter of the grocery store. Don’t go into the inner aisles, and you’ll fill your cart with healthy fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy – everything your diet needs.
Shunning sugar doesn’t mean skipping sweets. Check out the newest no sugar sweet treats made with monk fruit.
If you are a few pounds overweight, especially around the abdomen, try losing weight. Carrying less weight in the stomach area will reduce your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. If you commit to daily exercise, eat clean, and cut out the sugar, you may find that you decrease your waist size automatically.
This is one of those tricky situations where losing weight benefits your insulin regulation, but insulin resistance makes it harder to lose weight. You may want to call in for back-up. Talk to a dietician to zero in on the best approach for you.
If you think you’re insulin resistant, don’t ignore the signs. While you can reverse insulin resistance, if it gets to pre-diabetes or diabetes, it can be a lot harder to turn things around.
A healthy lifestyle with good food choices and 30 minutes of exercise a day is important. You’ll take care of your mind, body, and soul while ensuring that you don’t suffer from high blood sugar levels.
As always, consult with your doctor if you feel like things aren’t right or before making any major dietary changes. Your doctor can help guide you on the right path and help you avoid diabetes.