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Three Tips to Eliminate Insulin Resistance and Shrink Waistline

No matter how young we are, unless we address insulin resistance and become insulin sensitive, our waistlines will grow

By Dr Mehmet YildizPublished 9 months ago Updated 7 months ago 11 min read
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Three Tips to Eliminate Insulin Resistance and Shrink Waistline
Photo by Morgan Alley on Unsplash

In this article, without going into theoretical details and scientific studies, I briefly introduce the impact of insulin resistance and sensitivity for effective fat loss and provide three practical tips that we can consider in designing our lifestyles.

The Critical Role of Insulin Resistance on Fat Loss and Lowering the Waistline

Do you want to shrink the size of your waistline and gain a defined body? Are you a lazy or hardworking person? The second one is not a tricky question.

I ask this question because different solutions address insulin resistance based on our personalities and lifestyles.

If you prefer a slow flow in your daily life without putting much effort, there are practical solutions to become insulin sensitive and shrink your waistline. If you like a day full of physical activities, you also have a great solution.

Losing fat is not easy. Belly fat is extra obstinate. The body makes every effort to preserve its valuable energy, which might be needed during famine times.

The body always prefers to use easily accessible power, which is glucose.

If we have enough glucose for energy, the body will not touch the stored body fat. Awareness of this simple fact is critical to losing body fat and having an optimal physique.

The body developed this survival system to protect us from food scarcity during famines. But we live in a modern world with no more famines, even though some countries still face food scarcity.

Nevertheless, in developed countries, we still keep this ancient system and need to adapt it to the requirements of the modern world.

The Importance of Insulin Resistance for Metabolism

As I discussed in an article about metabolic syndrome, our metabolism's flexibility, and inflexibility determine our health and fitness quality.

Scientific studies indicate that significant diseases such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and even cancer relate to disruption of metabolism.

We learned that metabolic issues were the causes of several diseases shortening our lives.

Metabolism is a cellular process. This process includes chemical reactions converting food to energy. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from food turn into energy using enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.

We measure metabolic energy in the form of calories. Excessive and unused calories turn into body fat.

One of the significant causes of fat gain is a condition known as insulin resistance. Like many thought leaders and practitioners, I characterize insulin resistance as the elephant in the room, as I explained the reasons in this article.

Our bloodstream can handle small amounts of glucose at a time. When the glucose volume passes the threshold, as the body perceives the glucose as toxic, it eliminates it quickly using insulin. The insulin hormone distributes blood glucose to various cells.

Insulin resistance happens when cells stop responding to signals of insulin. To cope with the excessive glucose in the bloodstream and the glycogen, the pancreas creates more insulin. Then we may experience hyperinsulinemia.

The adverse effects of insulin resistance are significant.

It is a direct or indirect cause and symptom of many metabolic conditions such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and even connection with some types of cancers.

Health is all about the homeostasis of our metabolic factors.

I read hundreds of papers on insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular-metabolic abnormalities informing the impact and implications of these conditions.

I cited most of those papers in previous articles, so I don't repeat them in this post.

In short, to lose belly fat, we need to address the insulin resistance problem and find effective ways to remain insulin sensitive. Our waistline is an indicator of insulin resistance or sensitivity.

Interestingly, our waistline is also associated with longevity. As mentioned in this article, "Wider Waistline May Mean Shorter Lifespan,".

Here are the three practical tips that you may consider in losing body fat and shrinking your waistline to your desired measures. They require simple lifestyle decisions.

1 - Time Restricted Eating

Calorie-cutting might help us lose weight in the short term, but it is not sustainable. Unfortunately, it might cause losing muscle mass which happened to me in my younger years when I cut my calories too much. It was also painful and not fun at all.

However, when I started time-restricted eating having the required calories for my metabolic rate, I lost belly fat and kept my lean muscles. The most significant difference was making my body more insulin-sensitive using a time-restricted eating regime.

When I was in a caloric deficit, I used to eat small meals six times a day. Three main meals and three snacks. Each meal initiated insulin spikes and caused me to become insulin resistant. Therefore, as I mentioned in this article, the effects of hormones are more important than calories.

As a follow-up, I explained why the fat loss has nothing to do with calories in this article. Please note that I used the phrase "fat loss," not "weight loss". They are two different things. I desire fat loss by tapping into my fat stores and burning fat as an energy source in a fat-adapted state.

In weight loss, we might also lose muscles, bone density, and body fluids without losing actual fat. One of the indicators of fat loss is our waistline. It is an indicator of metabolic syndrome, as I explained in this article. I posted several articles about the benefits of time-restricted eating for physical and mental health.

One of the easiest ways of time-restricted eating is to skip a meal such as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For me, the easiest one was skipping breakfast as I didn't feel hungry in the mornings.

At later stages, I also cut lunch because I keep myself busy at work and don't think of food while working.

By cutting these two meals, my body became fat-adapted. It means that during the fasted state, it used the stored body fat as an energy source. I enjoy dinners because they help me sleep better. I usually eat my dinner four hours before going to bed, which works best for me.

Some people think that fasting is mysterious and complex. They related it to religions and spiritual beliefs. Even though religions recommend fasting, it is also a secular act and medical prevention.

We don't have to be religious to perform fasting. All we need is to refrain from food but drink water, stay hydrated, and consume essential electrolytes during the fast period.

Please note that some of us, especially those who experience medical conditions, might need medical supervision to fast safely, so I always mention medical advice before starting any fasting regime, whether short terms or long-term.

This article explains the benefits of fasting for fat loss. And this post is the most recent one highlighting the benefits of fasting for the brain, explaining how fasting changes brain chemistry.

I shared several articles about the experiences of my friends. I want to conclude this section by mentioning the success stories of four friends who used time-restricted eating.

Eliza shed 30 pounds in six months and never gained it again. Alberto melted his potbelly. And Maggie reversed her obesity and metabolic syndrome and became a millionaire. And Jennifer healed her brain fog. Their stories inspired many other friends and me in my social circles.

2 - Quality Sleep and Rest

Getting high-quality and adequate sleep is essential to losing body fat. Sleep is critical for our health and well-being.

In addition to the many benefits of sleep, one of the significant contributors to high-quality sleep is keeping the cortisol hormone at an optimal level.

Many scientific papers discussed that elevated cortisol levels are associated with the balance of other hormones, such as insulin and growth hormone.

When cortisol levels are too high, it is impossible to tap into body fat. During the elevated phase of cortisol, the body usually uses sugar instead of fat as an energy source.

I posted numerous stories about the impact of cortisol on sleep quality, such as these two stories: The Critical Role of Cortisol in Sleep Disturbances and Unless We Beat the Cortisol Monster, Fat Loss Remains a Dream. I also mentioned the benefits of creating growth hormones via quality sleep.

Listening to our bodies is critical for staying healthy and experiencing well-being. For example, have you ever noticed how you feel when you get restorative sleep or are sleep-deprived? Our body knows the difference well, as reflected in our mood and behavior.

A good approach is to find effective ways to address the root causes of stress and find effective ways to improve sleep quality. A customized sleep regime and stress management approach might solve sleep issues and normalize cortisol without supplements or medications. You may discuss this with your doctor and obtain a referral to a sleep specialist.

Here are the seven tips to improve sleep quality if you don't have medical conditions.

1 - Have a dark room during the sleep

2 - Ensure your room is cool, usually around 18 Celsius degrees

3 - Try noise cancellation using earplugs

4 - Have three to five minutes of mixed and cold showers

5 - Prevent eyes from blue lights at night

6 - Increase magnesium intake as advised by a doctor

7 - Consider using an air cleaner in the bedroom

3 - Customized Workouts

If you cannot fast or skip a meal, there is still some hope for staying insulin-sensitive and losing body fat. The obvious answer is regular, moderate, or intense exercise based on our body type, health conditions, and age.

Both cardio and weight training helps us stay insulin-sensitive by burning sugar in the glycogen and muscles. The more glucose we consume, the more insulin sensitive our body can be.

Intense exercises can produce better results for staying insulin-sensitive and consequently losing body fat. However, moderate exercising such as walking, swimming, or hopping on a trampoline can produce good results.

Walking for half an hour after a meal significantly contributes to insulin sensitivity as it burns glucose in the bloodstream and reduces insulin spikes.

Exercise is an individual matter. We all enjoy different types of workouts and sports. There are no size fits. Exercise also requires medical advice for some of us.

Therefore, it is essential to customize workouts aligned with our body type and requirements. Age also plays a role in exercise. For example, a workout working for a 20-year-old person might not work for an 80-year-old person. They have different metabolism and maintenance needs.

I like resistance training in the form of calisthenics and moderate weight lifting. In addition to a barefoot walk on the grass or beach, I also enjoy 30 minutes of fasted cardio on a trampoline each day.

My favorite calisthenics exercises, which I do every day with joy, are pushups and pull-ups. I also enjoy asymmetric exercises like planks which help me create a good posture, especially by strengthening my core.

Conclusions and Takeaways

Insulin is an essential hormone playing a critical role in our health and well-being. Nevertheless, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia indicate associations with several health risks.

Many scientific papers mention insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia laying the ground for diseases such as type two diabetes, heart failure, Alzheimer's disease, and even some types of cancer.

As mentioned in this article, we can use various natural solutions and approaches to decrease insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity.

Even though some of us might need medical interventions, these solutions revolve around lifestyle choices such as optimizing our blood glucose through a balanced diet, staying active with moderate exercises, dealing with stress and inflammation by having a restorative sleep and keeping a peaceful mind and emotional state.

When we learn how to stay insulin sensitive, we have an opportunity to reverse insulin resistance. Reversing insulin resistance can significantly contribute to utilizing body fat as an energy source. It can help us reduce undesirable body fat. It also contributes to shrinking our waistlines for better health.

In addition, when we become insulin sensitive, we can also have a better metabolism contributing to our brain and mental health. The benefits of time-restricted eating went beyond fat loss in my health transformation. It also helped me to have defined abdominal by initiating autophagy.

I spent thousands of dollars on supplements, therapies, fitness consultations, and other health products.

Nothing worked for me to melt my belly fat, eliminate loose skin, and gain abs. I owe my success to having six-pack abs and eliminating wobbly belly skins after 50 to insulin sensitivity.

When I was insulin resistant in my early 30s, I was overweight, irritated, and miserable mentally. Best of all, autophagy did not cost me any money or extraordinary effort. All I did was skip a couple of meals a day and do my joyful workouts.

The secret to my fat loss journey was gaining insulin sensitivity, gaining a fat-adapted state, autophagy, effective stress management, and strengthening my mitochondria.

Therefore, I am adamant about passing along these critical messages to my readers. Intentionally, my articles are not just theories. Instead, they are based on hard-learned lessons.

Thank you for reading my perspectives. I wish you a healthy and happy life.

I share similar stories on EUPHORIA, which is my personal publication for health and well-being stories. You can subscribe to my stories. The original version of this article was published on another platform.

If you enjoy writing and storytelling, you can join Vocal+ as a creator to find your voice, reach out to a broad audience, and monetize your content. I also write on Medium and NewsBreak.

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yogawellnessweight lossself caresciencemeditationlifestylehow tohealthfitnessdietbodyagingadvice
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About the Creator

Dr Mehmet Yildiz

I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.

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