By Alyssa St-Jean (LowFatLowCarb.com)
Love handles, spare tires and muffin tops. Yeah, you guessed it; we’re talking about that nice deposit of excess fat at the sides of our waistlines. This has been an issue for us women for several decades! Whether we’re young, old, skinny or fat, most of us have complained about that dreaded bulge at one point or another. We all have a bit of flab that we want to get rid of around our tummies. So, what’s the deal?
I bet you didn’t know that our hormones play a huge role! You see our hormones are responsible for choosing where the fat decides to go… I know what you’re thinking: “ My body hates me!” Whoa! Not so fast! There is something you can do! Let’s talk about one of the key players in a woman’s hormonal story: Insulin.
First, what is insulin? Insulin is a hormone that is created by the pancreas and it allows your body to use sugar, glucose, from the carbs that you eat for energy. Insulin has two roles. It’s first role is to regulate your blood sugar levels and its second is to store calories in the form of fat… Queue scary music…
It’s really quite simple if you think about it. Love handles = Too much Insulin or Insulin Resistance if you prefer.
So, what is insulin resistance you may ask? Insulin resistance is due to the overconsumption of sugars. In case you didn’t know, all carbs become sugars in the body. That’s the good (natural sugars: Fruit) and the bad (refined sugars: Fruit Juice). So, when a person eats too many carbs or sugars, the pancreas has to pump out a lot of insulin to get your blood sugar levels back to normal. But, when a person lives an unhealthy dietary lifestyle, such as a high carb and high fat diet, their insulin receptors become desensitized and the job doesn’t get done right. This is when blood glucose rises too fast and plummets just as bad.
Think of insulin as a key that allows sugar to enter the fat cell and store excess calories in the form of fat.
Interesting! Right? So, if we would like to ditch those love handles, all we would need to do is conquer: insulin resistance.
Here are some tips:
- Limit your sugar intake. Especially the bad sugars! These types of sugars are released very quickly into the blood stream as glucose. Stick to foods that have a low glycemic index.
- Get moving more! Physical activity could increase your cell receptor sensitivity to insulin. No need to become Mr. Muscles… A 30 minute daily walk to start is more than enough!
- Try meditating or anything really that can relax your mind and body so that you can limit stress intake.
- Lose a little weight. The more body fat you have, the more fat is found around the body’s cells. When the body’s cells are surrounded by fat, glucose has a hard time entering the cells and so sugar is left in the blood stream. More and more insulin will be released so that the blood stream becomes regulated. And, well, the more insulin that gets pumped out, the more likely it is for calories to be stored into the form of fat…
All in all, consume a moderate amount of carbs and focus on those that have a low glycemic index.
Hormones play a huge role in health and weight issues so, be in the know! Hormonal Harmony is Key!