Chapter 3 – Hormones made easy
Numerous hormones play a role in making some people eat more food or store more fat than others. These hormones are well known to medical science and have names like substance PYY, adipose lipoprotein-lipase, cholesystokinine, grelhin, and others, even more difficult to pronounce. Although these may be of academic interest to doctors, most of it is of no practical value to people with a weight problem. This is because of the simple fact that these hormones cannot be pro-actively influenced to assist you with losing weight.
A good example is thyroid hormone. Most people believe it is the main driver of metabolism. This is incorrect, a fact that can be verified in any medical student’s physiology textbook. It is actually the hormone insulin that is by far the most metabolically active substance in the body. Insulin is also the dominant driver of your metabolism. Most people with a weight problem, however, obsess about their thyroid function and are disappointed each time their thyroid test proves normal. Insulin, on the other hand, is a hormone well worth focusing on. If you don’t, there is a good chance that you will never successfully be able to control your weight.
Insulin has many different functions. The most important one is to help transport glucose across the cell membrane so that it can gain entry to supply the cell with energy. Why is insulin required? Because glucose can only cross a cell membrane at a certain portal or gateway. These gateways are usually always shut and need a gatekeeper to open them. Insulin happens to be the main gatekeeper and therefore controls how much glucose can cross each cell membrane. To open the gateway, insulin needs to turn a handle. In medical terms, this handle is called a receptor.
Once the handle is turned, the gateway opens and glucose rushes into the cell. Besides supplying you with immediate energy for the present, insulin also takes care of your future energy requirements. To protect you from starvation in case of famine, insulin helps you to stockpile energy during the good times. It does so by stimulating your body to convert glucose into fat. Then, insulin assists your body with the transport of fat to your fat cell. Once safely tucked away, insulin does something quite amazing – it guards your valuable store of fat and prevents you from wasting it, by actively blocking the release of fat from your fat cells. Rather than a gatekeeper, insulin acts more like a prison warder.
If you were a Stone Age caveman, shivering from the bitter cold and holed up in some dark grotto to escape the snow, you would be grateful that insulin significantly increased your chance of survival. Modern man, however, hardly ever faces famine. Instead of covering great distances to find bugs, tubers and the occasional animal to eat, Modern Man eats lots of delicious, energy dense food and only travels from the sofa to the fridge to find it. For genetic survival reasons, however, insulin still keeps on doing the same job, helping your body produce fat and squirreling it away into your fat cells.
What you need to remember:
Insulin not only causes you to gain weight, but also makes it more difficult for you to lose weight.
How fat cells aggravate your weight problem
Originally, fat cells were thought to have two functions, namely, storing energy and keeping the body warm by insulating it. Recently, scientists have discovered that once filled with fat, fat cells also assume a hormonal function by releasing various chemical substances. For reasons not quite understood, these substances interfere with insulin’s gatekeeper ability. Insulin becomes less effective and starts doing less work. Glucose starts piling up outside the cells, and inside the cells, energy shortages develop. The medical term for this condition is insulin resistance.
To get the same task done as before and prevent you from becoming diabetic, the body adjusts and compensates by producing even more insulin. More insulin, however, will open more glucose gateways and restore function, but more insulin also makes you produce even more fat. In addition, by now having more prison warders on active duty, less fat is also burnt. Once this condition sets in, a vicious cycle begins and your metabolism effectively slows down, thus explaining why it has become more difficult for you to lose weight.
By now you may be wondering why doctors don’t fix the problem caused by insulin resistance by just shutting off your insulin production. This may sound like an even better idea if you hear, that in the absence of insulin, all aspects of the breaking down of fat as well as its use in providing energy, are significantly increased. This occurs normally between meals when insulin secretion is minimal, but it becomes extreme in type 1 diabetes when the pancreas fails and stops producing insulin. When this happens, fat stores are broken down so efficiently that rapid weight loss takes place. (Type 2 diabetes is very different). Unfortunately, besides causing you to lose large amounts of weight, Type I diabetes also makes your blood sugar and cholesterol levels soar, causing many other life threatening medical problems that will significantly decrease your life expectancy, if not treated correctly. So, if both too much and too little insulin are bad for your body, it is clear that something in-between becomes crucial, if you want to maintain your weight as well as your health. If you want to actively lose weight, however, an excellent strategy would be to try and get your insulin levels as low as possible.
What you need to remember:
Insulin resistance not only causes you to gain more weight, but also makes it more difficult for you to lose weight than before. Once this condition sets in, a vicious cycle begins and your metabolism effectively slows down.
Doctors deal with the evidence on a daily basis. Some type 2 diabetics cannot successfully be managed with oral medication alone and will eventually require regular insulin injections. A large study (UKPDS) showed, that on average, insulin therapy causes weight gain of 6.5 kilograms. Unfortunately, many oral type 2 diabetic medications also make one gain weight because of a similar principle.
Besides weighing someone on a scale to prove that they have gained weight, insulin’s tendency to store fat can also be seen with the naked eye. If insulin, for example, is repeatedly injected by a diabetic into the same area, a localised lump forms under the skin at the site of the injection. These bulges are engorged fat cells refusing to release their content because insulin inhibits the release of fatty acids by playing prison warden.
How do you know if you are suffering from insulin resistance?
You can ask your doctor about blood tests, but they are not really all that necessary or accurate. A much easier way is to measure your waist circumference at the level of the belly button. According to American health guidelines, males with a waist circumference of more than 94cm and females more than 80cm, will have a 90% chance of having insulin resistance. European guidelines are even more stringent, with 93cm for males and 79cm for females defining their criteria.
What is the health risk associated with insulin resistance?
The medical term for the "insulin resistance syndrome" is "metabolic syndrome". Increased fatty tissue, especially situated around the waist, acts like an endocrine or hormone releasing organ and communicates with other organ systems via the release of chemical messengers called inflammatory cytokines. The resulting disorders associated with the metabolic syndrome are raised blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes, or at a later stage, full blown type 2 diabetes. These three conditions all lead to hardening of the arteries, causing heart attacks and strokes. In fact, the metabolic syndrome is now recognised as the biggest cause of cardiovascular disease risk in the U.S.
The good news is that the metabolic syndrome can be reversed. The MNI solution has specifically been designed to do so.
To reduce insulin resistance and reverse the development of the metabolic syndrome, you have three options:
Option 1 – You can change your diet.
To lower you blood insulin levels you have two choices:
1) You can eat less.
2) You can eat differently.
For the best results you must eat less as well as differently at the same time. Your C.A.P.E meal-plan has specially been designed according to these principles and will allow you to you burn as much fat as possible without feeling hungry. (Read more about food in Chapter 9 – Meal Plans Made Easy)
Option 2 – You can do exercise
Exercise makes your own insulin more effective, meaning that you need less to get the same job done. By needing less, your body produces less, causing blood insulin levels to come down. The MNI exercise programme has specifically been designed to increase insulin sensitivity and stimulate the release of growth hormone, one the most powerful fat-burning substances in the body. (Read more about exercise in Chapter 8 – Exercise Made Easy.)
Option 3 – You can take medication
To combat insulin resistance you can use an innovative product called AntaGolin. It works in two ways:
1) It helps insulin work more efficiently as a gatekeeper.
2) It does some of insulin’s gate keeping work.
These two functions help lower your blood insulin levels without any complicating side-effects and assist your body to store less fat as well as burn more fat. (Read more about AntaGolin in Chapter 9 – Medication Made Easy)
AntaGolin helps combat insulin resistance
What you need to remember:
During the research and development phase of our solution, clients with slow metabolic rates, as a result of insulin resistance, posed a far greater challenge for us than those who consumed too much food. We found that many of these individuals were metabolically so efficient that they could not lose weight on standard weight-loss techniques. Only once they followed a strategy focused on alleviating insulin resistance, did they start losing weight successfully.
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Free Healthy Meal Plans For Weight Loss, Insulin Resistance & More.
Diet has a key role in your health and wellbeing. We have developed scientifically grounded meal plans for various aspects of the Metabolic Syndrome that will suit both your taste and wallet.
Use our assessment to help identify possible solutions to improve wellbeing. We encourage you to discuss the results of these assessments with your medical doctor