Are you frustrated because you are training hard and maintaining a healthy diet but you are just not losing weight? Well Insulin Sensitivity (IS) might be the culprit in preventing you to reach your leaner body.
Insulin is a hormone known for its anabolic effect – meaning building muscle. But the leaner and lighter you become the stronger your IS levels will be. This means as a healthy exercising individual you simply can’t eat the same amount of carbohydrate food that you did before and expect to keep getting better results.
It seems the body has a way to protect the ever reducing mass of itself as it gets smaller and smaller by ramping up its IS. It also protects itself from too much exercise induced catabolism by making you more IS around your workouts.
Why does the body do this? Answer: For your protection and survival. Imagine the scenario – a body that could just keep losing weight without any self checking system! This body would be in danger of wasting itself away. If the body could be in a constant state of catabolism the body could break itself down into an unrecoverable state!
Everybody has a unique set IS level. Despite some people having a lower IS level and a slower Insulin response, and are better adapted to eating carbs in their diet, there is still a vast majority of people out there struggling to get to their fat and weight loss goals from having high levels of IS and strong Insulin responses. What this really means though, is not that our bodies have become stubborn fat burners, it’s that even the healthiest of food available today is still a little too high in carbs for most of us. If you think about it almost everything in a packet contains sugar and carbs like, BBQ salts, sauces, processed meats, cereals, biscuits etc.
How much carbs should you really get in?
Carbs actually has a very limited role around the body, in fact it’s only the brain that needs carbohydrates as a fuel source, most cellular processes are happy using fat. That’s one of the reasons why we are designed to carry so much of it around with us.
Carbs do provide us with fibre and minuscule but essential amounts of vitamins and minerals, which are very difficult to store (unless they’re fat soluble), and if they’re not used at that time, they are passed through the body very quickly.
This means the main role of carbs is to top up the liver and muscles, which are not as big a store, as some people would realize. A closer look at the anatomy of a person reveals that the human liver can hold approx 80-100g of carbohydrates and the muscles can only hold 1-2% of carbs by volume, known as glycogen. Knowing this you will realise that the amount and form of carbs we are consuming per day is just way too much. A 340ml coke contains around 42g of just sugar!
The key is to stick to healthy sources of high nutritional carbs like fruit and vegetables.