If you’ve just been diagnosed as insulin resistant (or even prediabetic), you may be very confused and wondering where to start. I know how you feel! I’ve been where you are now and I understand what it’s like to be faced with this.
For many people this is completely new territory, but if you follow an insulin resistance diet:
- it will bring your weight down where other diets have failed
- you will quickly gain control of your appetite and cravings
- your blood sugar will stabilize
- you will greatly reduce the risk of ever getting diabetes
- you will learn what foods you can eat to be able to maintain a healthy weight
- you’ll finally be able to reduce your abdominal fat
Insulin Resistance Diet Menu
One of the challenges insulin resistance brings is the planning of your meals from day to day. Before I was diagnosed, my meals were very different – cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, main meal at night would pretty much always include rice or pasta or potatoes. I’m sure many of you are the same, and things need to change on a low carb diet! So what is a typical insulin resistance diet menu?
Breakfast on an Insulin Resistance Diet
For many people, breakfast means eggs. I don’t like them much so I’d never want to start my day that way, but I know I’m in the minority! Have them any way you want – they’re nutritious even with the yolks, and we all know there are a lot of different ways to cook them. Continue Reading »
The easiest Insulin Resistance Diet breakfast
Those of us with insulin resistance know that we should have protein with every meal, and for many people that translates to “eggs” for breakfast. I don’t really like eggs that much (I’ll eat them if I have to but always choose something else if there’s an alternative!).
If you want to make your own healthy protein shake, you have to get the blender out … which takes time and is messy! Who can be bothered, right?
Or you may be the kind of person who prefers to skip breakfast – you know you should have something, but you don’t feel like much. If so, this will interest you…
What is a healthy diet for someone with insulin resistance?
Lots of people have told me that they think their diets are quite healthy – much more so than many of their friends, who may be consuming vast quantities of “junk”. Yet if you have insulin resistance, one of the most frustrating things is that your weight will stay the same (and may even go up), even if you’re making a conscious effort to stay away from the chips and cakes. In fact, you may not even be eating much at all.
I was in the same boat, and let me tell you, I was super-disciplined! Exercising almost daily, keeping to very small portion sizes, very rarely indulging in anything that I thought would derail my efforts, including alcohol. I remember being into my 11th week of a strict regime I had put myself on. Who could question that kind of dedication? And still I did not see any results.
Insulin resistance symptoms
How do I know if I’m insulin resistant?
The apple shape vs the pear shape
The first clue that you may be insulin resistant is the distribution of fat on your body, as demonstrated in the “apple” vs “pear” shaped body images.
Insulin resistance is characterized by abdominal fat, as in the “apple” shape on the left. The rolls of fat around the midsection, the swollen belly – these are the classic signs. The accumulation of fat around and above the waistline is a danger sign.
In the “pear” shape, the weight is mostly below the waistline, on the hips and thighs, and the abdomen is markedly flatter. If you’re pear-shaped, you are unlikely to have insulin resistance. Continue Reading »
The Glycemic Index
This is an introduction to the subject of the Glycemic Index and how it relates to insulin resistance. In this post we’ll look at what it means, how it helps and why we should be interested in it.
You may also have heard of the term Glycemic Load – both of these concepts are important to understand as they relate to carbohydrates. I will explain the basic distinction between them in this post. Continue Reading »
How to reverse insulin resistance
That’s what this whole site is about! Weight loss is only part of the picture and if you read these posts you will see that my aim is to reverse insulin resistance before it ever develops into Type 2 diabetes. It can be done with drugs but it can also be done naturally, so you can try this way first!
Some people with insulin resistance (a huge percentage, unfortunately) don’t even know they have it. The typical Western diet primes us for it from birth. But those of us who know we have it – we want to find out how to reverse insulin resistance, preferably naturally. We can start with what we choose to eat. Continue Reading »
What is insulin resistance and what can I do about it?
What is insulin resistance? Insulin resistance is a stage before pre-diabetes. In short, it is a condition where you produce too much insulin. As a result, you will store fat around the abdomen (and visceral fat around the internal organs – a very dangerous situation). Left unchecked, it increases your risk of developing metabolic disorders, Type 2 diabetes and numerous other inherent health risks.
Why does this happen? Well, it can have various causes, but a great proportion of people with insulin resistance have become that way through their diet. It has been well documented that insulin resistance occurs in some people when they Continue Reading »
Low carb meals quiz
Test your knowledge about carbohydrates, insulin resistance and low carb meals
How much do you know about carbohydrates?
If you have insulin resistance, you’ve probably read a lot about carbohydrates and what effect they have on insulin production. I thought I knew some basic truths about low carb meals, but in fact, since being diagnosed as insulin resistant and by researching this more fully, I’ve found out some surprising things!
If you’d like to know more, see how many of the following you get right…
With regard to insulin resistance – are the following statements true or false?
- The main thing to understand is the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates
- Eating fruit is a bad idea because it is full of fructose
- Brown/wholemeal versions of bread, rice and pasta are not much better for you than their white counterparts
- Foods that are labelled “high fiber” are not always good choices
- The Glycemic Index can help you decide which carbohydrates to include in your diet
- You can have coffee on a low carb diet
- Potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, cereals and all forms of sugar must be restricted, if not eliminated.
What are carb blockers?
Carb blockers (also known as starch blockers) are supplements which claim to keep your insulin levels stable by preventing the rapid absorption of starch.
They are formulated to inhibit the body’s production of the starch-digesting enzyme, alpha-amylase. With less alpha-amylase, the body converts a smaller amount of starch into glucose for further digestion. This consequentially reduces the calorie intake, but more importantly for us, it causes a less extreme spike in blood glucose, which happens when we eat refined, high glycemic carbs. A rapid glycemic response (this “spike”) will cause an immediate over-production of insulin.
Carb blockers are helpful for anyone who wants to limit carbohydrate absorption, so it makes sense that we insulin resistant folks would benefit especially from something specifically formulated to target our number 1 enemy and stop its negative effects on our bodies. Carb blockers are often made from white kidney bean extract, a natural and safe supplement.
Please understand that they are not a license to over-indulge. You should still follow a low carb meal plan but a supplement like this is useful for those times when you have starchy carbohydrates in your meal and want to avoid any possible absorption.
Most carb blockers are tablets or capsules that you take before a meal - only if that meal has starch in it. You don’t need them if you are just eating protein, fat and non-starchy vegetables. They will not only prevent the carbohydrates from being rapidly absorbed, they will also act as an appetite suppressant.
Why am I insulin resistant?
Insulin resistance is so prevalent now (various statistics I’ve seen say 1 in 4 people, sometimes as high as 1 in 3 (in the US), have insulin resistant bodies. How can it be that this is so widespread?
Yes, a proportion of these people are genetically predisposed to the condition and may already have quite healthy diets and exercise regimes. But the great majority have been affected by what they do/don’t do and eat/don’t eat.
Comparing low carb diets
There seem to be a few different schools of thought when it comes to low carb diets.
Once you are faced with a diagnosis of insulin resistance, or worse still, diabetes, you begin to look at suggested diets. What foods are you allowed to have? Which ones are forbidden?
And when you start to investigate, you find that there is some conflicting advice. It’s the same with exercise advice – it’s just so confusing and all you want is some clarity on what will work.
Low carb diet confusion
Some say you can have dairy, others not. Some advocate high fat but no fruit, others allow some types of fruit but only low-fat dairy and lean cuts of meat. And the majority (but not all) suggest you cut out carbohydrates altogether. So which one should you choose?
The “Link and Balance” formula
The key to the way of eating known as Link and Balance, as outlined in The Insulin Resistance Diet, is to be able to control the effects that carbohydrates have on our bodies – not by never eating any again, but by not eating them in isolation. Linking and Balancing is a way to ensure that your body gets the necessary amounts of protein and carbohydrates to prevent insulin spikes – and as a result, control your appetite and lose weight.
Linking simply means adding protein to your diet. It is something we don’t naturally think of. Sure, most of us have protein in the form of meat or fish with our evening meals, but many of our snacks are carbohydrates and we would normally just consume them on their own, without even thinking about the type of food we are eating.
Balancing is making sure you have the right quantities of protein with your carbohydrates. You do have permission to eat carbohydrates, but for each serving you have (and there are limits), you need to balance the carb with protein. It is a principle that makes this insulin resistance diet a more realistic approach than some of the others out there. Continue Reading »
My insulin resistance diet success formula
Over the years of searching for an answer to my weight problem, in particular the abdominal fat, I have done a lot of research into various methods, bought and tried a host of products and subscribed to countless sites. Since being diagnosed with insulin resistance, I have finally settled on a diet and a course that works for me. I have taken a little of this, a little of that and combined the best advice I could find. I now have a method that truly works!
The path I have followed has given me
- freedom from cravings
- 100% more energy
- the certainty that my weight loss is permanent
Top 3 fast food choices for insulin resistance
You’re at the mall with your friends or family. Everyone’s getting hungry and you know you still have hours to go before you can get home.
Much as you’d like to be in control of everything you eat, you know that you’re going to be getting something from the food court, and because you suffer from insulin resistance, you’re worried about how your choice might affect you.
What can you do in this situation? Continue Reading »
Interview with an Expert on the Glycemic Index
I was lucky enough to be able to talk to Professor Jennie Brand-Miller from the University of Sydney, who is one of the foremost experts on the Glycemic Index. Jennie and her team are responsible for the testing and rating of carbohydrate foods on the GI scale, a reliable, scientific method of measuring a food’s effect on blood glucose levels.
The success I have had is mainly due to the low GI diet – which is a balanced, nutritious way of eating for everyone, but of particular benefit to anyone who is insulin resistant, as it was initially developed for diabetics. The key is not eliminating carbohydrates completely from the diet (which works, but is difficult to sustain), but rather in making wise choices when it comes to carbohydrates. Continue Reading »
Insulin Resistance Diet and Travel
As many of you may know, I live in Sydney, Australia, but originally come from England. Although I don’t make the trip back to the UK as often as I would like, when I do get on one of those long-haul flights, I know I’ll be sitting in one place for many, many hours at a time. So how can you keep to an insulin resistance diet when you travel?
Good fats, bad fats
Most people know that there are different types of fat: saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, trans fats. Any ideas which ones are the good guys? Which are the worst types? Which ones do we get from animals? Which ones are derived from plants? Which are man-made?
And the most important question of all: Should we be afraid of fat if we are insulin resistant?
As you may have guessed from the title, not all fats are bad. A basic knowledge will help you to make the best choices and the short answer is NO, we should not be afraid of fat! Except for one type: see below.
Some low carb food reviews
Since beginning an insulin resistance diet, I have swung between trying to have very few carbohydrates (very difficult to sustain long term) and “linking and balancing” my carbs with protein. Some weeks it is just easier, other times I feel like I need some new items in the pantry.
I am looking for products that will be better for my long-term health as well as help me to keep the weight down. I am not trying to cut out all carbohydrates, but I am definitely interested in low glycemic carbs and ways to keep my menus varied. In the day-to-day search for better alternatives, I am continually looking at and comparing food labels, and today I want to share a few of the things I’ve found.
Insulin Resistance Weight Loss
Does insulin resistance weight loss happen for everyone on a low carb diet? Whereas it’s hard to say with 100% certainty, the results are more likely with a low carb diet than any other way. By getting rid of the refined starches in our diets, we not only regain control of our appetites, we also start to increase insulin sensitivity, so that our bodies respond more normally to our food intake.
Our diet dilemmas are different from other dieters’ – people with insulin resistance are not just looking for quick weight loss, we need something that will sustain us and which will help to restore us to good health.
But what if I’m not losing?
Insulin resistance weight loss is usually quite fast when you begin your new regime, but for those of you who have hit a plateau or are just not seeing the results you’d like, this post is for you! Continue Reading »