Can-Insulin-Resistance-be-STOPPING-your-Bodybuilding-gains Can Insulin Resistance be STOPPING Your Bodybuilding Gains

‘How’ to Break the Weight-Gain Cycle Is Insulin Resistance Preventing Your Muscle Building Gains 

A Bodybuilders paradox – gaining muscle, losing fat…a very important article for all Bodybuilders!

For a country that’s obsessed with dieting and weight loss, we seem to have a disproportionately large number of overweight people. It’s a sad fact, but two-thirds of all adults and nearly one-third of all children are overweight or obese, putting them in the firing range and at risk for a whole array of health risks.

And ironically according to Ray D. Strand, MD, author of Healthy for Life (Real Life), “we continue to ignore the root cause of obesity…insulin resistance. 

It’s been shown that Insulin resistance can impair our ability to process glucose and fat stores. This is one of the biggest problems that many bodybuilders have to face, because most often they just don’t know they have an insulin resistance problem and are therefore, swimming against the tide.

Now what bodybuilders want to know are two things 1) ‘How’ do I know I have it & 2) ‘What’ can I do about it. Well if you were able to suppress insulin resistance then many people would be able to burn off body fat, and at the same time prevent obesity-related health problems.

It’s been understood now for some time that Insulin resistance increases with age, but the trick here is to get on top of insulin resistance as soon as possible, because the longer you leave it the less likelihood you have of reversing it, and avoiding diabetes or high blood pressure.

‘How’ do you go about this, it’s simpler than you think… by embracing a more healthy lifestyle!

Is Insulin Resistance a Primer…

But first we need to understand the part that insulin plays in the body. Insulin normally gets released into the bloodstream in response to elevated glucose (blood sugar) levels after you eat. Its main role is to harvest that glucose from the bloodstream and push it into the cells of the body, where it gets converted into energy during activity. In fact insulin is the only glucose delivery agent that’s allowed to do this job.

But as you develop insulin resistance, this mechanism goes awry and the body’s muscles begin to resist the delivery of glucose. You then begin to develop uncontrollable food cravings, increased emotional eating, because your muscles are demanding glucose.

So if the insulin is unable to deliver its cargo of glucose where is it going?

Insulin can’t remain in the body and insulin can’t get rid of its glucose by flushing it out of the body. There’s only one other place that insulin is allowed to off load its cargo and that’s the…fat cells!

And as we now know, the bigger the fat cells become, the more glucose they demand and losing weight becomes harder regardless of ‘how’ hard they try. Not only does this lay down fat around your waist, but even more dangerous, it lays Visceral fat around the internal organs, you can look slim and trim on the outside, but fat on the inside.

Visceral fat is a killer!

Suffering from insulin resistance pushes you into an endless cycle where your body holds on to fat like a sponge holds on to water. It’s a process that as devastating consequences, it sneaks up over the course of many years, gradually eroding your health.

A Brutal Cycle of Carbohydrate Addiction and Insulin Abuse…

Unfortunately, as insulin resistance starts to slowly take hold, so the diet begins to include far too many fast foods, chips, cookies, doughnuts, bread and soft drinks, for example, becoming carbohydrate rich and making addicts of its victim. Carbohydrates or sugars, quickly flood the bloodstream, in response to this raised level the body desperately pumps out insulin to lower these levels.

In turn this leads to an abrupt crash in blood sugars, a drop in energy, which leaves you craving for more carb’s, so this vicious cycle continues, more carb’s, followed by more blood sugar, more insulin.

Over time you begin to pill on the fat and your six pack begins to disappear, you put on weight making the body’s cells more resistant to insulin. The pancreas switches into overdrive mould, pumping out yet more insulin in a progressive attempt to force glucose into muscle cells, but the bloodstream becomes saturated with excess glucose.

For the bodybuilder this situation is disastrous, because he needs to eat more carb’s to fuel him through his workout and build muscle. At the same time, he needs to keep his body fat levels as low as possible, because dieting will only rob him of his precious, hard built, muscle.

What are the side effects of insulin resistance…

The other side of the coin is the danger of developing diabetes. If you don’t do anything to control your insulin resistance you will end up with what is known as Metabolic syndrome, also called Syndrome X.

This can also include obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, cardiovascular disease, gout, and atherosclerosis. In women this can also include ‘Polycentric ovarian syndrome or (PCOS). 

Some Warning signs of insulin resistance are…

An expanding waist size

Waist size is a good indicator of insulin resistance. For women a waist circumference of 29 inches or more, and for men, 34 or more inches are warning signs.

Any elevation in blood pressure regardless of ‘How’ slight it is

Even a small measurement of 130/85 can be an early sign of insulin resistance.

Elevated blood sugars

You need to go to your doctor and ask for a fasting blood sugar test. A result above 100, or even approaching 100 this figure, should act as a warning sign.

A decrease in HDL or good cholesterol

This should be below 50 for women, and 40 for men…this can also be tied in with increasing triglyceride levels (fats in the blood).

How’ to overcome Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance doesn’t develop overnight it’s the result of years and years of poor daily food and activity choices, the great news you’ll be glad to hear is that you can break this vicious cycle of carbohydrate addiction and insulin abuse. Although, there’s no quick fix, no easy pill to pop, the following recommendations will help reduce the effects of insulin resistance.

As bodybuilders, we tend to cram in as much of the wrong types of food, so the first thing you need to develop, follow, and adopt is a healthier lifestyle. Incorporate plant food based, low-fat diet, plentiful in unrefined complex carbohydrates into your diet. Keeping down the amount of saturated, solid at room temperature, fats and refine carb’s to a minimum. And eating small portions several times a day stops you feeling so hungry, because you create less sugar spikes.

Include natural cholesterol-lowering medications, like Gugulipid and Niacin, to help lower triglycerides, fats in the blood.

Include almonds into your diet, because studies have shown they have the properties to curb the surge and dive of glucose after people eating meals of refined carb’s. In turn they drive down the levels of insulin sensitivity, helping to burn off fat.

Also use natural ingredients like cinnamon and fish oil, omega 3 or flux seed oil and a hand full of nuts. Cinnamon helps the insulin deliver it payload to the cells and is great sprinkled on morning breakfast.

Chromium Polynicotinate and Magnesium are also recommended.

Avoid refined and starchy carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, noodles, cereals, cakes, pastries, cookies and sugary desserts, as all the above gets converted into sugar by the guts.

Also drink less or cut out sweetened sodas as they are full of sugars, as are energy drinks that disguise ingredients with wonderful names like ‘Electra-lights’, which are also sugars. Even the so called ‘sugar free’ ones too are full of sugars, causing blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly.

Avoid processed foods that are marked as low fat meals, they may well have had most of the fat removed, but it only gets replaced by, you guessed…Sugar!

And last, but not lest…exercise. 

‘Yes’ exercise as been shown to lower insulin resistance. Some studies carried out with people performing cardio exercise as revealed some surprising results. The findings concluded that Physical activity helped muscle cells use blood glucose for energy helping to reduce the glucose levels in their bloodstream.

Something else you can try – eating bitter orange it may help you lose fat faster

Bitter orange, or citrus uranium, has been used by the Chinese for many years to help stimulate digestion, treat constipation, boost energy and loosen thick, yellow phlegm.

It helps to stimulate the heart and circulation and increases metabolic rate. It’s now being marketed as a weight loss agent and an alternative to Ephedra. Ephedra was banned, but the then overturned, but most companies have resisted put ephedra back into any of their weight loss products, because of fear of lawsuits.

Citrus uranium may be the best Thermogenic‘ or energy burning substitute for ephedra. Bitter orange works by increasing the body’s metabolic rate, decrease body fat. And Canadian researchers found that bitter orange supplements increased the thermo effect of food, meaning it takes more energy to digest a meal.

Source: Obesity Research (Vol. 13, pages 1187-1119)

Below is a video by Dr. Mark Hyman bringing you the latest on Insulin Resistance and ‘How’ to treat it…

 For more information on Insulin Resistance’ visit Dr Mark Hymans blog @




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