How To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes And Improve Insulin Resistance

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Insulin resistance explained

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing tips on how to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance.

At the end of this post, I also share 5 simple tips to prevent blood sugar spikes and slow insulin production.

This question was from our #LLTV Q&A series that we filmed for our Live Lean TV YouTube channel back in 2012.

So I’ll first share a quick clip of my answer from 2012, then I’ll answer it again, with my more detailed thoughts today.

Alright lets first jump back to 2012…

Viewer question: I’ve been reading about insulin spikes and ways to slow and prevent them. I’m looking for tips on how to prevent blood sugar spikes and slow the release of insulin. Should you drink apple cider vinegar with water before meals, especially if it’s a cheat meal? How do you reduce significant spikes in insulin? What tactics do you use?

First of all, I try to minimize insulin spikes by not eating the foods that cause it.

However, spikes in blood sugar and insulin can be beneficial after your workout.

post workout shake recipe for muscle gain

So to do that, I use real whole foods such as maple syrup.

But if you’re having a cheat meal, and you earned it, I basically just say enjoy your cheat meal.

I don’t worry about it since it’s only happening on a rare occasion.

However, there are a few tricks that may help reduce blood sugar spikes, such as apple cider vinegar and cinnamon.

6 Cheat Meal Rules

But again, I really don’t focus on it because if you’re only having a cheat meal once a week, enjoy your cheat meal.

For some people, cheat meals can actually be healthy for you because it can help replace the leptin hormone, and really help fire up your metabolism.

Boost Leptin To Reduce Hunger Cravings (Cheat Meals Can Help)

If you’re worried about preventing blood sugar spikes, apple cider vinegar and cinnamon may help.

Now lets fast forward to my answer today

Improving insulin resistance and preventing blood sugar spikes are two of the most important ways to improve your physique and overall health.

You can accomplish this by eating the right types of food, in the right quantities, at the right times, while also moving your body.

nutrition for weight loss

So before I share the tips to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance, let me briefly clarify what insulin is.

What is insulin?

How To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes And Improve Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a storing hormone that is produced by the pancreas primarily after eating carbohydrate rich foods.

I’ve often called insulin the fat storing hormone, but insulin can also help build muscle.

fat burning

After eating carbohydrates, they get absorbed into the bloodstream, which elevates your blood sugar.

How To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes And Improve Insulin Resistance

This increase in blood sugar creates a signal to your pancreas to produce insulin, which then helps process the blood sugar.

How To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes And Improve Insulin Resistance

When you’re healthy, the insulin helps the cells in your body absorb the blood sugar.

This is then used for immediate energy or stored as short-term energy, in the form of glycogen, in the muscle cells.

How To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes And Improve Insulin Resistance

What is insulin resistance?

Problems occur when your cells become less receptive to insulin.

This is often referred to as insulin resistance.

Think of it as if there was a lock on the door to your cells.

How To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes And Improve Insulin Resistance

When you are insulin sensitive, which is the opposite of insulin resistant, the insulin unlocks the door to the cells so the blood sugar can be burned for energy.

How To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes And Improve Insulin Resistance

However, when you are insulin resistant, the blood sugar doesn’t enter the cells, so the pancreas keeps producing more insulin to help remove the blood sugar.

Not good.

Insulin resistance can lead to:

Diet And Exercise Tips For Type 2 Diabetes

Do I have insulin resistance?

If you’re wondering if you are suffering from insulin resistance, you can get a blood glucose test at most pharmacies.

Blood glucose test levels:

  • 70-100 mg/dl is considered normal (however 75-85 mg/dl is a good sign of health and insulin sensitivity)
  • 100-125 mg/dl can be considered pre-diabetic and insulin resistant
  • 125 mg/dl or more is typically considered diabetic

Consuming healthy fat can help improve insulin resistance

The cells in your body are made up of two layers of fat.

Depending on your diet, these layers will be comprised of healthy fat and unhealthy fat.

8 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny

When your diet is rich in healthy fat, like omega 3 fatty acids, the locks on the cells doors become easier to open as they are more sensitive to insulin.

This is good.

However, if your diet is high in unhealthy trans fats or refined vegetable oils, your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is out of whack, the cells may become more resistant to insulin.

healthy sources of fat

How to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance

Now that you know what insulin is, let’s get to the tips on how to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance.

#1: Manage the glycemic response by eating a diet higher protein and fat and lower in carbohydrates

Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load Food Chart

Foods higher in carbohydrates tend to have a higher glycemic index rating, thus causing spikes in blood sugar.

Lower glycemic carbohydrates tend to be fibrous vegetables and low fructose fruit like berries and grapefruit.

Eating foods primarily higher in protein and fat do not cause these blood sugar spikes.

Best High Protein Foods For Weight Loss And Muscle Building

If you are eating higher glycemic carbohydrates, one tip is to pair it with a food high in protein or fat, as it can help minimize the spike in blood sugar and insulin.

Plus, adding cinnamon to your oatmeal can help manage the blood sugar spikes.

#2. Resistance training is a friend of your blood sugar

One of the most beneficial ways to improve insulin resistance is to lift weights and do HIIT workouts, as they require more energy.

When you burn more energy in the day, your glycogen levels can replenish with more sugar.

If glycogen levels are already full, excess sugar can be stored in the fat cells.

Turn Your Body Into A Fat Burning Machine For Life [Improve Insulin Sensitivity]

Although any type of movement, including walking 10,000 steps a day helps, lifting weights and HIIT workouts are optimal for improving insulin sensitivity, since they require a lot of energy.

Does Walking Burn Belly Fat?

Just move more.

Go take our quick Live Lean Body Quiz to find the best program for you, based on your goals, fitness level, and access to equipment.

#3. Supplement with omega 3 fats

Standard American Diet vs. Live Lean Diet

Today’s standard American diet, known as the SAD diet, is low in omega 3 fats.

As mentioned, omega 3 fats help your cells become more receptive to the blood sugar, thus requiring less insulin.

#4. Combine these insulin friendly ingredients with higher carbohydrate foods

6 Weird Things that Promote Weight Loss

When eating higher glycemic carbohydrates, combine them with these foods to help improve insulin sensitivity.

  • apple cider vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • lemon
  • lime
  • green tea before a meal
  • your favorite nuts, including walnuts and almonds
  • cinnamon
  • fenugreek
  • turmeric
  • pickled foods such as kim chi, sauerkraut, pickled ginger
Lemon Water Benefits And How To Make Lemon Water

For example, drink some lemon water or take a shot of apple cider vinegar before eating a high carbohydrate meal.

#5. Increase the resistant starch in carbohydrates

The blood sugar spikes in carbohydrates high in resistant starch are decreased.

You can increase the resistant starch in carbohydrates by cooking them, then re-heating them.

Sweet Potato - Fitness Super Food #9

For example, cook a potato, then let it cool down.

Then when you’re ready to eat, re-heat it.

The resistant starch is also good for the healthy bacteria in your stomach.

Bottom line on how to prevent blood sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance

I get it.

This may all seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be.

This is why we created our TeamLiveLean.com platform.

Team Live Lean

We provide you with access to the right workouts and weekly meal plans containing delicious recipes, cooking videos, and grocery lists.

Following a proven, step-by-step plan, along with others who are just like you is key.

As your coaches, we invite you to join our TeamLiveLean.com community.

Question For You:

  • Which of these 5 tips are you going to start implementing into your lifestyle?

READY TO BEGIN YOUR LIVE LEAN JOURNEY?

Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

Take the Free Live Lean Body Quiz

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Question For You:

  • Which of these 5 tips are you going to start implementing into your lifestyle?

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