Healing Your Insulin Response

Insulin is a hormone involved in regulating your blood sugar levels. It transports glucose into cells in your liver and muscles, binding with receptors on the cell walls in order to pass through the outer membrane. Here, the glucose can be used for energy or stored as glycogen for later use.

Insulin is produced by your pancreas in response to the consumption of sugar. The standard American diet, which is high in carbs and sugars, makes for very high insulin levels. When the receptors are overloaded by too much insulin, they can become desensitized to it. In the short-term, your body responds by creating even more insulin to get the same job done — which snowballs into bigger problems.

In the long-term, elevated insulin responses lead to:

  • Higher blood glucose levels,

  • Reduced fat-burning and increased fat-storage,

  • And disruptions of other hormones like leptin, the hormone that satiates hunger.

Over time, though, with careful eating and ketone measuring, you can gradually improve your insulin response. Though researchers are still studying exactly how it works, reducing your carb intake through a keto diet or fasting has been shown to improve the efficacy of your insulin, which means you have to produce less of it to process the glucose in your blood. If you are interested in intermittent fasting or fat fasting, ask us for a protocol in your daily logs or by email.

  • Steady and high levels of ketosis. By limiting your carb intake and getting yourself into ketosis, you also limit your insulin response. This can give your insulin receptors time to re-sensitize, though this process is a slow one.

  • Intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting increases the intensity of fat burning, allowing your blood sugar and insulin to drop down to baseline levels. At these levels, your insulin receptors will re-sensitize faster. Once your body adapts to intermittent fasting, you will experience lessened hunger and cravings, meaning you’ll also eat less often and feel more satiated after meals.

  • Fat fasting. In a fat fast, calories, protein, and carbs are reduced while fat is increased, forcing the body to switch to fat burning for energy. This usually works out to about 1000–1200 calories a day with 80–90% coming from fat. Again, this brings your insulin levels down much faster than normal ketosis, which can speed up re-sensitization. Fat fasting should only be done occasionally and for limited periods because of the limited protein intake.