Insulin plays a key role in fat loss with natural weight loss remedies. Insulin has positive and negative effects on the body. In terms of controlling body fat, the ultimate success one achieves depends on total calorie intake and the hormones affected by the types of calories we eat.
Elevated insulin levels for the person hoping to control body fat is, possibly, as detrimental as total caloric intake. High or elevated insulin levels result from overeating carbohydrate foods — either complex carbs or simple carbs. When you overeat carbohydrates, you increase the amount of glucose in the blood above 110 which promotes an insulin burst which drags the excess sugar out of the blood allowing glucose levels to return to normal, around 70 to 110.
Here’s the tough part. It is possible to stay within your caloric limits and create an environment where insulin levels remain chronically elevated making it almost impossible to get lean. This occurs when one follows either a diet that is extremely low in fiber or when a person obtains the majority of his calories from fast-to-digest simple carbohydrates like a soda, jams, refined white bread, cakes, cookies, crackers, pretzels, fat-free chips, imitation fruit drinks and fruit juices. These foods rapidly digest into glucose which promotes a quick collection of glucose in the blood, surging glucose levels above 110.
The result? An insulin spike. A really big insulin spike.
When insulin levels rise, excess glucose is cleared from the blood and deposited into muscle glycogen, liver glycogen or fat stores. If muscle and liver stores for glucose are full, all glucose will be packed away as body fat. If there is room within the muscles or liver for additional glucose, excessive glucose is likely to be stored as glycogen.
However, high insulin levels — the result of eating above your caloric requirements or from eating within your caloric requirements yet choosing simple, fast digesting carbs — can promote the storage of body fat even if muscle and liver stores for glucose are not full! How many people do you know that claim to “not over eat” yet continue to gain fat year after year?
The likely culprit? A highly refined diet comprised of next to no fiber and abundant in simple sugars. Together, this nutritional approach continually keeps a concentrated source of glucose in the blood which keeps insulin levels elevated which, in turn, packs away sugar as body fat and, as we will see, prevents the body from tapping into the body fat stores.
High insulin levels also affect the appetite center in the brain. Rats injected with high levels of insulin will eat until their stomachs explode while rats that have the pancreas removed (which manufactures insulin) will refuse to eat and starve to death. In high amounts, insulin is an appetite stimulant.
High insulin levels also exert other interesting metabolic effects that encourage fat storage and prevent the liberation of fatty acids from body fat stores. When insulin levels rise, it triggers the release of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL retards the fat cells and prevents them from being broken apart to be used up as fuel. In effect, we could say LPL blocks fat cell breakdown and LPL is stimulated with high levels of insulin.
The body is always using a mixture of fuel sources when at rest. Primarily, fat is used in a resting body. A distant second is glucose. Some of this fat comes from the dietary fat we eat while the majority comes from fat cells.
If insulin levels are chronically elevated due to eating more calories than you need each day or from eating a moderate caloric instake that is abundant in simple carbohydrates and devoid of fiber, fat cells are sealed off and prevented from being used as fuel.
In fact, so effective is insulin in sealing off fat cells, that even those engaged in heavy aerobic exercise will find serious fat loss difficult if not nearly impossible unless insulin levels are controlled.