If you are a runner who struggles to keep the weight off you are going to want to read the following. Do you drop weight rapidly when training for a big race and then after the race, when you take a bit of time off to recover you pick it back up just as quickly? If so, you may be insulin resistant.
Today the question comes in from Mick Brown who is an Aussie living in the United States. Mick wanted to tell us that he has dropped 4kg’s in 3 weeks after slashing alcohol and carbs.
He now weighs 88kg’s. His BMI (Body Mass Index) is 24.9 and he wanted to know if that is a sign that he is insulin resistant, given how quickly the weight has dropped? On average he runs three marathons a year and typically has struggled to keep the weight off.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is a physiological condition in which cells fail to respond to the normal actions of the hormone insulin. The body produces insulin, but the cells in the body become resistant to insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to hyperglycemia. Beta cells in the pancreas subsequently increase their production of insulin, further contributing to hyperinsulinemia. This often remains undetected and can contribute to a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes of adults.
The good news is that you can prevent insulin resistance from becoming diabetes by first; correct diagnosis through a blood test that you have insulin resistance problems, and second by sorting your diet and lifestyle out.
Control your weight (as an insulin resistant person)
The unfortunate reality is that Mick probably is quite highly insulin resistant. Running has been a great avenue to help him control his weight, but he needs to continue to focus on his diet as well.
The affects of insulin resistance get worse with age, as your metabolism starts to slow down. Mick has made a good start by cutting down on carbs and alcohol. Diet now becomes your chief weapon to combating the insulin resistance, not exercise. Keeping fit though does remain essential.
As an insulin resistant person Carbohydrates are not a good source of fuel. You will always battle to lose weight on a high carb diet. You are forced to exercise a lot to try burn the carbohydrates off, in order to stop them being stored as fat.
The LCHF diet is a great fix for Mick, as it moves you away from this carb reliance and towards relying on fat for fuel. This combined with running, could see Mick drop from a BMI of 24.9 to as low as 22.