This small but important hormone can change everything

 

It’s the motivated worker’s worst nightmare.

 

You’ve gotten up early—heck, even made that healthy breakfast your mom always told you to eat—worked all morning and come back after the lunch break ready to finish strong, but, oh no, here comes the crash.

 

Your eyes droop involuntarily. Your head is all foggy. You feel heavy, drowsy, maybe even bloated. Your afternoon is toast.

 

If the problem isn’t sleep or staying fueled or hydrated—which are all CRUCIAL to your health—what’s going on??

 

Well, your midday crash may come down to an important but tricky little hormone: insulin.

 

Yes! Talking about insulin isn’t just for diabetics!

 

What’s the Big Deal?

 

So why are we focusing on insulin in our quest for optimal health?  Well, for one thing, problems with insulin and blood sugar are a set up for a variety of potentially serious or even life-threatening obstacles, including kidney disease, stroke, eye damage and heart attacks. Oh my!

 

Sugar, a powerful external force responsible for stimulating insulin, has over-run our society!  Estimates of a typical American’s consumption run as high as 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, per person!

 

Of course, note that I say problems with insulin are dangerous.  

 

Insulin in and of itself is wonderful.  

 

It’s kind of like the gun argument we hear all the time:  Guns don’t kill people; people kill people, and occasionally use guns to do so.  Well, insulin doesn’t kill people; people with sugar kill themselves with sugar and insulin is a collaborator!  

 

Insulin is actually a Vital Hormone. 

 

Life wouldn’t be sustainable without it.

 

The way insulin, and most other hormones for that matter, act is that once stimulated, they set off a series of reactions/events throughout the body. They work like cheerleaders, shouting at your cells, “Go, fight, WIN!”

 

These triggered receptors can be found all over the place on cells throughout the body. Once they “hear” the insulin, they leap into action.

 

The term ‘insulin sensitivity’ simply implies how sensitive your receptors are to the presence of insulin.

 

If the receptors are insulin sensitive, they respond to small amounts of insulin.  If they are insulin resistant, a non-derogatory term a few of you may have been called by your doctor, it takes a lot more insulin to pull off the same effects.  

 

If the receptors remain insulin resistant for too long, and it takes more and more insulin to achieve the needed effect, you will eventually become diabetic, as the pancreas is no longer able to produce the insulin required to manage all of its essential duties.

 

If you’re trying to figure out if you may be insulin resistant, take the quick quiz below—and then share with your doctor!

 

Insulin Sensitivity Questionnaire

 

This is a simple “test” to help you determine if you may be insulin resistant.  Answer the questions on a 5 point scale, 1 being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree.  Once complete, add your scores to help you determine if you have an insulin problem.

  

 

  • My fat distribution is around my belly (i.e. my arms and legs are not where I hold fat).
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

 

 

  • I have a hard time losing weight, no matter how hard I exercise or diet.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

 

 

  • I feel extremely drained after lunch and want to take a nap.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

 

 

  • After eating a meal in which the majority is carbohydrates (breads, pasta, cereal, sweets, etc.), I feel full, dumpy and rather bloated.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

 

 

  • After eating a meal in which the majority is carbohydrates (breads, pasta, cereal, sweets, etc.) I get an energy crash, fall asleep easily, and find myself hungry and looking for more food.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

 

 

TOTAL: ___________

 

If you scored between 21 and 25, more than likely you are insulin resistant.  You may want to visit with your primary care provider to confirm this with a medical consult and possibly some blood tests. Your solution should also consist of following The Z Diet to a tee. 

 

If you scored between 15 and 20, you are borderlining a problem.  You most certainly need to follow The Z Diet as best you can. You may want to consider seeing your doctor as well before it progresses to a problem.

If you scored between 11 and 14, you are in a grey zone (there is always a grey zone…) and it could be part of the reason you are not dropping the fat like you may have in the past. You can likely reverse any problems you have simply by following the solutions provided in The Z Diet.

 

If you scored less than 10, congratulations!  Use the Z Diet to perfect your eating habits and health, and possibly even zero in on that physique you want!  Many professional athletes as well as people in extremely good shape score in this area. They are more likely to answer the questions with a 1 or 2, and in response to question number 4, they tell me they feel tremendously energized by a carbohydrate meal.  The weightlifters and bodybuilders tell me they get a literal ‘pump’ in all of their muscles when eating carbohydrates, as if they have just left the gym. One of their secrets may be the ability to optimize that powerful hormone called insulin.

 

No matter how you scored, if you answered 4 or 5 to question number 5, you are likely an insulin hyper-secretor.  In other words, you produce too much insulin. There are a number of potential causes, including the fact that you need more insulin to get the same amount of work done (i.e. insulin resistance).  

 

If you’ve believed that having energy throughout the whole day is only destined for mega-hyper, caffeine-filled, type A individuals, take a deep breath—and probably ask them to as well—because having sustained energy is a goal you can achieve.

 

With the power of insulin, your body does amazing things. Make sure it’s doing the job right. Talk to your doctor and check out The Z Diet to learn more!

 

Share your score in the comments. I would love to hear from you. 

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