As we get closer to the end of the structured challenge, it’s important that we learn a bit about WHY keto works.
This includes understanding why it’s not designed as a short term, quick-fix diet.
For me, I know I need to understand why something works if I am going to really believe in it and commit to it. This is why I encourage you to learn all you can about your body and what it needs to be healthy.
We know carbs don’t work for us if we are on Keto, and most people also now accept that this includes all carbohydrates, not just sugars.
You might have heard of ‘insulin sensitivity’ or insulin resistance.
As the research around this gets better and better, there are many studies pointing towards insulin, and the control of insulin in our bodies, as the key to managing our weights.
So in a nutshell, what is insulin?
To keep it very simple:
- When you eat, insulin goes up
- Insulin is the hormone that tells your body to store fat
- When you have too much insulin, your body stores fat
When it is spelled out that simply, it sounds pretty easy right – don’t make our insulin go up and we can control our fat storage.
(Thanks to Dr Fung in this video for explaining it nice and easily)
In that case, how do we reduce the insulin spikes?
Yep, carbs, sugar etc are the main things that cause a spike in insulin, so by cutting these out, we are already going to have much more regular insulin and blood sugar.
There’s a couple of other things that affect our insulin that we need to think about;
- SNACKING – this is why I encourage you NOT to snack! Have a larger, slower meal, but let your insulin settle back to normal between meals
- Some sugar alcohols spike insulin, even if they aren’t sugar. Be careful, they are not all created equally, and everyone reacts differently. Safest bet? Don’t have sweeteners 🙂 You’re sweet enough already
- Fasting is a proven method to control insulin and increase your sensitivity to it once you stop fasting
- If you already have insulin issues, high protein levels can spike your insulin. While this is uncommon, if you are diabetic you may need to keep your protein levels pretty moderate.
You can have strong, initial results by just cutting out carbs and freely eating whatever, whenever.
But eventually the time will come where either your weight loss/health benefits stop, or you start to consider how you can really be the healthiest you can be.
This is when it’s time to start thinking about your insulin levels and how to control those spikes.
If you want to learn more:
- A great Ted Talk video here by Peter Attia
- Dr Fung on Diet Doctor
- Professor Tim Noakes being interviewed
Once we start to think about how to manage our insulin, rather than track our calories or our carbs, it starts to make a lot more sense.
I eat to keep level insulin and as a result, have a consistent energy level throughout the day and control my hunger as well.
This is one tool in your arsenal of improving your health overall, and a great explainer for those wondering why Keto is the latest ‘flavour of the month’ diet, that won’t actually go away!
The Aussie Keto Queen