How Can I Improve My Insulin Sensitivity & Reduce Insulin Resistance?

Improve Insulin Sensitivity
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The way your body uses insulin is a lot like how internet speeds work. Sometimes, it’s super fast and uses sugar from your food quickly – that’s good insulin sensitivity.

But other times, it’s slow and struggles, like old, slow internet. That’s insulin resistance.

Insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance are two critical aspects of how our body uses blood sugar and insulin (a hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps cells absorb glucose) and use it for energy.

Understanding these can help you to manage or prevent diabetes and improve overall health. Let’s understand what is the key difference between these two.

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Insulin Sensitivity vs. Insulin Resistance

Insulin sensitivity refers to how effectively our body’s cells respond to insulin.

  • Insulin sensitivity allows the cells to use blood glucose more effectively, reducing the amount of insulin needed to manage blood sugar levels.
  • Whereas insulin resistance (the opposite of insulin sensitivity) is a condition where our body cells do not respond well to insulin, requiring more insulin to get glucose into the cells.

Over time, having insulin resistance can turn into higher blood sugar levels and eventually type 2 diabetes.

How to Improve Insulin Sensitivity?

There are several ways to improve your insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance. These include:

1. Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle changes, including diet, exercise, and overall health management, are the cornerstones of improving insulin sensitivity.

A] Exercise

  • Exercise is a great way to help your body use sugar better. When you work out, your muscles move so that they absorb sugar without needing insulin.
  • Regular exercise, such as resistance training, brisk walking and cycling, can significantly increase insulin sensitivity by helping muscle cells use glucose more efficiently.

B] Dietary Changes

  • A balanced diet rich in fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats can improve your insulin sensitivity. Dal, whole-grain rotis, mixed vegetables, nuts and seeds, sprouts, and salad are great choices.
  • Eating protein-rich foods like grilled paneer, tandoori chicken, or fish curry is good for you. They don’t raise your blood sugar much and help you feel full, so you eat less. Just choose low-fat options and keep your meals balanced.

While giving you the proper nutrition, they don’t add excess calories, which can improve your insulin sensitivity.

C] Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

D] Sleep Quality

2. Medications

In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage insulin resistance. Metformin is a commonly prescribed drug that can increase insulin sensitivity & lower glucose production in the liver.

It’s often used for managing type 2 diabetes and effectively reduces insulin resistance.

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3. Weight Loss

  • Losing just 5% to 10% of one’s total body weight can significantly improve your insulin sensitivity in overweight or obese people.
  • For example, if a person’s weight is around 90 kilograms, reducing just 5 to 10 kilograms can substantially improve how effectively their body uses insulin and controls blood sugar levels.
  • This level of weight loss can also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other associated health conditions.

4. Intermittent Fasting and Time-Restricted Eating

  • Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, which can range from 16-hour fasts to fasting on alternate days.
  • Time-restricted eating, a form of intermittent fasting, limits food intake to specific hours of the day, typically within an 8 to 10-hour window.
  • These methods can improve your insulin sensitivity by reducing insulin levels during fasting periods.

NOTE: A recent study found that adults who ate within a time-restricted window of less than 8 hours a day had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (such as arrhythmias and coronary artery disease) than those who spread their meals across 12-16 hours.

5. Polyphenol-rich Foods

  • Polyphenols are compounds found in foods such as berries like sehtut (mulberry), amla (gooseberry), blueberry, strawberry, green tea, dark chocolate (more than 75% dark), and fruits containing polyphenols like kala jamun.
  • They have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Incorporating polyphenol-rich foods into the diet can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.

6. Gut Microbiome Optimization

  • Emerging research highlights the role of the gut microbiome in metabolic health, including insulin sensitivity.
  • Consuming a diet rich in fiber and fermented food like curd and chaas can support a healthy gut microbiome. Note that here, we are talking only about fermented foods that are eaten directly and not fermented and cooked, like idli, dosa, dhokla, etc.
      • A diverse and balanced gut microbiota can improve glucose metabolism and reduce inflammation, enhancing insulin sensitivity.

How Can Fitterfly Help You?

At Fitterfly, we offer a comprehensive approach to reverse diabetes, which also increase insulin sensitivity through personalized nutrition planning, tailored exercise programs, stress management, sleep hygiene, and weight management support. 

Our team of experts designs customized plans that cater to your individual needs, guiding you towards a healthier lifestyle that enhances your body’s use of insulin, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, and improves overall metabolic health. 

All you need to do is give us a missed call on 08069450746 or check out Fitterfly’s Diabetes Prime Program and choose according to your needs.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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