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  • Try This –Try This – A Tough (But Worth It) Hack To Improve Insulin Sensitivity And Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

Try This –Try This – A Tough (But Worth It) Hack To Improve Insulin Sensitivity And Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

What if I told you there was a way to become significantly more insulin sensitive and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

Not only that, but this practice would improve your cognition, body composition, and total body health. 

I hope that you’d say you’d jump right on it! 

It’s a tough hack to implement, but it’s totally worth it – I started to incorporate this hack a few times a week when I turned 40 and since then (even though I started later in life) I’ve been reaping the benefits.

That’s what this newsletter is about—a proven and effective way to achieve better health and prevent one of the biggest killers of our time. 

And we all need to pay attention because at least 40 percent of Americans are insulin resistant, and the problem is getting worse. 

According to all the top experts, it’s the leading cause of the biggest diseases of our time including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, and Alzheimer’s. It’s also what causes belly fat and weight gain! 

But the good news is that insulin resistance is not only preventable, it’s reversible! 

And today I’m going to share a hack to help you achieve insulin sensitivity and the health of your dreams. 

Let’s get into it…

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Recap: What Is Insulin Resistance? 

Here’s a refresher to share just how harmful insulin resistance can be. 

Insulin is a powerful and helpful hormone released by the pancreas after you eat that allows your body to use glucose for energy. It’s what helps to keep our blood sugar stable and running smoothly. 

The problem is too many Americans are overconsuming blood-glucose-spiking meals and drinks, leaving our insulin chronically elevated. Eventually, insulin stops responding to our call because we’re bombarding our systems with sugar. We develop insulin resistance and all the downstream effects of it, including oxidative stress, inflammation, hormone imbalances, gut dysbiosis, and damage to our blood vessels and tissues. All of this has long-term consequences like a body primed for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more. 

The goal is to make our body insulin sensitive so that it pumps out the right amount of insulin at the right time. 

The number one way to do this is with diet. A diet that is not overly laden with processed foods and sugars and incorporates protein, healthy fats, and fiber at every meal keeps our blood sugar steady and prevents huge dips and spikes that create insulin challenges. 

But recent evidence has shed light on another way to keep the body insulin sensitive, and you might want to jump on it today. 

Muscle: The Organ Insulin Needs to Thrive 

A cross-sectional analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination data evaluated 13,644 participants to look at the role of muscle mass in insulin sensitivity or resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes. They measured participants’ insulin resistance using HOMA-IR (homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance), which looks at fasting glucose and insulin, and also looked for the presence of prediabetes and “overt” diabetes in participants. 

Across the board, a higher muscle mass in participants was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and better insulin sensitivity. 

In fact, for every 10 percent increase in skeletal muscle index, there was an 11 percent reduction in insulin resistance and a 12 percent reduction in type 2 diabetes risk.

Basically, there was an inverse relationship between muscle mass on the one hand and insulin resistance and prediabetes on the other. And researchers point out that the inverse relationship did not just apply to people who had severe muscle atrophy. Increases at every level of muscle muscle mass were shown to be beneficial.  

If you’ve been following my newsletter for a while, this probably makes complete sense to you. 

Skeletal muscle is a glucose sink! It not only stores glucose, but it also helps to remove excess glucose in the body.

Every muscle expert I’ve interviewed has explained to me that the most metabolically fit people prioritize muscle mass. And if you want to prevent sarcopenia and metabolic syndrome as you age, building muscle mass is the best way to do that. 

If you’re a strength training expert, keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re just getting started, here are some resources to check out. 

First, this interview with Dr. Donald Layman is one of the best guides on building muscle. In our interview Dr. Layman explains that resistance training accounts for 75 percent of successfully building muscle. 

Two-to-three times a week, you’ll want to start resistance training using free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines. If you’re new to strength training, you can also use your own body weight, but the goal is progressive overload, which looks like the following:

  • Increase resistance.

  • Increase the length of your workout.

  • Increase the reps of your workout.

For example, you can start with doing 20 squats with just your body weight and then increase to 50 reps or increase the resistance of your squats by adding weights. 

If you’re brand new to exercise, I recommend working with a trainer to prevent injury. I’ve been working out for years, and I still use a trainer to help with progressive overload and injury prevention.

The other 25 percent of building muscle, according to Dr. Layman, is nutrition. Protein, especially as we get older, is pivotal for maintaining muscle and preventing muscle atrophy. You’ll want to eat one gram per pound of ideal body weight or at least 100 grams of protein per day if you’re just starting to increase your protein consumption. 

One cool thing that I noticed is that my body was able to tolerate more carbohydrates when I put on 10 lbs of muscle (9.45 to be exact) – I was able to eat more carbs in addition to prioritizing protein and my insulin still went down. 

That’s how miraculous muscle is; it helps us become metabolically flexible and fit! 

So while building muscle might be a bit tough, it’s totally worth it. I’ve never felt better both physically and mentally as I did when I focused on my skeletal muscle. 

Here’s to your health,
Dhru Purohit