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6 natural ways to support insulin sensitivity

Insulin resistance is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. With sedentary lifestyles and diets high in ultra-processed foods, insulin resistance is more common than it used to be, with many unaware that they even have it.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance occurs when the body becomes less responsive to insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. When insulin levels are elevated for a long period of time, the body stops responding to insulin the way it should, which can lead to a variety of health concerns.

The good news is that with some lifestyle changes, insulin resistance can be reversed. If you are insulin resistant, or are wanting to make some changes for your health, keep reading.

Lifestyle modifications: The big 3

Any time you’re looking to support a healthy lifestyle, just about everyone will tell you to start with diet, exercise, and weight. All three are important, and prioritizing all three will help you make greater progress in each area.

Diet tips:

  • Reduce your sugar intake. This includes the obvious culprits like sodas, desserts, and candy, as well as anything else that includes added sugars like sauces, cereal, and some yogurts. If you have a sweet tooth, try swapping sweet treats with healthier alternatives.

  • Eat more complex carbohydrates. This includes whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruit (not juiced), nuts, and beans. Anything with a lot of fiber is a must.

  • Eat plenty of lean proteins and healthy fats, too. These foods, like fiber-rich foods, are more satiating (meaning you won’t feel hungry as much), and have many of the essential nutrients you need. Look for chicken, turkey, fish, legumes, avocados, and nuts to fill out your diet.

  • Try intermittent fasting. Giving your body breaks from digestion (12–16 hours each day) benefits you in a lot of ways, including supporting normal, healthy blood sugar levels.

Get a more complete run-down on the best foods for insulin resistance here.

Exercise tips:

  • Shoot for at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. This should include a combination of aerobic exercise (walking, running, cycling, swimming) and strength training.

  • Find something you like and stick with it. Maybe you like team sports. Maybe you’d rather go to the gym, or work out at home on your own. Maybe long walks are your jam. The type of exercise you gravitate toward doesn’t matter as much as the consistency. There are many ways to stay active, so focus on the activities you enjoy.

Weight-management tips:

  • If you follow the diet and exercise tips outlined above, then weight management will naturally start trending in the right direction.

  • Eat slowly. Take the time to truly savor your food. By slowing down a bit and paying attention to your food, you won’t miss the cues your body is sending you when you get full, which helps keep portion sizes down.

Other modifications: The slightly smaller 3

While diet, exercise, and weight management have the biggest effect on insulin resistance, there are other important lifestyle factors to consider, too. Sleep, stress, and supplements also affect insulin resistance, so make sure you’re prioritizing these areas as well. 

Sleep 7–9 hours a night. Yes, even sleep affects insulin sensitivity. Disruptions to circadian rhythms can affect the body’s glucose and insulin levels, as well as the hormones that help regulate appetite. So make sure you’re getting the shut-eye your body needs on a consistent basis.

Manage stress. Stress affects all of us from time to time, and it can impact all areas of health. Practice good stress-management techniques like meditation, doing relaxing things you enjoy, and spending time outside. Exercise is another good way to manage occasional stress.

Consider supplementation. Certain supplements and foods can help support insulin sensitivity. A fiber supplement like Balance supports normal, healthy blood glucose levels and aids with weight-management efforts. A yerba mate drink like Unimate also supports satiety and helps the body naturally produce GLP-1, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. 

Insulin resistance doesn’t have to be your endgame

Many factors contribute to a person developing insulin resistance, but with some key lifestyle changes, people can support insulin sensitivity and enhance their overall health. Unicity’s Feel Great approach supports many of these lifestyle changes, whether you’re focusing on weight loss, supporting normal, healthy blood sugar levels, or a combination of factors. Even better, you won’t have to rely on willpower to succeed. Visit today to learn more.

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