Stubborn fat can be as little as 5 extra pounds of fat or as much as a few hundred pounds. Stubborn fat seems to just stick to your body and not budge no matter what you do. Most people feel discouraged after dieting, exercising and trying to do all the right things and still have that stubborn fat on the belly, hips, thighs, upper arms, love handles, back… it can be anywhere on your body and it’s different for different people.
The news and magazines promote going vegan, vegetarian, low carb, or Paleo, detoxing, eating more protein, less protein, avoid coconut oil, but eat butter, but only a certain kind… and eat organic food, and then organic doesn’t matter… How do we know what to believe!?
My science and medical background as a Pharm.D. leads me to be more analytical in nature, so when the confusion starts I re-look at the physiology of our bodies. In the case of diets and what we should eat if we’re wanting to lose excess bodyfat, I like to look at the facts of how our bodies work rather than follow the latest fad or simply what worked for someone else. While I’ve found there are no shortcuts to a healthy and lean body, you can make it less terrible, more efficient, and more effective by addressing specific reasons your body holds on to excess fat.
The first step is to address high insulin
Most people in this country are walking around with a high fasting insulin level and don’t know it.
High insulin tells your body to store fat… almost without regard to how little you eat or how much you exercise. If your insulin level is high, your efforts for fat loss will be in vain… causing disappointment and giving up.
You don’t have to be diabetic to have a high insulin level. In fact, a high insulin level will appear at least 10 years before diabetes is discovered. Knowing your insulin level now (and reducing it) can help you completely prevent getting diabetes in the future.
Get Your Level Measured
To know your insulin level, you’ll get your fasting insulin blood level done at your doctor’s office or order it yourself at Life Extension (lifeextension.com) or other online lab ordering businesses. It’s about $30-$40. If you order online, they send you a form to take to your local blood drawing organization such as LabCorp. Be sure it’s a fasting insulin and not blood sugar or hemoglobin A1C.
To have efficient body fat loss your fasting insulin level should be 2-5 mIU/L. The lab normals will indicate 25 is a good level, but that’s an outdated number. Those lab values should be updated to help us all improve our health. A level above 5 will make it difficult for body fat loss. The 2-5 level was chosen as ideal from looking at healthier populations of people. The lab normals in the United States are from average Americans.
What to Do With Your Results
Many people are thrilled to find a reason why they’ve been unsuccessful at losing bodyfat. It’s not to say that this is the only point. But it’s the first point that should be addressed.
If your level is 2-5 and you still have issues with stubborn fat loss, we have more steps to address. We’ll just tick one off at a time.
If your level is above 5, start right away eating foods that do not raise insulin levels. It’s simple… but easier said than done depending on what your diet is like now. In general, this means eating protein (eggs, meat, fish, protein shakes) in moderate amounts (no! don’t overdo protein), tons of non-starchy vegetables (think 6-9 cups/day), and plenty of good fats (olive oil, pasture butter, coconut oil, avocado, MCT oil).
Time saving tricks and learning to make food taste amazing is what makes this type of eating completely doable for longer periods of time. When you’re faced with a decision whether or not a food will be good for you…. ask yourself if it will raise your insulin level. If the answer is “yes’… that food will not help you while you have this goal of reducing your insulin level.
Once your insulin level is 5 or below, start to add back in fruit and starchy veggies. It’s important to know that food choices are determined based on what you are trying to accomplish….
Short term pleasure?
Decreasing insulin level?
Cancer prevention or treatment?
Keep in mind always that your choices of food give you specific results.
Get more useful information on how to lose excess bodyfat but also on how to have a healthier body that supports clear thinking, high energy levels and high performance.