Insulin is the major hormone responsible for fat storage and weight gain; therefore it is also a major factor in weight loss. It is released in reaction to the amount of sugar, or glucose, in the blood.
Insulin is the primary anabolic hormone in the body, meaning it encourages fat storage rather than breaking down fat cells. This is problematic for weight loss since the body only burns fat when it detects a dip in insulin levels.
When blood glucose levels are high, the pancreas is stimulated to generate insulin to transport sugar from the blood into the cells. Insulin instructs our cells to absorb glucose from the blood for energy use or, if there is an abundance, for storage as fat.
Because weight loss typically necessitates the consumption of fat reserves, we must regulate our insulin levels to tell the body to burn fat rather than create more fat stores.
What is Blood Glucose?
Glucose is the dominant sugar in our blood. It comes from the food we eat and is the primary source of energy for our body. Our blood delivers glucose to our cells so they can use it for energy.
However, if your blood glucose rises too high, the excess blood sugar is converted to fat for energy use later.
What Are Ideal Blood Sugar Levels?
A blood glucose reading between 70 and 100 mg/dL on a fasting blood glucose test is considered normal and is the optimal blood sugar level for fat burning.
Typically, in a healthy person with no insulin resistance, the blood glucose level will be 125 to 140 mg/dL two hours after a meal.
What is the Best Way to Measure Blood Glucose?
If you have high blood sugar levels during a regular blood test, your doctor may want to give you an oral glucose tolerance test.
Another option is a continuous glucose monitor that utilizes a tiny sensor implanted beneath the skin, typically at the abdomen or arm. The glucose levels in the fluid between your cells are measured by the sensor. The glucose sensor will automatically check your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Testing your blood sugar provides valuable information for weight management. It can help you monitor blood sugar levels and identify high or low blood sugar levels for weight loss.
How Can I Measure My Blood Glucose Levels at Home?
Self-monitoring blood sugar levels is a valuable technique for treating diabetes and monitoring overall health. A device called a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can check the levels for you, or, if you prefer, you can test your blood sugar at home using a small drop of blood and a portable electronic gadget called a blood sugar meter.
How to Conduct a Blood Sugar Test:
A blood sugar meter is required for monitoring blood sugar levels. The meter monitors the quantity of glucose in a small blood sample, typically from the fingertip. The blood droplet is placed on a disposable test strip and inserted into the analyzing device.
Your physician or certified healthcare professional can recommend a suitable device for you.
Follow the instructions included with your glucose monitor.
- Hands must be thoroughly washed and dried to prevent misleading readings.
- Insert a test strip in the meter.
- Puncture your fingertip with the lancet (needle) included in your test kit.
- Touch and hold the test strip's edge to the blood droplet.
- The meter will display your blood sugar level on the screen.
How Does Glucose Influence Our Weight?
Increased insulin levels tell the liver and muscles to store glucose in chains of glycogen when there is more glucose in the bloodstream than the body needs to meet its energy requirements. Once the liver and muscles are full of glycogen, the surplus glucose is converted into fat (triglycerides) and distributed throughout the body to be stored as fat cells, usually in adipose tissue.
When we're not eating, whether we're between meals, asleep, or fasting, our insulin levels decrease due to lower blood glucose levels. This triggers the body to begin burning stored energy, beginning with glycogen. As glycogen stores are depleted, the body will begin to burn body fat. The objective of weight loss is to burn excess body fat by lowering blood sugar levels.
Does Insulin Help or Hurt Weight Loss?
Our eating habits and food intake frequency affect our weight loss efforts and overall health. The battle between glucose and insulin spikes will decide if we burn stored fat or generate more body fat. Insulin is a major factor in weight gain for everyone and must be controlled, along with blood sugar levels, to properly maintain a healthy weight.
How Does High Blood Sugar Prevent Weight Loss?
Too much sugar in our blood leads to too much insulin to combat the high blood glucose levels. If your body is not metabolically healthy, it has been trained to convert blood sugar into fat as quickly as possible to control the surge of insulin production. Ongoing excess glucose eventually leads to insulin resistance, and at that stage, weight loss efforts show no results.
Does Lowering Blood Sugar Help You Lose Weight?
For weight loss to happen, we must regulate blood sugar levels to the point where our body is burning fat and not burning blood sugar. It's a fine line with many factors, like diet and exercise, as well as our metabolic health, but that's what it takes if losing weight is your goal. And your weight loss journey will be even more difficult if you have developed insulin resistance.
What Should Your Glucose Level Be for Weight Loss?
For a person who wants to lose weight, the optimal fasting blood sugar level should be between 70 and 100 mg/dL. When someone has fasted, they have not eaten for at least eight hours. Fasting glucose levels are usually taken in the morning.
At the high end of weight loss, you do not want your glucose levels to exceed 140 mg/dL two hours after a meal.
Can I Stabilize my Blood Sugar to Lose Weight?
Insulin resistance, in which your cells no longer respond to the hormone, is the root of the weight loss problem. If you gain visceral fat around your abdominal organs, it produces inflammatory chemicals that impair your cells' responsiveness to insulin.
With glucose monitoring, avoiding processed foods, and getting your body into a fat burning mode, you have a good chance of stabilizing your blood sugar levels enough to lose weight.
What Role Does Insulin Play in Weight Loss?
Just a small drop in insulin production can increase fat burning, and insulin surges can activate enzymes that convert glucose into fat. Since low-carbohydrate diets dramatically reduce insulin levels throughout the day, eating high-protein, high-fat foods allow your body to utilize fat for energy and reduce its fat stores.
If your goal is to burn body fat, monitoring your blood sugar levels is a great way to know when you are able to lose weight. Glucose tracking can easily be done at home, so following a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods, and lowering your sugar intake should put you on the road to healthy weight loss.