Insulin Sensitivity Part 2

n Part 1, I gave you a run down of what insulin sensitivity is, why it’s important, and what we did in order to work on it. The things I brought up previously are very much still a part of what I am focusing on, but we made some more changes that are helping with both maintaining and making even more progress.

Stress Mindset

The first and most important thing I learned about recently is stress mindset. This refers to the ways we perceive stress, as well as how we cope and adapt to it in particular scenarios. Controlling and managing my stress has been increasingly more important for me. Lately, we have seen a big difference in fasting glucose levels week to week that coincide with outside stressors I have been working through (I’m talking going from ~85 to >100 in a matter of days!). Basically, we can view stress in one of two ways: a stress-is-enhancing (positive) mindset or a stress-is-debilitating (negative) mindset. This is still a big work in progress for me, but I am putting more focus on seeing stress as a good thing. Something that is a challenge and something I can learn and grow through. Perception is everything and being able to adapt to stress and manage it works wonders for overall health and wellness.

If you’re interested in reading more about stress perception,  a great research article is available here.

No Tracking?

Yep! We spent about one month playing around with non-tracking weeks and partial tracking. Initially, we planned on doing one untracked week, but it ended up going so well that we added in another. I thought this would be interesting from a psychological standpoint as well! A lot of people get anxiety over the thought of not tracking everything they eat, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. I found this part pretty relaxing actually!

The way I approached this was simply by being mindful throughout the day. I knew I would have about 4-5 meals each day, and made sure to prioritize protein in each of those meals (aiming for at least 20g). I balanced each meal pretty well between carbs, fats, and protein and focused on my hunger signals a lot in this time. Oftentimes when we track macros, it becomes more about hitting targets than actually eating when we’re hungry, especially if your food gets pretty high. I knew if I wasn’t going to be keeping track, I wanted to at least pay attention to when/if I was hungry throughout the day!

After not tracking for two weeks, I began tracking only protein. I made sure to hit about 1 gram/pound of bodyweight and did this for another two weeks. I approached this just as I did the untracked weeks. Another thing I kept in mind is adjusting my meals if I ate out or had a bigger meal than usual.     For example, if I had more carbs than I normally would in a meal, I would adjust the carbs in my meals following it to balance things out.

Throughout these weeks my glucose trended down quite a bit! Doing this helped to ease some stress and gave me a good mental break as well. I didn’t overthink it either as a lot of my meals are the same day to day. I was “copy and pasting” for the most part and found that this helped keep some consistency.

Daily Habits

Lastly, I have been keeping up with the new habits I’ve established:

  • 2-3 10-minute walks every day for improved glucose tolerance and NEAT.

  • Checking my fasting glucose periodically through the week.

  • Keeping a consistent feeding window. I aim for an 8-10 hour window. Laurin and Karina did an awesome series on time restricted feeding that you can find here!

There were a lot of points where I felt very frustrated and down, but trusting the plan and staying consistent is so worth it in the end. I feel back to normal (whatever that is haha) and I feel better than ever. I hope you took something new from this and feel free to ask us any questions!

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