A lot has been said on here about insulin resistance and why it’s not cool. Enough of the scientific digests and couch-side ramblings — I’m ready to start sharing with you all some simple, but extremely effective tools that will help you prime your metabolic furnace.
When we eat food, especially when we eat too much food, and even more specifically – too much carbohydrate – our body has three organs that do everything they can to suck that sugar up. The liver, which will store only a certain amount of glucose to use for later energy needs, the muscles which also have a limited storage capacity, and fat cells which unfortunately will take up as much sugar as it can and then will turn that sugar into triglycerides, or fat.
When you’re watching your carbs and keeping your energy output high, your liver will usually be pretty cleansed of excess carbs so we’re interested in talking about the muscle cells and the fat cells. When you eat a large, carby meal both the fat cells and muscle cells will try to utilize that sugar. The muscle cells get topped off pretty quickly though and you end up with fat doing most of the sucking.
Three simple Exercises to Help the Muscles Suck More
Ten minutes or so before eating do the following three exercises.
- 20 Air Squats
- 20 Pushups
- 20 Situps
If you have to do the pushups on your knees that’s fine. The idea here isn’t to build muscle. Instead what we’re doing is priming the muscles to eat up sugar, by activating what is known as Glut4. I’ll spare you the messy details and just say that this is our muscles way of sucking up blood sugar without the need for insulin. Just enough exercise will begin the process of getting those glut4 receptors to the surface of muscle cells so that it will suck up the excess blood sugar we end up consuming.
This should take no more than five minutes. For added effect, repeat these three exercises about an hour after eating. Total time: 10 minutes. Do this once a day at lunch for a week and you’ve added up almost an hour of exercise, without even stepping into the gym. Again though, this is not meant to be a replacement for a weight training program, it’s merely a way to “cheat” if you will when it comes time to eat stuff. Even if you make this one simple change to your diet I will be willing to bet over three months you’ll begin to see a change. Even better: Within a few meals done like this I noticed an immediate change in the way I felt after eating a bit too much. Instead of going into a coma I felt light and clear headed. That’s because my insulin system didn’t go out of control, overproducing insulin in response to high blood sugar. I primed my muscles to suck that up and avoided the crash that would have come later.
So there you have it, three simple exercises to help you keep your metabolic furnace cooking on high, even during meals that would have normally sent you sleeping at your desk.