08 Dec Insulin Sensitive vs Insulin Resistant: when do I eat my starches?
Great question! As usual, it depends. It depends on your activity level, bodyfat %, where you store your bodyfat, your goals and most importantly insulin sensitivity.
Insulin sensitivity is really the most crucial factor. When you are insulin sensitive you put carbs where they should go (mostly muscle, liver and very little in fat tissue.) When you are insulin resistant (and more than just diabetics have issues managing insulin & glucose) you tend to store carbs as fat very easily.
We all know people who fall into one category or another. An insulin sensitive person can really eat whatever he/she wants and really doesn’t gain fat, stays relatively lean and loses weight pretty easily. An insulin resistant person easily gains fat, especially around the middle, has a hard time losing weight and easily puts on fat if they eat a higher carb diet. Notice we didn’t say anything about calories we say carbs.
So knowing that, your carb amounts, type and timing will vary based on if you feel you are insulin sensitive or insulin resistant.
Insulin Sensitive People:
Can eat carbs throughout the day and post workout without much fat gaining issues. An insulin sensitive person can also generally eat any type of carb (breads, pastas, even sweets) and keep a lower level of bodyfat. Would still recommend they keep their gluten intake in check to little or none. But they can generally have carbs with each meal and cheat more often without problems. BUT this can easily change overtime. Remember back when you were a teenager, most people could eat whatever they wanted and not gain fat. As we age it changes, insulin sensitivity (along with toxins, stress and poor sleep) are one of the reasons this happens. So warning note to parents, if you have a child who can eat anything and not gain fat, be very careful what you feed your child as this will not always be the case and you could be setting them up for future problems leading them to eventually become insulin resistant.
Insulin Resistant People:
Should stick to starches to post workout (after workout and should be strength training based not cardio since strength training helps develop new glucose receptors on a muscle cell helping carbs go to the right spot.) Generally I have them start with 5 bites of either brown rice, sweet potato or quinoa right after their workout (generally a 45 minute window to get this in to not store as fat.) As this person’s bodyfat gets lower they can experiment with carbs at breakfast next, larger amounts, and more frequently.
The key if you are struggling with weight is to use starches sparingly as they are:
– very calorie dense
-easy to over eat on
– easily affect both glucose and insulin negatively
– can further perpetuate an insulin resistant problem
If this is you your best bet is to stick to meat, veggies and a few fruits daily with starches only post workout until you get your body fat where you want. Then as you become better at managing glucose & insulin you can start to add more carbs back in.
This is a extremely broad, 30,000 foot view of insulin management and fat loss. So many more variables and information available but this is a great place to start. As always if you have questions contact us here.
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