Hit the Handles
Managing Insulin to Kiss Those Love Handles Goodbye
by Alan Levi
In a previous article, The Tools for Total Fat Loss, I explored the concept of spot reductionthrough BioSignature Modulation — the scientific method of hormonal diagnosispioneered by Olympic coach, Charles Poliquin.
Now, we'll look in greater depth at what you can do forspecific problem areas. Today, we'll target the handles of hate. Because let'sface it, no one has any love for love handles!
Fighting Fat with Fish
To paraphrase Tyler Durden, "Welcome to FatClub."
The first rule of Fat Club is: Increase your fish oil.
The second rule of Fat Club is: Increase your fish oil!
I can't overstate how much this amazing oil is the kingof fat loss. North Atlantic salmon appears on the top ten lists of super foodsfrom Alan R. Gaby, MD, Barry Sears, PhD, Fred Pescatore, MD, Jonny Bowden, PhD,and the previously mentioned supercoach, Charles Poliquin.
Well, fish oil has been scientifically evaluated as havingpositive benefits on everything from schizophrenia to rheumatoid arthritis, andasthma to heart disease.
When you look at the EPA/DHA ratio of a fish oil, justremember that EPA is the portion that'll benefit any inflammatory condition (i.e.arthritis), and DHA aids in cognition (brain fog, loss of concentration,attention deficit disorder, etc.).
The best news is if you want a magic pill for fat loss thenit doesn't come much closer than this. Fish oil switches off the receptors thatstore fat and switches on the ones that burn it.
As well, adding a smart fat with every meal reduces yourinsulin response to food and thus curbs fat storage. Good examples ofadditional functional fats are olive oil and CLA.
Number two on our fat loss hit list isn't a food, but a liquid — water.
You aren't drinking enough of it, end of discussion.
Really, I've never come across someone who's drinkinganywhere near enough water. Your urine should be completely clear, or at leastlike a fine white wine (magnifique!). If it's bright yellow and smellslike sugar puffs, well, it's time to drink up!
An easy way of calculating how much water you should bedrinking is to multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.033. Therefore, a60-kilogram woman would need 1.98 liters of water per day.
Remember, training dehydrates you further, so you'll needeven more of the wet stuff.
C. Leigh Broadhurst, PhD, has conducted research on thebeneficial effects of cinnamon on blood sugar levels and bad cholesterol.
Of interest to us are the results that showed how specificcompounds in cinnamon were able to increase insulin-dependent glucosemetabolism. Along with making those carbs work for you instead of against you,these same compounds may be able to squelch free radicals by acting asantioxidants.
A simple way to gain these benefits is to pop a cinnamonstick in your water and drink it throughout the course of the day. Make surethe stick soaks for some time; the water should be discolored (a great benefitof this is that no one, and I mean no one, will touch your water bottle whilstyou train, as it'll look like someone stubbed out a cigar in it).
Help Yourself to Protein, Hold Back on the Carbs
Quick, eat more protein!
Sure, it's a no-brainer, but we often forget that apartfrom the muscle building properties that protein possesses, it also preventsthe see-saw effect on blood sugar that some carbohydrates create, increasessatiety, and elevates your metabolism.
It's also fair to say that if the back of your shoulders orsupra-iliac (just above the hip bone) areas tend to store fat, then carbsaren't your friend. They'll demonstrate their fickle nature by taking up lumpyresidence just where you don't want them.
Like always, it's best to avoid carbohydrates in the formof pasta, rice, and potatoes until your bodyfat is within your desired range.
If you're going to eat them, or find your energy levelsneed the occasional lift, then have a "cheat" day every five days(four days strict, fifth day off). This will optimize glycogen uptake to yourmuscles.
I find a five-day strict, two-day off approach works best,but tailor it to how you feel and your individual requirements. Just rememberthat these tricky carbs tend to be opposed to our genetic and metabolic natureand usually just lead to that unpleasant bloat and poor performance (not tomention fat deposits).
Mineral Aides: Magnesium and Zinc
As far as blood sugar minerals go, magnesium is the crucialcog in the wheel because it aids in the production and usage of insulin. Aminimum starting dosage should be 500 mg, and avoid the cheap rubbish. Itshould end in "-ate" if it's good (i.e. magnesium glycinate).
In even more positive press, magnesium, in combination withfish oils and zinc, is a great cure for PMS. It may be worth getting the man inyour life to make a purchase on your behalf, especially if every month you wantto stick a steak knife in his head for forgetting the tuna on his way home fromwork.
So, really think about taking more magnesium and zinc. In fact, it may be a good idea to get tested for zinc deficiency because most people are!
Next item to pop on the shopping list: fenugreek.
This funny sounding plant improves the number of insulinreceptors, decreases gastric emptying, delays glucose absorption, and increasesglucose uptake in peripheral tissues.
Basically, this herb (the leaves) and spice (the seeds) isa must-buy if you want to moderate your insulin levels.
The added benefit of these suggestions is that they mayform a good preventative approach to type II diabetes, and could potentiallyimprove the situation of those who already find themselves afflicted with thisdisease.
Like a Good Neighbor, Fiber is There
Boring, I know, but eat more fiber, and make sure it's froma grain-less source.
Fiber has a litany of health benefits from lowering badcholesterol to blunting insulin spikes, promoting satiety, and improving colonhealth.
It isn't sexy, but then neither is having a roll of flabhanging over the side of your jeans.
"Look, Ma! No Handles!"
There you have it, some straightforward additions to yourshopping basket that target one of the key sites of insulin management — thesupra-iliac, or like I said, the hate handles.
About the Author
Y.M.C.A. Advanced Personal Trainer Award (RepsLevel 3)
PoliquinPerformance (BioSignature Modulation)
Premier Resisted Movement Training: Functional Training
1st Degree Black Sash in Chinese Kung Fu and Qi Gong