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Insulin Resistant??? Intermittent Fasting?!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I am always Blogging about my "current plan" in an attempt to find something that works for me. So, I guess that's what I'm doing here also...

I joined Sparkpeople oh.... almost five years ago now, I think. Wow! Time flies! Anyhow, I joined Spark and lost about 50 pounds. Yay!
However, this past year I have gained back around 35 pounds. I honestly haven't been sure why. (Well, maybe I have some ideas...) I still workout. I still track my food. Even after all this time.
I will go into some detail.

It was about a year ago I started gaining back weight. No matter how hard I worked out and how much I dieted, I was GAINING! Not a plateau. GAINING! And quickly gaining! I gained back most of the weight in the last 4 months.
I've seen to two doctors and one naturopath. Hypothyroidism and adrenal issues have been ruled out. I've been checked out quite thoroughly. Tested and re-tested.
The two MD's say I'm just fine. The naturopath has all kinds of suggestions. Mostly costly ones, including HCG dieting.

So, after doing EXTENSIVE research on my "condition", my MD and I have come to a conclusion that it is very likely that I am insulin resistant. We did do a fasting glucose test (again). It always comes back "spot on". However, a glucose fasting test will only really tell you if you are already a diabetic. It does not tell you if you may be insulin resistant.

OK. So, with that being said. I also have just about every symptom associated with PCOS. Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. This is not a disease, but a series of symptoms caused by insulin resistance.

So, my Doc says that YES. It is quite likely that I have insulin resistance. She's not so sure about the PCOS since all my lab tests cam back just fine. However, she said that maybe we should try a diet for reversing insulin resistance. I have to add that she is against using medication for this condition unless absolutely necessary. We both agree then, that diet and exercise would be the better course of action.

Treating PCOS? You have to treat the insulin resistance. The rest is just treating the symptoms.

So, do I have insulin resistance? Most likely. There really is no other explanations left. Do I have PCOS? Maybe.... Does it matter? No. Not really. I will use diet and exercise to help reverse insulin resistance and I will take some health food store supplements to help with the symptoms of PCOS. Since I am just treating the symptoms, I can only benefit from the supplements whether or not I actually havePCOS.

OK. So, with that being said. How did this happen? Well, not sure. I tend to do things 120%. So, was it the high carb, low fat diet that did this? Was it switching over to a Primal/Paleo lifestyle? Was it over training? Was it going gluten free? Was it the fact that my grandfather was diabetic (controlled by diet. He was not dependant on insulin injections)? Was it that I've felt so depressed by all of this weight gain, that I've most likely made it worse by throwing my hands in the air and saying, "SCREW IT! I'll eat my pizza, my brownies, and whatever else. Nothing I do is working anyhow!!!"

When I look back over the years, I actually suspect that I may have been exhibiting signs of PCOS and insulin resistance since my mid to late 20's. And even though I grew up in a household of natural, clean and wholesome foods I moved out at the age of 16. From there on until I was about 30 I indulged in homemade white bread, cinnamon rolls, baked goods, way too much coffee and a pack of cigarettes per day.
It was during this time that I started having weight issues. Not major issues. I would gain 20 pounds, then quickly lose it with some walking... nothing major. But, I also started having panic attacks, my hair started thinning, ....

So, this last year the symptoms of PCOS have been hugely exaggerated. Including skin pigmentation, sleep apnea, acne, very thin hair, belly fat.... Short of having my periods messed up (I could set my watch to them), and being excessively hairy. I have every other symptom. I have to mention though, that PCOS can be genetic. And my sister, although she is lean, definitely has a problem with excessive body and facial hair. She has had her face (not just upper lip) lasered and she waxes her arms. Yes! her arms!!! And my poor daughter has quite a lot of hair on her back and legs. She will be 9 this year. I can also see that her tummy is starting to get a very round appearance.
Also, my mother has always had weight issues. She did however manage to lose 50 pounds when Dad put her on a low GI diet.

So, what to do now?
First and foremost, dealing with the diet.

If you look at my daughter you wouldn't think that she has any health issues, but my husband and I have really noticed the rounding out of her tummy these last few months. Sort of the same time frame as me! Coincidence? Perhaps not. Most likely my fault. So my daughter and I are completely off of sugar. I don't really eat much sugar but sometimes.... so, no more. None at all. Zero. And my daughter? She has agreed that she will not eat sugar either. Me and her together. I am doing what I can to make sure that she doesn't feel deprived. I make what I can at home and use stevia as a sweetener. She now has air-popped popcorn for a movie snack rather than fruit leather. (one after another). She is also committed to her gymnastic lessons during the week and she says she wants to use the Wii fit and go for walks to get some extra movement. Good for her!

Anyhow. For my daughter this is more preventative than anything else. Nip it in the bud I say.
For me though? My regime is going to be a lot tougher. Not just eliminating sugar but also a lot of carbs.

My regime will look more like this:

I will be doing some intermittent fasting on a daily basis, as outlined by The Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler, Mark Sisson of Primal Blueprint and Doc Mercola et al. My version will be fasting for 16 hours of the day. Another 7 hours of 3 very light snacks and one hour for a large, satisfying meal. This is MY plan. No one else's. It is only based on the IF principle. I've also based this on my tracking of every calorie, every workout and every pound lost and gained for the last 4 1/2 years. I am able to look back and see exactly what worked and what didn't work for me since I've been "Sparking"

Any carbs that are eaten will be of a whole food, low GI. Preferably organic, home grown or homemade.

I will not eat any low fat or fat-free foods. They have a much higher GI. Fat eaten with my carbs makes the GL of my meal lower. By slowing digestion. This is good for insulin resistance.

I will not over train. I will not do 3 grueling one hour heavy weight lifting sessions per week along WITH, SIX 1 - 1 1/2 hour INTENSE cardio sessions. Yes! This is overtraining if you are only eating 50-90 grams of carbs per day.

I will do my cardio on an empty stomach, except for my two days a week that I will do a circuit training workout. I will have a small bowl of berries before those workouts.

Lower carb days will be between 50 - 100 grams of carb.
Higher carb days will be 100 - 150 grams of carb.

Steady state cardio will be walking (or equivalent) for approx 1 hour
Hiit workouts will last no more that 25 minutes.
Circuit training will be the most intense workouts and will last from 30-40 minutes and will include intense cardio intervals as well as weight and body weight exercises that give the muscles a total body workout. These are limited to two days per week.

So, my schedule will look something like this.

Monday: Steady state cardio (brisk walk) on empty stomach, low carb day
Tuesday: HiiT cardio on empty stomach, low carb day
Wednesday: Circuit training with small amount of carb for breakfast, higher carb day
Thursday: Steady state cardio (brisk walk) on empty stomach, low carb day
Friday: HiiT cardio on empty stomach, low carb day
Saturday: Circuit training with small amount of carb for breakfast, higher carb day
Sunday: Active recovery. A fun, active lifestyle activity such as a game of golf, iceskating, swimming or a hike with the family. Yoga or just a good stretch. This will also be a low carb day.

Will this work? Not a clue. However, moderation isn't currently working although it USED to work and either has extreme exercising. Low fat dieting no longer works either. I know that insulin resistance isn't reversed overnight so this may take weeks before I even see any results. If I see any results at all.

So, here goes...

PCOS symptoms

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi SADDHU1. It doesn't look like I can visit your Sparkpage...
    I have, and it seems to be working. Although very slowly. Lost 20 pounds since this Blog.
    1669 days ago
    How have things gone since writing this blog last year? Did you stick with the intermittant fasting? How did it go?
    1669 days ago
    Im having the same problem, starting today with Intermittent Fasting, my brother did.. and its works... hope i can get the best results.. I have sop too.. it have been to many years fighting with this!!
    1784 days ago
    Thank you for showing me that 'things go screwy' for someone else, too! I have had problems very similar to both yourself and your daughter, thinking that "of course it is just happening to me!" and am now aware of the deifferent reality.I am only just being treated as if Insulin Resistance could even possibly be a problem, after a diagosis of PCOS in 2003. I have been logging, tracking and struggling to lose for about 3yrs now, and steadily seeing not many results. I will be checking into the warrior diet, as well as and further into a Diabetic diet. Again, thank you!
    2037 days ago
    Oh boy: well, I feel your pain. I am pretty much in the same boat. I have gained some weight over the last year. I was diagnosed as PCOS at the age of 21 then they told me I wasn't. They told me I was insulin resistant, then they told me I wasn't. Anywhoo: have you looked into using gymnema sylvestre? or how about avoiding nuts? I find nuts plump me. Did you know that most GF foods have millet and or soy in them, and both are bad for your thyroid? They can block your thyroid from functioning properly. I will post a blog about this in a little while (I have to go now). I hope that it helps.

    Btw, I had to be on some antibiotics earlier this year, those are known to cause these problems.
    2043 days ago
    Best of EVERYTHING to you Laura. Sounds like a complex but doable plan for someone like you. You are determined to try something and stick with it until you know for sure how it's working for you. Whatever, it's very exciting. I know I could never be so disciplined to stick to something like this but I believe you can do it. It will be a wonderful test to see (again) what works and what doesn't.

    It's so cool that your daughter is willing to go off sugar. Man, if she can do it than I sure should be able to do it too. I don't eat much sugar but sometimes...well, I just dig in. Grrrrrr I know how bad--how evil that stuff is.

    Thanks for being so honest, so open about how you are doing. It is good for the rest of us to hear the truth and get ideas for our own changes.
    emoticon emoticon
    2043 days ago
    I also have been tracking for five years, and in doing so found things that worked for me that the doctors never discovered until I pointed it out to them. Logging is key because you can see what it takes. I have a problem with too much iron, so every once in a while I go on an extremely low iron day to force my body to get it from my liver rather than my diet. I don't think I have a problem with gluten, but I do lose weight when I make grains a rare appearance item. For some reason if I fast before working out, every 20 minutes after going an hours is like a straight pound off my body. I do have thyroid issues and I still done think the doctors have me on a high enough does because my feet and hands are always cold.

    Bottom line is that medical tests are helpful, but they only show your body in one flash of time....not over the whole week. Logging and making observation of what works best for your body is key. I completely understand the "what's the point" emotion, but you are your own best ally in figuring out how to make your body sing.

    Here's to you listening to your body and hearing what it wants. Hope you find the key to your body!
    2043 days ago
    2043 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    all the best with your new plan....
    hope you get some results one way or the other.....
    blessings and hugs..........lita

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2043 days ago
  • DS9KIE
    wow we that has got to make you feel bad when your eating right and still gaining...had to laught at the don't care attitude and eat pizza and other foods...hey i would have done the same thing.

    i'm glad your figuring it out but boy does it sound complicated.

    good luck emoticon
    2043 days ago
    Best of luck on this journey. I know you will manage things quite well.

    2043 days ago
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