Pre-Diabetes and Insulin Resistance: Improving Metabolic Flexibility

Pre-Diabetes and Insulin Resistance: Improving Metabolic Flexibility


In today’s blog post, we will discuss how to overcome pre-diabetes and insulin resistance by improving metabolic flexibility.

You will learn about the causes of pre-diabetes and how it affects the body’s ability to utilize glucose efficiently. I will also share how simple diet and lifestyle changes can help reverse the diagnosis and improve metabolic health.

What Is Pre-Diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes. It is a condition where fasting blood sugar levels are higher than normal (70-100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 3.9-5.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)), but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. It affects a significant portion of the population, including one in three Americans.

However, with early detection and the right strategies, it is possible to reverse the diagnosis and improve metabolic health. Let’s dive into the causes of pre-diabetes and how to overcome it.

Pre-Diabetes And Insulin Resistance

Before pre-diabetes, individuals may experience insulin resistance, where cells become resistant to the signals of insulin. Insulin is responsible for transferring excess sugar from the bloodstream to cells. When cells resist insulin, glucose is not efficiently taken in, leading to elevated blood sugar levels.

Initially, the body compensates by producing more insulin to manage the excess glucose. However, over time, the body’s insulin production becomes insufficient, resulting in high fasting blood sugar levels and a pre-diabetes diagnosis.

Watch Pre-Diabetes And Insulin Resistance

Improving Metabolic Flexibility

Metabolic flexibility refers to the body’s ability to switch between burning carbohydrates and fat for energy seamlessly. People with pre-diabetes often lack metabolic flexibility, as their cells are resistant to insulin signals. When insulin levels are high, the body perceives excess glucose in the bloodstream and does not tap into fat stores for energy.

This inefficiency in energy utilization leads to symptoms like fatigue, sugar cravings, and hunger after eating. To overcome pre-diabetes, it is crucial to improve metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity.

By making simple diet and lifestyle changes, individuals can enhance their body’s ability to switch between fuel sources and ultimately reverse the pre-diabetes diagnosis:

  1. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake: Minimize the consumption of refined carbohydrates, sugary foods, and beverages. Instead, focus on whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, which provide a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream.
  2. Incorporate Healthy Fats: Include healthy fats in your diet, such as those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon. These fats support metabolic flexibility and provide sustained energy.
  3. Practice Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting can help improve insulin sensitivity and enhance metabolic flexibility. It involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, such as 16/8 (fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour window) or 14/10.
  4. Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity, including both aerobic exercises (like walking, jogging, or cycling) and strength training. Exercise helps utilize glucose in the bloodstream and improves insulin sensitivity.
  5. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support metabolic processes and maintain overall health.
  6. Prioritize Sleep: Aim for adequate and restful sleep, as lack of sleep can negatively impact insulin sensitivity and metabolic function.
  7. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can affect hormonal balance and contribute to insulin resistance. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature.
  8. Avoid Overeating: Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid overeating, which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels.

Using Lumen For Metabolic Health

Lumen is a metabolism tracker that helps individuals monitor their metabolic health and fuel utilization. It measures carbon dioxide concentration in breath to determine whether the body is primarily burning carbohydrates or fat for energy. By following Lumen’s recommendations, such as consuming low-carbohydrate meals and tracking pre- and post-meal readings, individuals can optimize their metabolic flexibility.

Lumen’s nutrition plan and recipe recommendations align with the goal of keeping insulin levels low and blood sugar stable. Additionally, exercise can help utilize glucose in the bloodstream and stored glucose, aiding in the transition to fat burning mode. Monitoring metabolic health with Lumen’s Flex Score allows individuals to track their progress and improve insulin sensitivity.

In conclusion, pre-diabetes and insulin resistance can be overcome by improving metabolic flexibility. By understanding the causes of pre-diabetes and implementing strategies to enhance insulin sensitivity, individuals can reverse the diagnosis and improve their metabolic health.

Tools like Lumen provide valuable insights and guidance to optimize fuel utilization and track progress. With the right approach, it is possible to overcome pre-diabetes and prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.


About the Author

Leveraging her 40+ years in health & fitness as well as the latest biohacking and longevity breakthroughs, Peak Performance Coach, Biggi Fraley, helps you remain healthy, fit, and active so that you can age gracefully, stay independent, and embark on exciting new chapters in life.