IGF-1 AND INSULIN and FAT BURNING vs FAT STORAGE
Insulin and IGF-1 look very similar and both do the job of feeding our cells! IGF-1 stands for “insulin-like growth factor.” It’s called “insulin-like” because its molecular structure is very similar to insulin, so much so that insulin and IGF-1 actually compete for the same receptors on the cell membrane. They have a similar shape and a similar function but the way they go about it is very different and very important when it comes to burning fat for fuel.
How Insulin and IGF-1 work with Fat Burning
When you are a sugar burner, the primary pump delivering fuel to your cells is insulin. We eat sugar/carbs and blood sugar rises. Once blood sugar is on the rise, the pancreas secretes insulin to help! Insulin is our CHRONIC FAT STORAGE HORMONE!!! If you eat a lot of carbs/sugars in your daily life then the more insulin you’ve got circulating in your bloodstream and the more fat you pack on!
IGF-1, on the other hand, is a fat-burning hormone. It therefore stands to reason that when you’re a fat-burner, your cells are responding to IGF-1. This is exactly what you want.
Blood Sugar, Insulin and Insulin Resistance
Whenever you eat food, your blood sugar goes up. In response to this increase in blood sugar, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin’s job is to act as the sugar police. Insulin will gather all that excess sugar deliver it to your cells where it can be “burned” for energy.
When you eat the standard American diet full of high-carb foods including most grains, legumes, starchy veggies, high sugar fruits, cereal, pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, etc., the blood sugar rises —and the pancreas has a heck of a time keeping up with the demand for insulin.
The problem is compounded if you have a sedentary lifestyle because the muscle cells are supposed to welcome all this sugar in and often times they stop responding to the insulin your pancreas has sent out. The cells become resistant to the effects of insulin and this is known as insulin resistance.
Now, you’ve got high-blood sugar (which is bad enough) and you’ve also got high levels of insulin. The insulin keeps knocking on the doors of the muscle cells but the muscle cells aren’t answering! Eventually, insulin turns to the fat cells, which are quite happy to have the sugar payload. When the fat cells can’t take any more, they too become resistant to insulin. Now you’re on your way to full-blown diabetes, obesity and all the other metabolic diseases that come with insulin resistance.
I firmly believe that we can reverse this with dietary and lifestyle changes. I see these changes happen almost daily on the HCG Diet program that we offer. It is amazing how the body can go from metabolic disharmony to metabolic harmony! It takes work and it takes time … but, it is SO worth it!
Changing Your Bodies Fuel Pump to IGF-1
Ideally, insulin should only be elevated for a short window right after you have eaten. The rest of the time, we hope that your cells are getting their needs met primarily from the IGF-1 fuel pump.
IGF-1 feeds the cells much like insulin does, but it also sends a number of important signals to the body at the same time. One of those signals is to rebuild and repair your most metabolically active tissue, which includes your organs, glands, bones and nerves.
IGF-1 uses your fat stores to feed all those cells! IGF-1 signals your fat cells to open up and release all of the stored fat inside. as opposed to filling them up the way insulin does. IGF-1 breaks into the fat storage banks and releases fat from the fat cells so that it can be utilized to feed the rest of your body. When you have enough IGF-1 around you burn fat naturally, your heart, brain, bones, and nerves are strengthened, and aging is slowed down.
Needless to say, you want IGF-1 to be your primary fuel pump, and you want insulin to hang around just long enough to take care of excess blood sugar, do a couple of other housecleaning chores and then get the heck out of the way so IGF-1 can go back to work keeping your metabolic machinery in good working order.
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