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Thread: Insulin Resistance

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    Insulin Resistance

    For those of you who know me, you know I have struggled to gain lean mass. In fact, i've struggled to gain any muscle at all. My last 'add lean mass' run, while I admittedly didn't stick to my plan 100%, was a total failure IMO as I didn't gain any noticeable muscle but did gain a lot of fat.

    This really made me start questioning things. How could this be possible? I can understand the fat gain if the diet gets sloppy and cardio is neglected (both of which happened on my last run)... but I couldn't understand why i'd gain NO muscle. I met all the following criteria:

    - trained sufficiently and with intensity, i.e. gave my body a reason to grow
    - hit my macros (went over if anything)
    - sufficient protein, carbs and fat - definite caloric surplus (evident in the fat gains)
    - sufficient sleep
    - bloodwork shows 'within normal range' test levels

    I started thinking about insulin resistance. Without going too much into HOW we become insulin resistant (that's another topic that deserves it's own thread), suffice it to say a leading culprit is poor diet (high fat/sugar/processed calorie dense food) and no exercise. Well, that pretty much sums up my life throughout my 20's.

    Insulin resistance is a 'condition' whereby our cells become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that's responsible for shuttling nutrients into our cells. Basically, we eat - let's say carbs for an easy example - carbs are eventually broken down into their simplest form, glucose. Our blood glucose levels rise. The pancreas is triggered to secrete insulin to 'clean up' the glucose in our bloodstream, shuttling it to be stored into our cells - muscle (as glycogen), liver (as glycogen), and fat (as tryglycerides). You can see how a constant diet high in fat and carbs (not to mention caloric surplus) can keep blood glucose levels high, requiring insulin to continuously be released. Continuous circulating insulin can, over time, cause cells to become insulin resistant.

    This made perfect sense for my case - muscles weren't growing in proportion to my training because they weren't benefitting from insulin in my bloodstream. i.e. glucose uptake in the cells was limited. But why would I so easily store bodyfat then, if cells have become resistant? Isn't it an 'all or none' type of thing? Then I came across this little read, which was like an epiphony for me:

    Once established, insulin resistance would result in increased circulating levels of insulin. Since insulin is the primary hormonal signal for energy storage into fat cells, which tend to retain their sensitivity in the face of hepatic and skeletal muscle resistance, IR stimulates the formation of new fatty tissue and accelerates weight gain - Elvira Isganaitis; Robert H. Lustig (2005). "Fast Food, Central Nervous System Insulin Resistance, and Obesity". Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology

    This spoke volumes to me. This answers my questions. Now it makes perfect sense as to why i'd add fat but not muscle, even though the environment for muscle growth is present. But finding this was the easy part. 'Fixing' it is a whole different animal. So what can we do to decrease insulin resistance, or better put - increase insulin sensitivity?

    - limit sugar intake. This is a no brainer. Spiking BGL's and the subsequent insulin response is counter productive. So forget your PWO 'fast acting carbs' - they will only hurt you in this case.

    - limit overall carb intake. If you're trying to lower your resistance to insulin, then eating 400g of carbs per day isn't going to help, even if they're the cleanest most complex carbs ever.

    - extend the time between when your workout ends and you have your PWO meal, particularly carbs. Studies have shown an increase in insulin sensitivity when food isn't eaten immediately PWO.

    - Exercise - duh

    - Fasting - I'll be exploring this (again), with the new goal of increasing my sensitivty to insulin. It's logical to think that keeping BGL low and insulin supressed will, over time, increase sensitivity

    - Keep fat intake low - I don't mean 10g a day, just be moderate. Personally, I don't let fat make up more than 15% of my diet.

    - DO supplement with fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a positive effect in increasing insulin sensitivity

    I will add more as I think of them/research further. Hopefully this will get a dialogue going which will prompt more questions... and responses. I hope this helps some of you with your own confusion on the topic.

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    Thanks mate, that's come as perfect to
    Ing as I start my lean bulk. My 20's were littered with drinking and a terrible high carb/far diet. Whilst I find it relatively easy to cut I've always struggled with a bulk.

    Time will tell, but thanks for this and good luck next time you bulk too!
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    Interesting read my friend, When your mention PWO and to not consume it as fast does this include protein? i usually consume within 20 minutes of a workout some protein and oats but would it be wise to wait longer such as a hour?
    thanks

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    thanks for posting this. i think we are similar in some ways but i can gain pretty easy (both fat and muscle). i have always been a husky kid, never obese, but always overweight/chunky monkey. it is very hard for me to cut as my body wants to stay fat! over the past 10 years, the weight has dropped slowly but after finding this website, it started dropping faster! i have been doing the fasting diet since the new year, and like it but i have not been as strict/disciplined as others on this site are which shows the slow progress. i do remember some threads way back last year that discussed this topic and i am glad you brought it up again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    Continuous circulating insulin can, over time, cause cells to become insulin resistant.
    Which is enough of a reason for NOT advising people to eat frequent small meals throughout the day, especially with lean gains and/or cutting purposes in mind.

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    Im glad I brought up insulin in our discussion yesterday. lol

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    So forgive me if im not as knowledgable as you guys, but turkish juicer raised a good point. Is it bad to be eating frequent small meals? and also Turkish juicer i remember you had a thread on Insulin & green tea. With the information provided in this topic, how would green tea reflect in long term insulin resistance

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    Pure water fasting or juice fasting can help "reset" your body if you will. Low gly***ic load carbs should be consumed, and insulin index of foods should be taken into consideration. Stop eating 300-500g carbohydrate per day, as per usual BB diet please! Fairly accurate list. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_index

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    Thanks for the information gb, great read.

    I read in a study that cortisol can diminish insulin sensitivity as well. I have a couple buddies that I used to lift with in the military and they're main focus was on cardio and ab work to get cut and have a six pack. They would lose weight to some degree but they had no strength and just all around looked flat. They followed a strict cardio and caloric deficient diet for 6 Months plus, it just seemed to become there lifestyle. In high school they ran cross country and were involved in track and field.

    When they did attempt to bulk and try to put on more muscle they would struggle to put on any weight and would eat like a horse. I never really understood why they couldn't GAIN weight because it was so easy for me, could this be a result of cortisol having an impact on insulin sensitivity from following a high cardio low calorie regime for such a long period of time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteM View Post
    Thanks mate, that's come as perfect to
    Ing as I start my lean bulk. My 20's were littered with drinking and a terrible high carb/far diet. Whilst I find it relatively easy to cut I've always struggled with a bulk.

    Time will tell, but thanks for this and good luck next time you bulk too!
    Glad you enjoyed the read!

    Quote Originally Posted by akali View Post
    Interesting read my friend, When your mention PWO and to not consume it as fast does this include protein? i usually consume within 20 minutes of a workout some protein and oats but would it be wise to wait longer such as a hour?
    thanks
    That's a theory - I've read that staying 'fasted' (realizing you're not truly fasted if you're having a PRE workout meal... ) after your workout/cardio for several hours can help. However, carbs will by far be the biggest factor as they raise BGL much more/faster than protein or fats.

    Quote Originally Posted by 00ragincajun00 View Post
    thanks for posting this. i think we are similar in some ways but i can gain pretty easy (both fat and muscle). i have always been a husky kid, never obese, but always overweight/chunky monkey. it is very hard for me to cut as my body wants to stay fat! over the past 10 years, the weight has dropped slowly but after finding this website, it started dropping faster! i have been doing the fasting diet since the new year, and like it but i have not been as strict/disciplined as others on this site are which shows the slow progress. i do remember some threads way back last year that discussed this topic and i am glad you brought it up again.
    I hate you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish Juicer View Post
    Which is enough of a reason for NOT advising people to eat frequent small meals throughout the day, especially with lean gains and/or cutting purposes in mind.
    Agreed, at least in terms of cutting.

    Quote Originally Posted by dukkitdalaw View Post
    Im glad I brought up insulin in our discussion yesterday. lol
    Yea man. I've pondered insulin resistance as a major player in my 'issue' for a while now, but after our talk yesterday I really got to thinking about it, and started to look into it more than I have in the past. Glad I did, because finding that one little blurb said it all for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by akali View Post
    So forgive me if im not as knowledgable as you guys, but turkish juicer raised a good point. Is it bad to be eating frequent small meals? and also Turkish juicer i remember you had a thread on Insulin & green tea. With the information provided in this topic, how would green tea reflect in long term insulin resistance
    Bad? Not necessarily. However for somebody who is insulin resistant, it's logically not the best approach IMO. Eating every few hours means insulin activity every few hours. Extended periods of time without eating (Fasting) means supressed insulin for said period of time. Now on the other side of the coin, this will require your fewer meals to be larger, and as such, the insulin response to these meals will also be greater. I still think it's a better approach though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oscarjones View Post
    Pure water fasting or juice fasting can help "reset" your body if you will. Low gly***ic load carbs should be consumed, and insulin index of foods should be taken into consideration. Stop eating 300-500g carbohydrate per day, as per usual BB diet please! Fairly accurate list. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_index
    Good stuff, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnnyblazzze View Post
    Thanks for the information gb, great read.

    I read in a study that cortisol can diminish insulin sensitivity as well. I have a couple buddies that I used to lift with in the military and they're main focus was on cardio and ab work to get cut and have a six pack. They would lose weight to some degree but they had no strength and just all around looked flat. They followed a strict cardio and caloric deficient diet for 6 Months plus, it just seemed to become there lifestyle. In high school they ran cross country and were involved in track and field.

    When they did attempt to bulk and try to put on more muscle they would struggle to put on any weight and would eat like a horse. I never really understood why they couldn't GAIN weight because it was so easy for me, could this be a result of cortisol having an impact on insulin sensitivity from following a high cardio low calorie regime for such a long period of time?
    Possibly, but i'd cite their metabolism's as being the problem first. Extended periods of time in a caloric deficit, lots of cardio etc, can result in a slowed metabolism. This doesn't mean that it will be easy to put on muscle once they start trying. In all fairness, I have no idea how they ate other than low calories - i.e. high protein? Was weight training involved before they tried bulking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by akali View Post
    So forgive me if im not as knowledgable as you guys, but turkish juicer raised a good point. Is it bad to be eating frequent small meals? and also Turkish juicer i remember you had a thread on Insulin & green tea. With the information provided in this topic, how would green tea reflect in long term insulin resistance
    It is not ''bad'' to be eating frequent small meals per se, it is certainly not the best strategy to yield lean gains and/or cut for many people, although frequent small meal theory is often thrown in our faces to be the most efficient strategy for boosting metabolism and hence increasing the rate of fat-burning process, which is nonetheless NOT a proven method.

    Another downside of eating every 2-3 hour is the protein oxidation; that is, protein waste in simple terms. When you feed your body with protein every 2-3 hours, you are making it impossible for all the protein to be utilized as it should be, which leads to its oxidation, as opposed to giving your metabolism enough time to digest the protein meal before reloading your gut with another.

    Yes, all studies point out to the fact that frequent consumption of green tea throughout the day would have a positive effect on insulin resistance, meaning that insulin sensitivity levels would be higher and resistance be lower.
    Last edited by Turkish Juicer; 05-18-2012 at 11:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post

    Possibly, but i'd cite their metabolism's as being the problem first. Extended periods of time in a caloric deficit, lots of cardio etc, can result in a slowed metabolism. This doesn't mean that it will be easy to put on muscle once they start trying. In all fairness, I have no idea how they ate other than low calories - i.e. high protein? Was weight training involved before they tried bulking?
    Ahh ok that makes sense. They're weight training was minimal meaning he would probably get in about 2-3 lifting sessions a week and 6-7 days a week of cardio.

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    1 member (me) and 24 guests reading this. C'mon lurkers, register already!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish Juicer View Post
    It is not ''bad'' to be eating frequent small meals per se, it is certainly not the best strategy to yield lean gains and/or cut for many people, although frequent small meal is often thrown in our faces to be the most efficient strategy for boosting metabolism and hence increasing the rate of fat-burning process, which is nonetheless NOT a proven method.

    Another downside of eating every 2-3 hour is the protein oxidation; that is, protein waste in simple terms. When you feed your body with protein every 2-3 hours, you are making it impossible for all the protein to be utilized as it should be, which leads to its oxidation, as opposed to giving your metabolism enough time to digest the protein meal before reloading your gut with another.

    Yes, all studies point out to the fact that frequent consumption of green tea throughout the day would have a positive effect on insulin resistance, meaning that insulin sensitivity levels would be higher and resistance be lower.

    I like your way of thinking. We need to be friends. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish Juicer View Post
    It is not ''bad'' to be eating frequent small meals per se, it is certainly not the best strategy to yield lean gains and/or cut for many people, although frequent small meal theory is often thrown in our faces to be the most efficient strategy for boosting metabolism and hence increasing the rate of fat-burning process, which is nonetheless NOT a proven method.

    Another downside of eating every 2-3 hour is the protein oxidation; that is, protein waste in simple terms. When you feed your body with protein every 2-3 hours, you are making it impossible for all the protein to be utilized as it should be, which leads to its oxidation, as opposed to giving your metabolism enough time to digest the protein meal before reloading your gut with another.

    Yes, all studies point out to the fact that frequent consumption of green tea throughout the day would have a positive effect on insulin resistance, meaning that insulin sensitivity levels would be higher and resistance be lower.
    Ok so translated for dummies like myself it would sound something like this.

    More frequent meals equals more insulin and not enough time for the body to break down and use ALL the nutrients it's been provided and increases insulin resistance which is less optimal for one trying to "cut."

    Less frequent meals equals less insulin and gives enough time for body to utilize all of the nutrients that were consumed and has less effect on insulin resistance and more effect on insulin sensativity, which would benefit one that is trying to "cut."

    This is what i'm getting out of it if i'm understanding correctly.

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    It is not bad eating every 3 hours if your foods are low GI foods. That is why it is preached so much to eat clean foods. A slow burning carb will not spike insulin like a candybar will. But if you eat sugar every meal like most American's do (fast foods, sodas, white bread, enriched foods, processed foods, high fructose corn syrup in everything, etc) then that is why most ppl are insulin resistant.

    The only time you want to eat a simple sugar and get a insulin release is during your workout. Because working out is stressful for your body and you need to have lots of glucose floating around during this time. It will help blunt any stress releasing hormones your body produces.
    Last edited by Brohim; 05-18-2012 at 06:30 PM.

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    GB, Interesting thread. Guess its one reason why the fat tend to stay fat. I have many years under my belt of eating high fat/carb combo so I probably have this effect. Will be interesting to see what works to increase insulin sensitivity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnnyblazzze View Post
    Ok so translated for dummies like myself it would sound something like this.

    More frequent meals equals more insulin and not enough time for the body to break down and use ALL the nutrients it's been provided and increases insulin resistance which is less optimal for one trying to "cut."

    Less frequent meals equals less insulin and gives enough time for body to utilize all of the nutrients that were consumed and has less effect on insulin resistance and more effect on insulin sensativity, which would benefit one that is trying to "cut."

    This is what i'm getting out of it if i'm understanding correctly.
    You could not have had a better understanding of it, which also proves that you are not a dummie

    An alternative strategy to eating small frequent meals would be to consume a meal about every 4-5 hours with complex carbs that are packed with fiber and slow digesting protein that will ensure the constant amino acid flow to the bloodstream, hence feeding the muscles throughout the day. This way, one can at least guarantee that there is no protein waste which occurs due to its frequent intake and insulin is not triggered too often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish Juicer View Post
    You could not have had a better understanding of it, which also proves that you are not a dummie

    An alternative strategy to eating small frequent meals would be to consume a meal about every 4-5 hours with complex carbs that are packed with fiber and slow digesting protein that will ensure the constant amino acid flow to the bloodstream, hence feeding the muscles throughout the day. This way, one can at least guarantee that there is no protein waste which occurs due to its frequent intake and insulin is not triggered too often.
    Great information, Thanks.

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    Insulin Resistance-tumblr_lymngtor141qf2ydx.jpg

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    Im starting to like this forum a lot more. Seeing some people having serious discussions and worthwhile topics and all.

    Anyways.... Im going to start monitoring my blood glucose levels again.

    Last summer I did while I messed around with insulin shots... and my slin response was crazy good.


    But I have feeling that this last winter of binge eating and drinking while barely working out.... has severely changed my insulin resistance.

    Should be fun to see.

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    ^^ agreed on the first point, and looking forward to seeing what's doing with your insulin response. I need to start monitoring as well, see if fasting really makes an impact or not.

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    That would be badass to see how your insulin reacts to the IF diet, you can be the guinea pig gb!

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    Good info GB.

    You should definitely get a blood glucose monitor, they're ridiculously cheap and easy to use. I paid more for a pack of glucose test strips than I did the meter.

    I've been trying to monitor my blood sugar levels for a while now but don't check it nearly as often as I should. I was concerned GH was causing insulin resistance and/or hypergly***ia but my blood sugar levels are always very low. I guess that means I'm insulin sensitive which I guess is a good thing.

    I've only tested my blood sugar when I've been sticking to my good boy diet but I've been meaning to test it after having a dozen crispy cremes or something lol. If I remember to do it I'll post up the results in this thread.

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    Very informative read! I check my sugar and if I eat clean, low gly***ic, 5 small meals within my maintenance/cutting, my sugar is normal range. one crispy cream donut and my sugar goes up. If I have a higher carb cheat meal at dinner, still elevated when I get up.

    This nutriental has lots of variables. I

    haven't found anything that has helped me more then this website and the knowledgeable forum members!

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    Thanks guys!

    @Sgt. - yes, I definitely want to start monitoring. The more I can learn about my body, the better. Now that I believe i'm onto something (IR being a big part of my problem), I have something specific to run with. I would like to get an insulin test kit as well but they're a bit more pricey than BG tests. I'd like to monitor my insulin levels at various intervals after a meal for a period of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Hartman View Post
    Good info GB.

    You should definitely get a blood glucose monitor, they're ridiculously cheap and easy to use. I paid more for a pack of glucose test strips than I did the meter.

    I've been trying to monitor my blood sugar levels for a while now but don't check it nearly as often as I should. I was concerned GH was causing insulin resistance and/or hypergly***ia but my blood sugar levels are always very low. I guess that means I'm insulin sensitive which I guess is a good thing.

    I've only tested my blood sugar when I've been sticking to my good boy diet but I've been meaning to test it after having a dozen crispy cremes or something lol. If I remember to do it I'll post up the results in this thread.
    During my stints of checking my BG, my results were pretty crazy.

    Upon waking my levels were well below average.

    After meals they were about average or lower.

    It took me like 3 donuts, chocolate milk, a candy bar and other crap in order for my levels to reach high/normal levels. I rarely went over 80, even after huge meals.

    Went to grab more strips this morn and they werent in stock at walmart. Gotta run to cvs on lunch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    ^^ Pretty sure I've mentioned this before... but .... I HATE YOU!
    What? You <3 me?

    Aw shucks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dukkitdalaw View Post
    During my stints of checking my BG, my results were pretty crazy.

    Upon waking my levels were well below average.

    After meals they were about average or lower.

    It took me like 3 donuts, chocolate milk, a candy bar and other crap in order for my levels to reach high/normal levels. I rarely went over 80, even after huge meals.

    Went to grab more strips this morn and they werent in stock at walmart. Gotta run to cvs on lunch.
    Mine doesn't stay quite as low as yours but low enough that at first I thought something might be wrong with me lol.

    I've eaten probably close to 200g carbs today and in the last hour (pwo) I've had a cup of oats, a banana and a big white potato, blood sugar is 82. I've never seen mine over 100.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Hartman View Post
    Mine doesn't stay quite as low as yours but low enough that at first I thought something might be wrong with me lol.

    I've eaten probably close to 200g carbs today and in the last hour (pwo) I've had a cup of oats, a banana and a big white potato, blood sugar is 82. I've never seen mine over 100.
    Sounds similar. We're lucky. lol

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    I want to thank you for posting this. It's something I've been aware of in the past, but I have never done any real research on. However, because my doctor recently recommended I get an insulin resistance test, I am starting to do so now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnnyblazzze View Post
    Ok so translated for dummies like myself it would sound something like this.

    More frequent meals equals more insulin and not enough time for the body to break down and use ALL the nutrients it's been provided and increases insulin resistance which is less optimal for one trying to "cut."

    Less frequent meals equals less insulin and gives enough time for body to utilize all of the nutrients that were consumed and has less effect on insulin resistance and more effect on insulin sensativity, which would benefit one that is trying to "cut."

    This is what i'm getting out of it if i'm understanding correctly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Turkish Juicer View Post
    You could not have had a better understanding of it, which also proves that you are not a dummie

    An alternative strategy to eating small frequent meals would be to consume a meal about every 4-5 hours with complex carbs that are packed with fiber and slow digesting protein that will ensure the constant amino acid flow to the bloodstream, hence feeding the muscles throughout the day. This way, one can at least guarantee that there is no protein waste which occurs due to its frequent intake and insulin is not triggered too often.
    ok say you took 1 large meal. what ever the breakdown is and divided it into to smaller meals. Why would you have more insulin on the 2 meals instead of 1. Yes you would have another "pulse" but your body shouldnt produce a higher total amount of insulin since in theory you are eating exactly the same. it should be 2 smaller pulses instead of one larger one
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    Quote Originally Posted by gixxerboy1 View Post
    ok say you took 1 large meal. what ever the breakdown is and divided it into to smaller meals. Why would you have more insulin on the 2 meals instead of 1. Yes you would have another "pulse" but your body shouldnt produce a higher total amount of insulin since in theory you are eating exactly the same. it should be 2 smaller pulses instead of one larger one
    I think that with the 2 moderate sized meals it is a prolonged insulin release as opposed to the 1 larger meal when you just get the insulin release from that one meal. One could debate the fact of the larger release in the 1 meal or the prolonged smaller release of the 2 moderate meals then that's getting real knitty gritty. I would think that if somebody's primary goal is to lower BF% they would want to go with the 1 larger meal which would fall around pre/post workout to combat losing muscle in a caloric deficient diet. I'm experiencing this in my IF diet and have had successful results in the first 10 days.

    Everybody is different, I personally don't like larger meals in a short period of time but that's where I get the best results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnnyblazzze View Post
    I think that with the 2 moderate sized meals it is a prolonged insulin release as opposed to the 1 larger meal when you just get the insulin release from that one meal. One could debate the fact of the larger release in the 1 meal or the prolonged smaller release of the 2 moderate meals then that's getting real knitty gritty. I would think that if somebody's primary goal is to lower BF% they would want to go with the 1 larger meal which would fall around pre/post workout to combat losing muscle in a caloric deficient diet. I'm experiencing this in my IF diet and have had successful results in the first 10 days.

    Everybody is different, I personally don't like larger meals in a short period of time but that's where I get the best results.
    I agree about the cutting part. but since we were talking about insulin resistance. So as Turkish posted. The 1 large release would be better then a lower prolonged for insulin resistance. I'm curious if there is a study or some science behind it.
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    I don't have the reading with me but I had a study on this, I will try to dig it up but it's been a lonnnnng time since I came across it.

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