Insulin Is The Mr Scrooge Of Energy

October 18, 2016


Insulin is the Mr Scrooge of Energy

Sometimes an analogy is the best way to understand something and the best analogy I’ve thought of, to describe what insulin is like in the body, is that Insulin is the Mr Scrooge of Energy.

Most of us understand Mr Scrooge as the penny pinching miser in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol who kept all his money locked away in the bank, hated Christmas and underpaid his poor clerk, Bob Cratchit.  As the story goes one Christmas Eve the spirit of Mr Scrooge’s predecessor, Jacob Marley, came to him and announced that Ebenezer Scrooge would be visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Fortunately for Mr Scrooge and Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit’s son, who was on the verge of dying because Mr Scrooge paid Bob so poorly, those visitations helped Mr Scrooge change his nature and he became kind and generous and everyone went on to live happily ever after.

But unfortunately for us, that’s where the analogy ends.  Insulin is a molecule.  It can’t change it’s nature and it will do what it is designed to do, come hell or high water.

Like the unrepentant Mr Scrooge insulin takes all the money, or energy in the form of glucose (because our body keeps our blood glucose in a tightly controlled range) and shoves it away in the bank (our glycogen and fat stores) and makes sure it’s locked away so you can’t get at any of it.

Because insulin takes all that glucose and locks it away, you will feel hungry, sooner than you should.

To add insult to injury, insulin also blocks leptin’s action on the hypothalamus so you never get the message that you have eaten enough and that it’s time to stop eating and start using those fat stores.

Essentially insulin makes you greedy for more because you didn’t get the use of all that food you just ate, because insulin shoved it most of it in your energy bank and won’t let you get any of it out.  Can you see that’s exactly what an old miser like Mr Scrooge would do?

What we understand now about insulin resistance is that it’s because we have too much insulin aka hyperinsulinaemia.  In English that means too much insulin in the blood.  Too many little Mr Scrooge’s running amok in there.  Can you imagine a world where everyone and their dog was just like Mr Scrooge?Pretty awful thing to contemplate, isn’t it?   Well that is what our body’s are like when they are overrun by insulin.

And remember insulin can’t change it’s nature so if you want to change what is happening in your body, whether that be weight gain, a problem with your blood sugars or your blood pressure (insulin makes your kidneys keep salt, so you also have to keep water to balance that, which is one reason for increased blood pressure), you have to take on the task of getting your insulin/Mr Scrooge levels down.

You can only do that by changing what you eat.  Start by reducing what increases insulin/Mr Scrooge the most, carbohydrates.  You do this by actively finding out how much of them you can handle – your personal carbohydrate tolerance level.

Over that level and Mr Scrooge comes out in force.

Below that level and you experience life without Mr Scrooge controlling it.  With unlimited access to your bank of energy stores you’ll find yourself feeling less hungry, more energetic and your waistline should fall back in line.

The point of the analogy is to help you make the everyday choices you’ll need to make by giving you a clearer picture of what kind of monstrous miser you are dealing with.

That way you can hopefully learn to turn Mr Scrooge’s favourite saying on himself.

Bah, Humbug! to Mr Scrooge:)


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