How I Beat Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Ninety Days
I have been rail thin, and I have carried more fat than I like to admit. As a collegiate wrestler, I was 4 percent body fat. As time passed into my late twenties, I ballooned to a whopping 30 percent body fat. I felt weak, tired, edgy, depressed, and was haunted by a constant craving for food—usually anything that had sugar. My brain screamed eat, eat, eat, and my body said store, store, store. It was a metabolic nightmare. Disgusted, I was determined to awaken from it and lose the unwanted fat while building more muscle—in the shortest amount of time possible.
As an organic chemist trained in biochemistry and drug design, I scrutinized every fat loss method available. I studied volumes of research available on fad diets, the government-mandated Food Pyramid, and strenuous exercise programs. I mapped out the actions of purported fat loss drugs like Wellbutrin, Phentermine, Xenical, Clenbuterol, Meridia, and amphetamines. I learned that none of these options were for me. They only provided temporary fat loss at best, while putting me at risk for worsening health.
Digging deeper into science, I discovered that I could lose excess fat and gain solid muscle by adhering to key lifestyle habits that controlled a single hormone in my body: insulin. Insulin is the nutrient taxi. It escorts blood glucose (a.k.a. blood sugar) and other nutrients into the muscle cells to be used for fuel. This keeps us alive and energized. Too much insulin, however, can be detrimental.
Excess insulin tells the body to store fat and instead use glucose for fuel. In addition, many hormonal systems that regulate appetite, mood, muscle growth, and even fertility are thrown out of whack by excess insulin. This imbalance is usually secured long-term by a sugar addiction that accompanies excess insulin. Soda, juice, cereal, beer, and candy manufacturers have built empires around such addictions.
Since the body is burning glucose for energy and storing fat, it screams for more sugar as glucose is converted into energy. This is the metabolic nightmare our parents innately feared when they told us, Don’t eat too much sugar.
As adults, most of us have ignored the warning not to eat sugar. We pay more attention to how many calories or grams of fat we put into our bodies. This is a deadly mistake. Most low-calorie and low-fat foods are loaded with sugar or sugar mimics. These include sucrose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed proteins, trans-fat, and milk sugars such as lactose and maltose.
Looking at my own eating habits, I was consuming sugar every time I put something into my mouth. Whether I was drinking a so-called sports drink, eating a so-called health food bar, or slurping Campbell’s soup, I was consuming some type of detrimental sugar. Little did I know that I was headed toward more treacherous health problems than just obesity.
If habitual sugar consumption continues, the metabolic nightmare can turn into a living hell. Over time, high insulin levels lead to a medical condition known as insulin resistance or Syndrome X.
Similar to those who consume excess alcohol and develop resistance to it, excess insulin numbs the cells. Our muscles no longer react to it. Unable to gain entry into muscle cells, glucose remains in the bloodstream. Blood sugar skyrockets. Recognizing the rise in blood glucose, the pancreas attempts to curtail the danger with yet more insulin production. Insulin resistance begins to take its toll on the body. Insulin and glucose overload leads to hypertension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Aging accelerates so fast among those who suffer from insulin resistance that they can erase ten years from their lives!
Alarmed with what I learned, I became wildly motivated to control my insulin. It wasn’t that difficult. I never starved. I never counted calories. I never suffered in the gym. I learned how to control my insulin by adhering to simple lifestyle habits. Doing so allowed me to burn fat day and night. My body innately knew when to eat and how much to eat.
By controlling my insulin, I descended from 30 percent body fat to a lean 12 percent body fat in ninety days! During that time, I gained six pounds of muscle. I had abundant energy all day. My mood was consistently upbeat. My physical and mental endurance was at an all time high. My productivity quadrupled. I felt like my newfound habits were the Holy Grail for effortless fat loss.
I awoke from my metabolic nightmare and freed myself from the impending health crisis that eighty million Americans are now faced with. Here are the simple steps I took:
* I had to learn how to exercise properly. Proper exercise and insulin resistance cannot coexist. I did interval training with weights for forty-five minutes three times per week. This consisted of short bursts of intense exercise separated by short rest periods. I attained the best results when I exercised first thing in the morning, before breakfast.
* I had to quit sugar and sugar mimics. I scrutinized every food label to ensure that there were no sugars. If something tasted sweet, I didn’t eat it—not even fruit for the first ninety days.
* I abstained from all artificial sweeteners. I only used the natural sweetener known as Stevia. I quit all soda and fruit juice and replaced it with purified water, water with squeezed lemon, or green tea. I limited wine consumption to at most one glass per week.
* I avoided dieting. Lowering food intake and dieting teaches the body to store fat. I ate a meal every three to four hours until I was totally full. My meals focused on healthy fat, vegetables, and protein. Sources of food were grass-fed beef (London broil, sausage, New York strip, and so on), eggs (the whole egg), pork, tuna, whey isolate (free of sugar and artificial flavors), beans, rice, chicken, organic salads at least every other day, steamed vegetables, blueberries, coconut oil, fish, organic bread with REAL butter, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, and avocados.
* I got more sunshine. I exposed at least 80 percent of my body to sunshine for ten to twenty minutes per day. This helped control my appetite and mood while normalizing insulin and blood glucose levels1.
* I drank more water at the right times of the day. Drinking water activates your body’s natural ability to burn fat (i.e., thermogenesis) by up to 30 percent. I drank sixteen ounces of purified water on waking in the morning and five minutes before every meal.
* I used supplements. As a drug chemist, I always knew that nutritional supplements could be useful. After all, the vast majority of drugs are derived from nutritional supplements. It wasn’t until I fully embraced their proper use that I was able to experience their powerful benefits. To mobilize my fat from fat stores and intensify my workouts, I used a thermogenic aid. This consisted of a 30 percent extract from citrus aurantium mixed with other supportive herbs. To increase my insulin sensitivity,
* I used green tea (Provantage) or a 1 percent banaba extract with cinnamon and red ginseng. To help with digestion and circulation, I supplemented with cayenne pepper. To mitigate my intense sugar cravings, I utilized the essential amino acid L-tryptophan. Dosage and timing were important factors that ensured the effectiveness of these supplements.
* I cheated. To ensure that I could stick to my habits long term, I cheated once per week. During this time, I did whatever I wanted to.
As others learned of my findings and applied them, they too had the same success, perhaps even greater. Consider Frank Dannenberg. At five foot four inches, Frank weighed 205 pounds. He was a three-time heart attack victim and type II diabetic. At a mere fifty-eight years old, Frank was planning his own funeral. After following the habits for ninety days, Frank lost twenty-three pounds of fat, gained ten pounds of muscle, and reversed his diabetes! With his newfound health, he abandoned nine prescription drugs!
Without a doubt, the benefits of controlling insulin via the habits used above go beyond fat loss. Insulin control is the long-awaited panacea that Americans have been searching for. Physician David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale Medical School, summed it up best. He suggested that learning how to regulate insulin could be the master control of all disease, not just obesity.
** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health. To get complete details on 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health, visit