Clock In/Clock Out – Insulin’s Job to Stabilize Blood Sugar

To stay healthy, the body wants blood sugar (blood glucose) maintained in a very narrow range. To do this, the body produces two hormones, Insulin and Glucagon that work on opposite schedules and in opposite ways.

1) Insulin is produced when we are eating to lower high blood sugar and,

2) Glucagon is produced when we are fasting to raise low blood sugar. 

Insulin starts its shift with the first meal of the day when the body signals Glucagon to clock out.  Conversely, a few hours after our last meal of the day, Insulin clocks out and Glucagon clocks back in.  In an ideal world, they would each work a 12 hour day, rested and ready for their next day’s shift.  Not likely in this society!

We abuse Insulin and Glucagon more than any other hormones in the body by making them work overtime.  When we unintentionally fast during the day by skipping meals, Glucagon is forced to clock in early while Insulin steps aside. Glucagon restores our low blood sugar just in time for a delayed meal to shoot our blood sugar past the high end of the range.  Insulin quickly steps in while Glucagon clocks out.  Insulin works hard and brings in extra Insulin to restore the blood sugar to normal by sending extra glucose to the liver to be stored as fat – the opposite job to what Glucagon just performed to raise low blood sugar.

Poor Insulin!  Not only does insulin have to work hard to recover from Glucagon’s extra shift but it has to work overtime when the person decides to snack before bed.  Not enough calories during the day leads to inevitable snacking at night time.  This means that Insulin puts in a 16 hour shift when the body’s Caloric Goal isn’t met between breakfast and dinner. As well, Glucagon puts in extra shifts when we skip meals.

You can see where the body’s Insulin resistance and Type II Diabetes begins.  Being overweight and eating processed food may have less to do with Insulin resistance than the yo-yo effect of skipping meals and late night snacking.  Use your Balanced Café app to keep your blood sugar within the optimal range. Meet your Caloric Goal and your blood sugars will not drop low enough to force Glucagon to clock in early.   Likewise, balance your macronutrients with the Balance Factor and you will lighten Insulin’s load when your blood sugars don’t surpass the top of the range.  Keep Insulin and Glucagon working opposite, 12-hour shifts and your efforts to lean down and stay healthy will be rewarded.

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