12 Jan 2013

Metformin is commonly prescribed by GPs for insulin resistance in relation to Type II diabetes, but also increasingly for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).





The three main actions of metformin are to :

  • decrease the amount of carbohydrate absorbed in the intestine (this can help with weight loss and blood sugar/insulin control)
  • reduce the production of glucose by the liver. This contibutes to stabilizing blood glucose and insulin.
  • increase the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin.

This is all well and good, but there are plenty of natural ways of achieving the same outcomes which don’t have the side effects of long-term ingestion of medication.

  • To reduce the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine you can limit the quantity of carbohydrates you consume. This particularly applies to the consumption of simple carbohydrates, refined carbohydrates and sugars, and refined starches (these are empty calorie foods of limited nutritional value containing little fibre and vitamins). The simplest way to achieve this without hours of research (and procrastination) is to eat a wholefood diet. In other words this means cutting out all foods which are processed. However, today with so much processed and refined food readily available it can be at times difficult to distinguish what exactly constitutes refined and processed food and it can be hard work to resist the temptation to purchase it. During the 27 DAYS program I tell you exactly how to immediately start going about eating less carbohydrates and refined and processed foods as well as how to go about eating more wholefood in a way that is understandable, non-intrusive, non-demanding, and achievable.


  • To increase the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin you can become more active. The simplest and easiest trick in the book is to take a walk after a meal. Straight after breakfast you are probably active as a direct result of your journey to work. At lunchtime you are probably active as a result of a walk into town to buy your lunch. If you bring a packed lunch, then consider a short walk after eating it. After your evening meal, don’t think and procrastinate. Just grab your coat, put on your walking shoes and walk round the block, preferably for upto 30 mins. An even more beneficial way of increasing the sensitivity of muscle cells is to do some resistance exercise. There are hundreds of things you could either in your own home, or outdoors, or in a gym or swimming pool. Find what suits you best and create a plan that you will stick to and progress with. If you have trouble then find a training buddy or join a regular class or book a block of sessions with a personal trainer. During the 91 DAYS program I guide and coach you on how to progress with healthier eating and maximise the benefits of a progressive exercise program.


Further reading:


Contact me on if you would like to talk. Every Wednesday I have a free Skype coaching call hour from 8pm – 9pm so feel free to register for a place.



Tags: Body, Diabetes