Let's be honest...carbs are delicious...and we want to eat them and still stay lean.
And while I'm a big fan of low-carb diets for fat loss, I really am also a big fan of carbs (it's hard to build muscle without some carbs in your diet)...
...which is why I personally prefer diets that strategically rotate carbs in and out (e.g. my Starting Monday Diet).
Now, one of the primary reasons low-carb diets work (beyond simple calorie reduction) is because when you take carbs out of the diet, it keeps your blood sugar levels, and therefore your insulin levels, more stable.
In other words, you're controlling insulin.
Burn fat and build muscle more easily by controlling insulin...
Insulin can be both friend and foe when it comes to improving your body composition, i.e. building muscle and burning fat.
Insulin is basically a storage hormone...it helps to shuttle protein and other nutrients into the muscle cells to help with muscle growth, or it can assist with the storage of fat, which is not normally the goal.
The more sensitive your muscle cells are to insulin, the LESS insulin your pancreas needs to produce in order to store the carbs.
This is a good thing.
Insulin itself is NOT evil or bad...just as carbs are not evil or bad.
And insulin sensitivity is GOOD.
The reason some people turn into Type 2 Diabetics is that their cells become RESISTANT to the effects of insulin...and therefore the pancreas has to product a lot more of it.
Over time, this leads to Type 2 Diabetes...it's preventable and almost entirely caused by poor diet.
How do we increase insulin sensitivity so that we can burn fat more easily while keeping and building muscle?
One way is to follow a low-carb or Keto type of diet. When you take carbs out of your system, your body usually responds by becoming more sensitive to insulin.
Then when you put carbs back in, your muscles "soak" them up, which is a great situation for muscle growth.
The other way is through exercise, especially weight training.
And needing less insulin to do the job means there's less of it floating around to push fat into fat cells.
Are there other ways to increase insulin sensitivity?
There are a variety of nutrients and herbs that can legitimately improve your insulin sensitivity.
A product I've been testing out recently has the goal of doing exactly that.
It's an insulin-mimicking supplement that increases muscle insulin sensitivity and reduces the amount of insulin the pancreas secretes whenever you consume carbs.
SLIN increases muscle insulin sensitivity so the carbs you eat are shuttled into muscle cells, instead of being stored as fat.
This is NOT a "carb blocker" supplement...it's a "use carbs more effectively" supplement (also known as nutrient partitioning).
Here's the ingredient list on the bottle.
Now, I will tell you two things right up front...
1. It works.
You take it with a high-carb containing meal and you WILL notice a difference in how your body uptakes carbs.
I've been doing low-carb and carb rotation diets for almost 30 years now, so I can definitely tell the difference based on how I feel after eating carbs whether something like this has any effect or not.
The first time I took this stuff, it was a post-workout meal with a lot of carbs. I actually felt my muscles pumping up again. Normally, I do get some type of uptake reaction, however, this was a LOT more of a reaction.
I've been through a wide spectrum of carb-eating reactions in my training career...I've had some where it seemed like I could literally FEEL my muscles soaking up the carbs by the second (this was after 2 weeks of strict, low-carb eating).
Since I never go that long without carbs these days, I don't tend to get those types of massive reactions anymore.
When taking the SLIN, I could feel the reaction was definitely increased...not to the level I mentioned above, but it was definitely much more than usual.
This is IDEAL for muscle growth and a great way to minimize fat gain when eating for mass...or when you're on a diet and trying to keep muscle mass.
I'm going to be including this stuff with all my high-carb meals now.
There's no need to take it when you're not eating carbs...it won't do you any good.
So in the context of my Starting Monday Diet, I'll basically be taking it 3 times a week, which means the bottle is going to last a long time, there will be pretty much ZERO chance of spillover into fat stores, especially on the weekend, high-calorie meals.
If you're on a more "normal" type of diet when you're eating carbs regularly, you take it with your higher-carb meals (just once or twice a day) in order to maxmize its effects.
2. I'm not a fan of the other stuff in it.
Now, I'm half Swedish (on my dad's side) so I'm happy about the color selection of the capsules. In my opinion, though, the addition of dyes and other additives, aren't really a benefit.
I do understand that marketing to help a product stand out visually is definitely a thing. Personally, I don't need anything like that. I'd rather something just works and not have any frills at all.
That being said, this stuff DOES work well enough that I can get over it.
The Bottom Line
Overall, I really like this supplement.
Do you need it?
Just like most other supplements, nope...it's not a question of needing it...what it CAN potentially do is make things happen faster and easier for you, both in fat loss and in muscle-building.
In my years of training, I've tried a number of different supplements that have purported to do exactly what this one does (vanadyl sulfate comes to mind, if you're familiar with it).
I like this stuff better than those based on my own bodily response to it.
I could see SLIN being highly effective for both fat loss and muscle-building uses, taking advantage of how it improves your body's sensitivity to insulin.
It contains fully-effective levels of each active ingredient, which is critical for an effective supplement.
One important caveat...
If you're diabetic or have blood sugar issues, you'll want to be careful with this stuff. Because it does actually work, I think it could be helpful, but I would 100% recommend you check with your doctor or nutritionist before you try it.
If your body gets more sensitive to insulin, you may need to adjust your dose of insulin to account for it. You'd want to start with a single capsule (rather than the 4 normally in a serving) and keep a very close eye on things...AFTER you get the approval from your doctor.
Where to learn more...
If you're interested in potentially testing this stuff out, I would definitely recommend you watch the video. It's good information.
If you're interested to learn more about the ingredients and the research behind them, scroll a little down the page where you'll see "Health Benefits, Nutrition & Ingredients, FAQ and Reviews" tabs.
Click the Nutrition & Ingredients tab and you'll get a list of all the active ingredients in the formula, including links to published research on their effects.
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