“Can Insulin Resistance Cause Weight Gain?”
Part 4 of 4 Reasons Why You’re Possibly Not Losing Weight
& How To Address Each Problem NOW!
It’s 3 in the afternoon and you start to feel tired.
You may feel your eyes getting a little heavy, and you can’t get the thought of cookies out of your mind.
The feeling of low energy and carbohydrate cravings could be related to a very widespread problem called insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance symptoms affect 80% of overweight people and in some cases it could be the cause of weight gain.
Over the years BMI has traditionally been used to determine whether you are overweight. If you haven’t done so yet and you would to know how to calculate your BMI go here to find out how.
Read on to better understand the connection between insulin resistance and weight gain.
Dietary fructose has been shown to produce weight gain and induce insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension in experimental animals. It is therefore possible that increased consumption of fructose could contribute to weight gain and its accompanying metabolic disturbances in humans. 1
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin is a hormone that is manufactured by your pancreas. When it comes to this hormone, balance is necessary. Can your body produce too much insulin? Absolutely, too much or too little can lead to health issues.
Insulin is the ‘party hormone’, released in response to eating, promoting nutrient uptake and storage, stopping fat burning and promoting muscle growth.
Insulin’s main function is to regulate glucose levels in our blood.
It takes glucose and transports it throughout the body for energy.
If you’re insulin resistant then your insulin is not moving the glucose into cells as needed. The pancreas then goes into overdrive to secrete more insulin to make up for the deficit.
A few signs of insulin resistance are:
Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain
OK so let’s dig into the connection between insulin resistance and weight gain a little further. The impact to weight has several key drivers.
One is a lack of energy. The glucose is not being converted properly, and so your body is not able to take advantage of all that good energy. The result is that you’re less mobile and more susceptible to weight gain
Another cause is the extra glucose sitting in your bloodstream. Insulin is not moving that glucose to the necessary parts of your body and so it’s eventually absorbed into fat tissues and converted to fat. These are just two of the ways insulin resistance causes weight gain.
What is the cause of insulin resistance?
There are many documented causes of insulin resistance.
Four are outlined below:
- Diet – Consuming a diet that’s high in refined carbohydrates could be related to the development of insulin resistance. This is especially common when it comes to abdominal fat, because fat storing hormones trigger insulin resistance. 2
- Vitamin D Deficiency – Several studies have indicated a relationship between vitamin D status and the risk of diabetes or glucose intolerance. Vitamin D has been proposed to play an important role and to be a risk factor in the development of insulin resistance and the pathogenesis of type 2 Diabetes Miletus by affecting either insulin sensitivity or β-cell function, or both. 3
- Stimulating the hormone AMP-K. AMPK is the ‘scarcity hormone’, released in response to low energy states, stimulating glucose and fat burning, mitochondrial activation and proliferation or energy production, and reductions in oxidative stress and inflammation. Importantly a ketogenic diet stimulates AMPK.
- 4. Genetics – Studies have identified an insulin resistant gene among those already identified for type 2 diabetes. 4
Overcoming Insulin Resistance Naturally
In order to mitigate symptoms of insulin resistance it’s important to look at your lifestyle holistically, and make changes to your diet and physical activities.
Diet for Insulin Resistance
Strive for a diet that’s low in carbohydrates and high in monounsaturated fats.
- Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) are good fats.
- They are liquid at room temperature and turn solid when they are chilled.
- Common sources of MUFAs are olive oil, avocadoes and nuts.
Carbohydrates are simple sugars that drive insulin levels up. Monounsaturated fats on the other hand, help to improve insulin resistance by decreasing fat distribution.
Essentially strive for a Ketogenic diet – ketones stimulate AMPK and promotes overall cardio-metabolic health.
Foods to eat less of and some to avoid are . . .
- Red Meat – Contains saturated fats that increase insulin resistance
- Cheese – Also rich in saturated fats
- Grains – Rich in starch which can elevate insulin levels
- Potatoes – This vegetable is packed with starch that converts to sugar, and raises blood sugar
- Pumpkin – Also loaded with carbohydrates that turn to sugar
Foods to incorporate
- Avocado – Great source of monounsaturated fats
- Broccoli – In a 2012 double blind study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, broccoli sprout powder significantly improved insulin resistance. 5
- Celery – Detoxifying and hydrating
- Leafy greens
- Spinach, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens – Contain vitamin K which balances blood sugar levels
- Spices and Herbs
- Cinnamon – Reduces blood sugar levels and improves glucose tolerance.
- Turmeric – Detoxification herb for liver protection
Supplements that help insulin resistance
- Chromium – improves insulin sensitivity, mood and appetite control. Beneficial in diabetic patients with depression and binge eating by promoting serotonin and dopamine (the happy hormones).
- Zinc and B6 – supports neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) which are crucial for healthy mood.
- Fenugreek – This supplement has shown success with lowering blood sugar
- Bitter Melon – Increases protein while decreasing fat storage in muscle cells.
- Key Indications:
- Diabetes, insulin resistance
- Metabolic syndrome X, to assist with weight loss
- Sweet craving, dysglycaemia (lower doses)
- Hypocholesterolaemia, elevated triglycerides
Acupuncture is an important addition that can be used to improve faster weight loss goals.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the belief is that excessive weight gains are caused mainly by an imbalance in the body due to a malfunction of the spleen and liver organ systems.
Skilled acupuncture practitioners will zero in on specific body areas to effect weight loss. Among these are the endocrine system and kidneys, which are addressed to treat water retention and to stimulate nerve and hormonal re-balance.
The spleen and thyroid gland are also targeted to effect sugar (insulin) and hormonal rebalancing. Finally, the adrenal and ovary glands are included to treat weight gain due to menopause or Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). (9)
What to do . . .
In order to incorporate healthier foods into your diet, try planning ahead.
- Make trips to the farmers market and buy vegetables and fruits for the week.
- Wash and bag them in advance so that you can grab them on the go.
- Plan meals if possible and shop only for the ingredients you need.
Physical activity will go a long way towards overcoming insulin resistance and increasing your AMP-K levels. This can be especially challenging if you work in an office and sit all day. Infrequent movement leads to slow metabolism and weight gain.
- Try taking the stairs a few times a week if possible.
- A standing desk is a great way to burn calories while you work, and there are very inexpensive cardboard versions online.
- Walking or biking to work is an excellent option if you are within a short distance.
Although insulin resistance is a common issue that affects many people, it is also very manageable. There are natural treatments in addition to what was shared here, please talk to Wayne for further information. By making conscious choices in your diet and lifestyle, you may be able to turn your health around and reach your weight loss goals.
Would You Like To Find Out More?
If you are a member of our clinic and interested in Effective Weight Loss Program and or Acupuncture, and you would like to know more about Insulin Resistance and how it’s related to weight gain, just let Wayne know at your next consultation.
Yours in Health
From the Team at Unique Health and Wellness
P.S. Insulin resistance is the 4th reason why you can put on weight easily and effortlessly. Fortunately, there many options for natural relief.
If you missed the first 3 in the series please go here . . .
- “How To Lose Weight Fast Without Exercise”
- “How to Deal with Stress, Especially Depression or Anxiety That May Be
Causing You to Put On Excess Fat”
- “Can IBS or Digestive Problems Cause Weight Gain? The Answer May Surprise You!”
P.P.S. I’m pro-active about losing excess fat, I want to book now and I realise the consultation is Normally valued at $300.00 and if I act NOW I will receive the consultation for ONLY $197.
The information provided does not take into account individual needs of any particular person. When providing this information it is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research. The information provided should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.