Weight Loss With Insulin Resistance
The real reason you may have struggled to lose weight could be because of insulin resistance.
What is insulin resistance?
It is a condition that results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. While this condition is quite common, it often leads to diabetes if left untreated. Not only can insulin resistance lead to diabetes, it also makes it virtually impossible to lose weight.
What is Insulin Resistance and What Causes It?
Insulin resistance is the inability of your body to properly convert the food that you eat into energy, which fuels your cells. When your body is unable to use insulin, sugar builds up in your blood. Your blood glucose levels may rise and fall multiple times per day, which can be quite dangerous if left unchecked. With nowhere else to go, the body turns this extra energy and glucose into fat and stores it for later. Hence why it is quite difficult to lose weight when you have insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance also contributes to blood vessel damage, which could potentially lead to heart disease or stoke. So now that we know what insulin resistance is, what causes it? One of the major causes of insulin resistance is a repeated overload of sugar and processed food in the body.
This causes blood sugar levels to fluctuate. When your blood sugar levels remain high, your body’s cells stop responding to insulin properly. When your cells cannot absorb glucose properly, a large amount of it remains in the bloodstream. This buildup of sugar in the bloodstream leads to pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
The best way to be sure if you have insulin resistance is to visit your doctor. However, there are some common symptoms that can let you know something isn’t right.
- Weight Gain
- Chronic Pain
- Brain Fog
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Extreme Hunger or Thirst
- Frequent Urination
- Tingling in Hands and Feet
Many individuals suffer from insulin resistance for years before noticing the symptoms. However, many simply ignore the symptoms and don’t realize that there is a serious underlying issue. There have also been many links between being overweight and the development of insulin resistance.
Quite a bit of research shows that belly fat releases hormones and other chemicals that can lead to health complications such as: insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and heart disease. While you are more likely to develop insulin resistance if you are overweight, weight certainly isn’t the only the factor.
How Do I Lose Weight?
The best thing you can do to reverse insulin resistance and promote weight loss is to change your diet. Developing healthy eating habits is an important part of both weight loss and reversing insulin resistance. Avoiding the foods that caused the problem in the first place, such as processed carbs, is really the only way to fully reverse insulin resistance. Balancing your diet is the first step towards losing weight and managing insulin resistance. However, there are a few other tips when it comes to losing weight with insulin resistance.
- Physical Activity: Physical activity has been shown to drastically increase insulin sensitivity. Exercise not only helps those with diabetes, but it helps to prevent it as well. Regular activity, such as a 30 minute walk each day, is enough to improve insulin sensitivity. Regular exercise should be apart of your weight loss plan, and even more so if you have insulin resistance.
- Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Sleep is crucial when it comes to living a healthy life, and is just as crucial for weight loss. Getting proper sleep helps regulate your hormones and makes you feel less hungry.
- Medication: When dietary changes aren’t successful, it might be time to look into medication to improve insulin sensitivity. Talk with your doctor about the right medication for you, for insulin resistance can be very serious if not treated. Dietary changes and exercise are the best way to reverse insulin resistance, but sometimes your body may need a little extra help.
Insulin resistance is in essence a warning that, without lifestyle and dietary changes, could lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes. While losing weight with insulin resistance can be difficult, it is not impossible. The best way to lose weight with this condition is to make significant dietary changes and implement physical activity.
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Author: Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen is a gym owner, personal trainer, online fitness coach and former “fat dad” living on 60 beautiful acres of countryside in rural Canada.
He specializes in helping busy parents shed body fat quickly, WITHOUT becoming gym rats OR giving up the foods they love to eat.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, sitting in his hot tub out in the snow with a glass of bourbon, and yelling at his (many) misbehaving barn cats.