It’s the secret no one seems to talk about, but it’s something we all know: most of us simply eat too much and don’t move enough. And science is starting to understand why: it comes down to insulin. There is a huge link between insulin and weight loss.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin Resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells have become less responsive to insulin. When glucose levels in the blood increase, the pancreas produces insulin to move it into these cells. In Insulin Resistance, this process does not work as it should and glucose cannot enter these cells.
This can lead to high levels of glucose in the bloodstream and an increased risk for diabetes and other health problems. Insulin Resistance can be caused by a number of health problems, including obesity, and medications including steroids, some blood pressure medicines, some pain medicines, and all diuretics (drugs that increase urine output).
Some people develop Insulin Resistance as a result of being born with a genetic disorder called maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY for short). This is a rare disorder that only affects males, but is often detected in childhood. Insulin and weight loss cannot be considered without each other.
What Causes Insulin Resistance?
Insulin Resistance can be caused by many different conditions and diseases. Some of the most common forms are listed below.
Age-related Insulin Resistance
Most people with insulin resistance do not have diabetes, but the condition can become a problem in the future. The causes of Insulin Resistance change as we age, so that as a person ages:
- The pancreas starts producing less insulin and less still after age 50 Years.
- The body becomes slightly less sensitive to insulin after age 50 Years.
- After age 60 Years, many people develop insulin resistance if they have not yet developed diabetes.
Obesity and Insulin
One of the biggest causes of Insulin Resistance is obesity. Overweight people are more likely to be obese, which leads to a further increase in Insulin Resistance over time.
People who are obese or overweight are at increased risk for many other health problems, such as heart disease and even cancer. In fact, these other health problems can sometimes be more serious than diabetes itself. Obesity alone is estimated to cause 280,000 deaths each year in the United States. (1) In addition, children who become obese as teenagers can face a lifelong struggle with weight management and an increased risk for future health problems such as diabetes.
People with a family history of diabetes have an increased risk to develop Insulin Resistance and diabetes themselves.
The Link Between Insulin And Weight Loss
That’s because when we eat, our body releases insulin – a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and tells our cells to take in nutrients from the food we just ate. But too much of anything can be toxic so when you keep eating carbs (from processed foods like bread and pasta), which increases your blood sugar levels, the pancreas releases even more insulin in order to get rid of what your body can’t use.
Your body becomes resistant to insulin, which means your cells don’t take in the right amount of glucose, and so it starts storing it as fat. Since we’ve all heard that fat is bad, the pancreas will continue to secrete more insulin in an effort to “keep up” with the excess glucose and clear it from circulation.
This is why many people are obese. Over a long period of time, this can lead to Type II Diabetes and even worse obesity-related diseases.
How To Lose Weight Naturally
There are a few ways to lose weight, but they all involve the same basic steps:
- Consume fewer calories than you burn
Consuming fewer calories than you burn is the most important step to decrease the effects of insulin and weight loss. Achieving this means eating less, moving more, and satisfying your appetite with foods that provide nutrients rather than empty calories.
Insulin Resistance is caused by a constant rise in blood sugar levels. Glucose enters the bloodstream every time we eat carbohydrates (like starch and sugar) in our diet. When our body becomes resistant to insulin, the pancreas has to release additional insulin in order to metabolize this glucose.
To lose weight, it is essential that you keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range. This can be done by avoiding processed foods and eating foods that have a low Glycemic Index (GI), which means they have little effect on your blood sugar level.
- Reduce carbohydrates and eat more proteins and fats
In order to lose weight, you should avoid foods with a high glycemic index, which means you should avoid carbohydrates like bread and pasta. Instead, try incorporating more lean meats and vegetables into your diet because they will reduce your appetite for less healthy food choices.
- Regular exercise
You should consider exercising regularly in order to burn excess body fat. Exercise will reduce your appetite and encourage you to eat less by boosting your metabolism and by increasing insulin sensitivity. You should also try adding some variety to your exercises, such as including strength training and cardio workouts, as well as interval training.
- Drink plenty of water
You should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water each day in order to keep your metabolism working properly. Water helps transport nutrients throughout our body, and it also makes us feel full so we eat less.
- Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast is essential because it keeps our metabolism going throughout the morning hours (we naturally tend to eat more during lunchtime).
Insulin resistance can cause many different health problems, including increased risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity-related diseases.
The main causes of Insulin Resistance are:
- Overweight people or those with a family history of type 2 diabetes
- Long term consumption of high glycemic index carbohydrates, such as white flour and sugar-sweetened foods
- People who are obese or overweight
- Long-term consumption of processed foods and fast food meals that contain many empty calories.
- People who are taking medications that increase insulin production (such as steroids, some blood pressure medicines, and all diuretics).
You can lower the effects of insulin and weight loss by eating low-carb foods and exercising regularly.
Also, lots of people blame sugar for weight gain, are they correct?
Thank you for reading.
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