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Does Insulin Resistance Cause Weight Gain


A Healthy Diet To Avoid Weight Gain

Why Does Insulin Resistance Cause Weight Gain? Dr.Berg

Some foods help to prevent you from getting obese. In contrast, certain other foods assist fat storage and increase your glucose level in the blood. The best way to safeguard your health and prevent weight gain is to make a customized meal plan that includes unprocessed and nutritious foods. Some of the foods that your diet should comprise of are:

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Wholesome carbohydrates

The Government Of Canada’s Role

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are committed to helping Canadians improve their health and well-being by promoting and supporting regular physical activity and healthy eating. They play a leadership role in chronic disease prevention and control across Canada and internationally.

The Government of Canada launched the Canadian Diabetes Strategy in 1999 in partnership with the Provinces and Territories, various national health organizations and interest groups, and Aboriginal communities across the country. The CDS sought to:

  • Increase public awareness about diabetes
  • Prevent diabetes where possible
  • Help Canadians living with diabetes better manage the disease and its complications.

In 2005, funding for the CDS was renewed at $18 million per year over 5 years. The renewed strategy focuses on:


  • Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes among high-risk populations
  • Early detection of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Management of Types 1 and 2 Diabetes and related complications.

The renewed strategy is targeted at populations who are at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

In addition, in 2007-08, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the federal government invested $33 million in diabetes-related research. The Government is also taking action on obesity, a key risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes, through supporting community-based healthy living programs and initiatives such as the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and the newly revised Food Guide and Physical Activity Guides.

What Is Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance, also known as impaired insulin sensitivity, happens when cells in your muscles, fat and liver dont respond as they should to insulin, a hormone your pancreas makes thats essential for life and regulating blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance can be temporary or chronic and is treatable in some cases.

Under normal circumstances, insulin functions in the following steps:

  • Your body breaks down the food you eat into glucose , which is your bodys main source of energy.
  • Glucose enters your bloodstream, which signals your pancreas to release insulin.
  • Insulin helps glucose in your blood enter your muscle, fat and liver cells so they can use it for energy or store it for later use.
  • When glucose enters your cells and the levels in your bloodstream decrease, it signals your pancreas to stop producing insulin.

For several reasons, your muscle, fat and liver cells can respond inappropriately to insulin, which means they cant efficiently take up glucose from your blood or store it. This is insulin resistance. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to try to overcome your increasing blood glucose levels. This is called hyperinsulinemia.


As long as your pancreas can make enough insulin to overcome your cells weak response to insulin, your blood sugar levels will stay in a healthy range. If your cells become too resistant to insulin, it leads to elevated blood glucose levels , which, over time, leads to prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Read Also: Can You Take Too Much Metformin

How You Can Turn Tide

Your lifestyle defines your health. Among factors that trigger insulin resistance, an unhealthy lifestyle is the most important.

Here are the top 3 lifestyle changes you need to make right away! These changes will bring your insulin sensitivity and body weight back to normal.

1. Make Systematic Changes in Your Diet Plan

Your diet can make your health or take it away from you. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are important ingredients of your diet. Heres how these ingredients should look in your diet:


2. Get Adequate Sleep

The importance of sleep cannot be stressed enough. Even a single night of sleep deprivation can reduce insulin sensitivity .

In further research, participants experienced as much as a 44% reduction in insulin sensitivity after only 12 days of shortened sleep . Now imagine what chronic sleep deprivation could do to your insulin sensitivity?

The solution is quite simple. All you need is 7-8 hours of quality sleep daily.

3. Exercise is Important

Exercise makes your insulin work better. It makes insulin open up the gates, just the way it would normally do!

Research shows that regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity 4-fold .


According to researchers, you should do 150 minutes of moderate intensity workouts on weekly basis. Five sessions, each lasting 30 minutes, would be ideal – but you can still achieve beneficial effects by doing more sessions of, say, 10-20 minutes duration.

Making Gains: Does Insulin Drive Obesity

Why Does Insulin Resistance Cause Weight Gain?  Dr.Berg

    Far from being an innocent response to insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia drives weight gain and metabolic disruptions, a new study says. Researchers who manipulated mice genes to limit their ability to make insulin found that lowinsulin mice did not become obese on a high-fat diet but actually burned more energy, with their white adipose tissue acting akin to brown fat.

    Its a very clever experiment, said C. Ronald Kahn, MD, a prominent insulin and diabetes researcher at Harvard Medical School who was not involved in the study. I think it is a significant finding because it does challenge our concepts of what is the role of hyperinsulinemia in metabolic syndrome.

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    How To Preserve Lean Muscle Mass

    Lean muscle mass is important because it burns both fat and glucose. Without muscle, you wont be able to quickly use the energy from the fat and carbs that you eat.


    Lean muscle mass is also critical to insulin sensitivity and longevity. As you get older, it becomes harder to maintain lean muscle mass. You will need more protein as you get older to slow the inevitable loss of muscle mass. Once you become weak and frail, your chances of falling and breaking your hip and never getting up again increase!

    There is ongoing discussion/argument/controversy about how much protein is too much. My analysis of nutrient density suggests that getting a minimum of 1.8 g/kg LBM or about 20% of energy is a good starting point. More can be better if you are active, lifting heavy or trying to lose fat.

    If you focus on getting the nutrients that are harder to find, adequate protein is really a non-issue. The nutrient profile of the most nutrient-dense foods shown below is generated by prioritising foods that contain the harder to find micro-nutrients .

    We also risk malnutrition if we focus on the most ketogenic foods . For most people, their primary goal is health and weight loss and to look great naked, not having high ketones.

    So, unless you need a therapeutic ketogenic diet to manage epilepsy, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, dementia or something similar, then there is no need to compromise your nutrition profile by trying to avoid protein or maximise ketones.


    Am I Insulin Resistant

    Another pertinent question is, how do you know if you are insulin resistant or not. Lots of people are insulin resistant. They just dont know it. Because there are no tell-tale symptoms of insulin resistance.

    Even the symptoms of insulin resistance grossly overlap with other common conditions.

    That is what makes it difficult to recognise insulin resistance and it can go on for years carefully damaging your health quietly without you being aware of it.

    So, are you insulin resistant?

    Well, lets keep things simple, shall we.


    If you test your blood sugar on one or more occasions and you are consistently getting results above the recommended acceptable blood sugar levels below, then that should raise a suspicion of insulin resistance.

    Thats how simple it is. There are other tests like C-Peptide test and more expensive ones but they are ultimately not necessary to make a diagnosis of insulin resistance.

    Alert your doctor if your home blood sugar test following your meals exceed the values below. Your doctor will take things from there. See this article on how to meal-test your blood sugar here.

    • Fasting blood sugar should be 100mg/dl
    • 1-hour blood sugar after meals should be 140mg/dl or less
    • 2-hour blood sugar after meals should be 120mg/dl or less

    If your 2-hour after-meal blood sugar is over 200mg/dl , then you are diabetic. It means your insulin resistance has tipped over to type 2 diabetes.

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    Hyperinsulinaemia: The Bigger Picture

    Inhibition of lipolysis/promotion of lipogenesis, hepatic gluconeogenesis and glucose uptake into insulin-sensitive cells via upregulation of glucose transporter GLUT4 all require different levels of insulin to signal effectively via their receptors. Currently, the most probable explanation is the activation of different insulin signalling pathways in the different tissues, such as the PI3K-Akt pathway versus the MAP kinase pathway . Insulin stimulates glucose transport via the canonical PI3K-Akt pathway, whereas lipolysis is suppressed via Akt-independent suppression of protein kinase A . A further concept is that of selective insulin resistance. Indeed, insulin resistance affects glucose uptake but does not interfere with ChREBP-ß-dependent de novo lipogenesis .

    The inverse association between insulin-mediated lipolysis and lipogenesis in adipocytes means that decreased adipose tissue growth is accompanied by increased release of non-esterified free fatty acids from adipocyte triglycerides because of increased lipolysis. Systemic FFAs mostly come from upper body subcutaneous fat and do not reflect visceral adiposity . Individual fasting FFA concentrations vary substantially even if measured on consecutive days . One reason may be that the half-life of FFAs in the circulation is only 24 minutes .

    Does Metformin Cause Weight Gain

    Why Does Insulin Resistance Cause Weight Gain | The Obesity Code (simplified)

    Metformin is a biguanide. Besides the fact that its the most widespread type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance medication, its also the most powerful of its class.

    Biguanides work by blocking glucose production in the liver. By impairing gluconeogenesis, it doesnt elevate insulin levels. For this reason, metformin doesnt support hypoglycemia and weight gain.

    With this in mind, metformin also isnt worsening diabetes and obesity. Nevertheless, its also not fighting those diseases or weight gain. Hence, metformin is weight neutral .


    Although metformin doesnt cause weight gain, it comes with the most common problem of medication.

    Metformin is just targeting the symptom, not the root cause.

    Since it cant fight the root cause of the diseases, hyperinsulinemia, metformin also cant reverse insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

    Therefore, metformin is big business for big pharma, because it doesnt take away the illness, but impairs its development.

    Once youve started taking it, you almost cant stop using metformin.

    And the effective dosage of the drug needs to be increased over time, again and again.

    In conclusion, it needs diet and lifestyle changes to reverse insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes sustainably.


    Recommended Reading: What Level Of A1c Requires Insulin

    Introduction: Research Has Failed To Explain Obesity

    Current guidelines attribute obesity to overeating and inactivity based on the thermodynamic principle that change in mass = . Implementation of the NIH health guidelines from 1980: avoid too much fat, saturated fat and cholesterol eat foods with adequate starch and fibercoincided with a sharp rise in obesity. Unfortunately, the recommended therapy of dieting and exercise has not led to any amelioration of the high incidence of obesity.

    Inadequacy of our conceptual understanding of obesity is documented by randomized clinical trial data showing the following:

    • Overeating causes short-term weight gain but is often not sustained .

    • Dieting leads to weight loss but is rarely sustained .

    • Inactivity does not cause obesity.

    • Exercise improves health but does not cure obesity .

    Some interesting observations indicate that there are differences among people who successfully defend their weight compared with those that gain weight more easily. Further evaluation of these extremes may lead to a greater understanding of obesity. We would suggest that such evaluations include the hormone and hormone response profiles, particularly to insulin.

    Hyperinsulinaemia Versus Obesity: Genetic Studies

    The role of insulin in adipose tissue growth was also tested by selectively disrupting the insulin receptor gene in fat cells of white and brown adipose tissue. Such mice grew normally and their glucose tolerance was not different from control littermates. Basal glucose uptake into adipocytes was unchanged, but insulin-stimulated glucose uptake reduced by ~90%. Mice with such selective insulin resistance of adipose tissue had low fat mass and were protected from age-related obesity . In summary, four different approaches to lowering insulin secretion had the same consequence: prevention or remission of obesity .


    Fig. 1

    Prevention/remission of obesity by targeting insulin or insulin action. In people who are obese, lowering insulin secretion by treatment with the ß-cell KATP channel opener diazoxide, or the long-acting somatostatin analogue octreotide, caused significant weight loss compared with the control group

    More important is the observation that stimulating glucose uptake by insulin requires much higher hormone concentrations than is needed to inhibit lipolysis, even in the same individual. In five clamp studies, the mean insulin concentrations required to have a 50% effect on the stimulation of peripheral glucose uptake were ~720, 480, 348, 360 and 360 pmol/l . Half maximal stimulation of glucose uptake required an insulin concentration that was about six times higher compared with that required for 50% inhibition of lipolysis .

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    Obesity And Insulin Resistance How To Treat Insulin Resistance

    Insulin resistance is uncommonly identified prior to the onset of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, as most patients do not have symptoms. However, there are certain signs or risk factors that can alert you to the increased likelihood of insulin resistance, such as increasing waist circumference, weight gain predominantly in the abdominal region, and rising triglycerides and LDL-C .


    There are a number of ways to improve ones sensitivity to insulin thereby helping to break the cycle of ever-increasing insulin levels.

    • Work on decreasing chronic stress
    • Get a good nights sleep
    • Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and added sugars
    • Moderate your processed carbohydrate intake
    • Move or get NEAT

    Many studies now show that decreasing chronic stress can decrease cortisol hormone levels thereby lowering blood sugar. A good nights sleep not only leaves you with more energy for NEAT, but also decreases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, so you feel less of an inclination to eat. Movement sensitizes muscle to insulin thereby decreasing insulin resistance. Finally, taking care to limit processed foods lessens blood sugar and insulin spikes that can occur with sugar-sweetened beverages and sugars added to foods.

    Insulin Resistance And Weight Management Are Adaptable

    Does insulin resistance cause weight gain?

    By introducing small daily habits which improve your diet, physical activity and exercise levels. What step can you take today? Check out Improve insulin sensitivity with these exercise tips and 10 tips to improve insulin sensitivity start implementing a few of these and you will be well on your way!

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    Why Insulin Is Important

    In my opinion, why insulin is so important can be best explained through the example of metabolic syndrome a term used to unify severe health risks of the present.

    The risk criteria for metabolic syndrome are:

    • High blood glucose
    • Low HDL
    • High triglycerides
    • Central obesity

    All these factors significantly contribute to modern metabolic diseases, such as :

    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Alzheimers disease
    • Parkinsons disease

    Indeed, metabolic syndromes risk factors all share a common root cause hyperinsulinemia or persistently high insulin levels . And often, they are accelerated through insulin resistance.

    Hence, insulin and insulin resistance is at the heart of mortality in Western society.

    Body Weight Is Maintained In The Short Term Despite Variation In Intake And Activity

    The regulation of body weight involves many factors of varying degrees of importance but nevertheless appears to be stable in the short term despite dramatic variations in daily caloric intake and energy expenditure . In the long term, body weight in humans follows an upward trajectory that averages 12 lb/year between the ages of 20 and 60 . However, these averages do not explain the increasing incidence of extreme obesity and obesity in children or the fact that a minority of individuals maintain a stable weight throughout their life span. Differences have been noted among individuals during over- and underfeeding such that individuals who exhibit the greatest increase in energy expenditure during overfeeding are most resistant to weight gain whereas those that decrease energy expenditure most during deprivation are most likely to gain weight . Thus, factors that regulate the ability to adapt in a way that maintains the weight trajectory may determine susceptibility to obesity. The role of insulin or HI in these responses is unknown. In particular, the sequence of changes in response to excess nutrients and during active weight gain have not been determined, nor have the differences among signals generated when overeating does not cause sustained weight gain.

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    How Can Your Diet Affect Insulin Resistance And Weight Gain

    If you want to improve insulin resistance or lose weight when youre prediabetic, what you eat makes all the difference. If you dont control your eating, then youre not doing your insulin or blood sugar any favors. When your body has too much blood glucose, it struggles to secret it through urine, leading to prediabetes or diabetes.

    If you want to eat food that doesnt increase insulin-resistance, you should avoid consuming:

    • Excess sugar
    • Refined flour like pasta or white bread

    Instead, you should consume more:

    • Fatty fish
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains

    This doesnt mean you should go on a crash diet, as you could do more harm than good as it can cause massive swings in your blood sugar levels, which only increases belly fats. Consume fewer carbohydrates, but dont drastically reduce your calories. Depending on how bad your insulin resistance is, you dont have to cut carbohydrates out completely. You can limit your carbohydrates to fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

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